Posted (Tina) in All Posts on May-8-2010

Ella had a rough couple of days.

She’s been stable on 750ccs of oxygen. We’ve had to increase it a little bit when she is awake, but the difference has been slight. Clinically, she seems nice and dried out.

The withdrawal symptoms have been tough. We’ve been weaning as outlined in the schedule laid out by pain management but we’ve had lots of retching, bad gas and diarrhea. Finally later today, we had one stool that seemed normal, but still lots of retching and gas. It seemed like it went from about 10am -4pm and stopped once she was finished stooling. The GI doctor does not seem overly concerned about the loose stools. He told us that if he gave one of us Peptamen Jr unflavored and asked us drink 4 cans per day, we might have loose stools too! He thinks that it just may take longer for her intestines to get back to normal. Plus, it could be some of these withdrawal medicines that are playing a role too. When her intestines settle down, we’ll also likely be able to return to the Nutren Jr with Fiber. Until then, the loose stools and foul smell may just be a reality for a while. The GI doc is willing to sign off and let us manage her at home as long as her potassium and chloride remain stable.

Her potassium and chloride levels have been all over the place. This is the last thing keeping us in the hospital. When they went to draw labs on Friday, the PICC line occluded. They TPA’d (tissue plasminogen activator) in the morning for an hour and still could not get it to draw. They TPA’d it again later for two hours and only one of the lumens finally drew. Her potassium was low at 2.6. So, they weaned the Bumex to 1x/day (the diuretic makes it tougher to keep her potassium stable), reduced her overall fluid input to 1200ccs per day (from 1375ccs) and doubled her potassium supplement. One other thing from the labs drawn on Friday: the hematology platelet study. They reviewed the results and the plavix and aspirin are doing the job of keeping her blood from clotting. This likely means that we should not see issues with her SVC again.

They needed another set of labs to check the potassium this morning. When they went to flush the PICC line this morning, neither lumen was drawing and it was infiltrating. This made a mess and got blood everywhere!

After they tried TPA again this afternoon for 2 hours and it still did not draw, they removed the PICC line. Later, they had to stick her to get labs. The only silver lining: God made it less painful as they drew on the first try which rarely happens plus her potassium was 3.4, which is much better. They want to draw two sets of labs in a row that show stable potassium levels. Literally, that is the only thing keeping us here.

The next set of labs is at 6am. I’m not looking forward to waking up that early myself much less wake up Ella to get labs, especially on Mother’s Day. Please pray that the blood draw will be successful without too much poking on the Bun. And please pray that her potassium is stable for the morning labs. If that happens, we might get discharged tomorrow. If not, then we will be forced to continue our hospital stay until they can get 2 labs in a row that look good.

As if it is not tough enough, we need more prayers for Lola. As of yesterday morning, she got sick again too: vomiting and diarrhea. Last night, she woke Josh up every 2 hours needing to go to the bathroom. This means we can’t take her to the doggie daycare nor leave her unattended for much time and not expect an accident. So far, she’s been really good. Today, Josh gave some Kaopectate (peppermint flavored) and some Pedialyte. For dinner, white rice and boiled chicken for the pooch. We’re hoping she gets better real soon.

A Mother’s Love
by Helen Steiner Rice

A Mother’s love is something
that no on can explain,
It is made of deep devotion
and of sacrifice and pain,
It is endless and unselfish
and enduring come what may
For nothing can destroy it
or take that love away . . .
It is patient and forgiving
when all others are forsaking,
And it never fails or falters
even though the heart is breaking . . .
It believes beyond believing
when the world around condemns,
And it glows with all the beauty
of the rarest, brightest gems . . .
It is far beyond defining,
it defies all explanation,
And it still remains a secret
like the mysteries of creation . . .
A many splendoured miracle
man cannot understand
And another wondrous evidence
of God’s tender guiding hand.