Wednesday morning (5/25) Update

by | May 25, 2022

Not much of an update today as the moving target continues to move.  The plan to get Tara home is to have the gastric tube placed and to place a drain for the ascites (cancer related fluid).  That has required a lot of conversations between departments to come up with a plan.  By the end of the day yesterday it SEEMED like things might actually move forward today.

Throughout the day, we chatted with the doctor working on Tara’s IV nutrition, a surgical resident and the surgeon that resident reports to, the attending physician, the palliative car doctor, and palliative care social worker.

IV (TPN) Nutrition is going in the right direction and that doc is pleased with things.  He was going to fine tune the electrolytes in the in mix and work on getting the time that Tara received the nutrition to 12 hours.  That time was initially 20 hours, then 16.  The goal is 12 hours and that may happen today.

Palliative Care – The doctor and social worker have been absolutely amazing and are pushing as hard as they can to get Tara home.  They’ve been so compassionate and amazingly helpful.  Their role at the moment is to make sure Tara’s pain is under control (which it is), make sure we understand the process, and they’ll act as the conduit between us and home care services.

GI Surgeon and Resident – We had visits from the surgery team yesterday to keep us informed. There are some challenges as the continued build up of fluid make the placement of the gastric tube complicated.  They need to coordinate with Interventional Raditation who will place the drain for the ascites.  Placing the drain and the gastric tube is not something that is usually done so making sure all of the docs are in agreement has taken time.

It finally felt like things were going to move forward today.  Fingers crossed!

With a single exception, every single nurse, doctor, and staff member have been amazing.  We discussed the not-so-amazing nurse with the palliative care team yesterday.  The nurse was pretty rude, threw out the water cups (Tara has been allowed some sips of water and she’s been allowed to chew ice) and gave Tara lip about that.  I had shown up early, something that the unit’s Nurse Manager had approved, and she made the decision that I was not allowed up to the room early.  I was going to shrug that off but the nurse said something like, “Don’t you and your boyfriend listen?  Visiting hours start at 11.  How hard is that to understand?”  It’s probably good that I was in the lobby when that was said…

I’m not sure exactly what happened after speaking with palliative care but yesterday’s nurse walked in with a big cup of ice water and ICE CREAM.  I cried.  It was a beautiful moment of compassion.  To say that Tara enjoyed the ice cream (after not eating for almost two weeks) is an understatement.  She was given the nod to have some more ice cream throughout the day if she want it.  With the nose tube that’s removing everything from her stomach everything is suctioned out anyway so giving her something to enjoy isn’t going to hurt her recovery.  At one point yesterday Tara was not hooked up to anything – no IVs, no nose tube – so we were able to take a walk around the ward without an IV pole.  During that walk we stopped into the Nourishment room and pick up another ice cream.  We sat outside while Tara enjoyed that.  It was a few minutes of relative freedom that we both enjoyed.  I think she’ll be ok with me posting this picture.  Excuse the hair…11 days in a hospital isn’t conducive to looking your best.

 

So, fingers crossed for REAL progress today and a timeline to get Tara home.  Her brother, Keith, and her mom are coming out from Pittsburgh this weekend and it would be great to have them all at Tara’s house rather than at the hospital.
Stay tuned for more good news today…I have to believe that we’re going to have a great day to stay sane.

3 Comments

  1. Julie

    Eric, thank you so much for keeping us all up-to-date. It seems like you two have kept your senses of humor during this unexpected experience at the hospital over the last two weeks. Thank God for that nurse who brought ice cream! I’m so grateful to hear that Tara‘s mom and brother are coming this weekend. I am sure that gives her much solace. Would you like me to bring something by for their visit? Do you need help with Luke’s upcoming graduation? We are here to help in anyway that you need!

    Reply
  2. Terri

    She is beautiful and YAY for Ice Cream…we all scream for Ice Cream. Keeping our fingers crossed for the first of many good days ahead. Getting Tara home and having her family around her – has to be the best medicine!!

    The phone lines are open – so please let us know what you and Tara need.

    Hugs,

    Terri

    Reply
  3. Susan Reimer

    You are making progress today! Prayers are being answered!

    Enjoy your ice cream!! What is your favorite flavor?

    Reply

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