Sunday, May 5, 2013

Medical Update: Back in the hospital we go...

Its 11:38 am

    Sitting in the ER for the third time...this time via ambulance. After two very bad days wrapped around a decent one,it fell apart on us yesterday. Lori couldn't keep anything down as all and she absolutely craved water. Despite our best efforts via water,ice chips and 2 bags of hydration,she was still dehydrated...her mouth would go dry within minutes of drinking anything....Dr. Shank advised me not to feed her for two days before re-introducing food. But since Lori wasn't hungry,we stayed with the water.
   Yesterday was just awful....I'm not sleeping very well now and despite my CPAP machine,I am awake at the slightest of sounds now. After sleeping lightly Thursday night,I woke up at 8 am and got ready for Ginger's last morning. We loved on her before I took her to see Dr. King.
   Most times its just so sad when a beloved pet gets ready to cross the Rainbow Bridge but despite crying at the her dying,I believe Ginger is merely walking ahead of Lori so she'll have a guide at Heaven. Ginger was a classy lady and she really loved Lori.
She went very quietly,she knew it was her time.
  Came home and did checked on Lori and told her how Snackers went out in my arms and I had whispered Lori's saying to calm Ginger down (she didn't like being held except by Lori,by yesterday however...I could hold her with no problem) "We got you,Ginger" before she took her breath here on earth.
  I met our new neighbors,Justin and Erica,while I buried Ginger in her casket. They like very nice folks and very friendly. I thought it was kind that they talked with me while I dug through the clay to fit her casket it. I wrapped my San Jose State t-shirt around her before closing the casket,saying a prayer and filling the grave.
  Lori by now was throwing up small volumes pretty much every 10-15 minutes and drinking /eating ice chips. She had no real pain,but her urine was starting to smell far worse then before,we both thought her UTI had returned so we restarted her ampillcin in hopes of getting ahead it.
   We arranged that her cousin Bonnie would sit with her while I went to work. When I got to work,I was greeted by a co-worker,Susan,who had offered to bring me a dinner. She made a huge bowl of spaghetti and meatballs,rolls and a slice of cake. That has been only the 3rd home cooked meal for me since March 1st. I'm a little leery of trying to cook anything because of the smell would trigger a vomiting reflex in Lori.
Got home at 8:30 pm,thanked Bonnie for staying and then the long night started...already beat,I spent the next 10.5 hours emptying and cleaning her vomit bucket,cleaning the toilet,refilling her cup with chipped ice. Also soaked and wrapped her big toe,did 3 loads of laundry,cleaned the kitchen,changed Derek's box,paid bills (which never end) and even managed to cobble an entire 12 minutes to eat.
   Lori just couldn't get comfortable,be it laying down or sitting up. I asked her several times if she wanted to go in to the E.R. but the fear of that damn NG tube kept her saying no.
 I tried many times to sleep but just as I would start to doze off,she would have to use the bucket or toilet.
The stench was getting so bad...this was a major concern so I called the visiting nurses and asked for a nurse to be sent out in the morning for a set of vitals and assessment.
  Lori suggested I get her some Depends and I really resisted that because I didn't want her laying in her own waste,so I called U of M for advise. I was told it would be "okay". So at 3:07 am,I went to CVS for a pack and then Tim Horton's for some coffee.
  I could feel my eyes want to close while waiting for my coffee...I rolled down the window and cranked up some Concrete Blonde on the CD player.
  Back home,I swapped out her underwear for the Depends and rinsed them out,cleaned the buckets again (you have to bleach them out) and tried again to get her comfortable.
I gave her a ampicillin and two Norcos at 7:45 am,at 8:05...she said she was in major pain and asked if I would call 9-1-1,which I did. I asked for a no siren call. I didn't want to wake our neighbors...8:14 am,Canton Fire arrived on scene,stabilized her,brought her down and put her in the bus. By 8:40 am,we were on our way. Marlene came down to secure the house while I called Cheryl and asked if she could pick me up the hospital later.
  The E.R. was empty and we were rolled in straight away...this was by far the best experience we had of the 3 so far. We had a doctor in a instant who called Dr. Johnston ASAP.
  We went for X-Rays but Lori was just throwing up too much and that meant only one I ducked out at 9:25 am,Dr. Johnston and Dr. Ruesk turned the corner. It was here that I have leaned that this will be over in a matter of weeks and not months. The cancer has basically grown around her bowel now and is slowly clamping down..she did say that we could put in a vent that might help drain her waste but it would be a open wound and that might limit her mobility. After a couple of more questions,she went in to examine Lori while I posted a update on my FB wall.
  When I got back,the news was what we expected,a NG tube. I only asked one thing,that the team be ready for a clean entry because the last time was such a major CF of an ordeal.
 I stepped out as not to stress her or myself out and checked to see if Cheryl had come and she was indeed waiting,I updated her on what was going on and then ducked back in. In the 20 minutes I had been gone,they had drained almost 3 liters of fluid from her stomach. The reason it smelled so bad? It was body waste,her obstruction was so bad that she was retaining her own poo. I watched as the fourth tube started filling up...but Lori's spirits were good and she said the NG insert was pretty painless compared to the ones before,our nurse,Chris,was amazing. He was funny,caring and compassionate. We swapped Exorist quotes and made Lori laugh.
  They wheeled her away to X-Ray and I went and talked to Cheryl again. Seems like she and Marlene had taken over our house..our neighbors were asking what was going on,because we are so quiet,some of them had no idea of just how dire our situation really is.
   Marlene brought them up to speed and then went inside our house and cleaned our linens and the bathroom. I also learned that she had cut our grass when I left for work yesterday afternoon. I knew my yard was bad and I was going to ask Big Al if I could borrow his riding mower as the grass was too thick for my smaller one. But not only did Marlene cut the grass but has arranged for 3 other neighbors to cut it as well.
  We have been so touched by the sudden outpouring of support,this has been such a lonely fight..the cards slowly continue to trickle in and she looks forward to seeing them,she is seeing how they are coming from all over and wonders how people know. I tell her that she has touched more lives then she realizes.
  The staff told us they were admitting her and we headed back up to the 8th Floor where the nurses once again came over to greet us. Once she was settled,we left as I was absolutely on my last dregs of strength. I bought Cheryl lunch and she came in and continued what Marlene had started while I made the phone calls to her family. Soon,Cheryl left and I picked up the clean linen from Marlene and then went to bed.
Later on,I will be headed back to U of M and bringing Lori her kit,we're hoping that once her stomach settles,we'll be able to bring her home. We have hospice coming out this week with a bed and I will need to set up my living room....

Please keep the cards coming....

Lori Sullivan
45249 Lemont Road
Canton,Michigan 48187.

Thanks for your support and messages.

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