Friday, March 25, 2011

Friday Update For Ben

Thank goodness the nurses listened to me and did not give Ben any morphine last night. His nurse today was Nida. She was really sweet. I asked her about the morphine, and she said they had not given him any during the night and that she was told by the night nurse that I didn't want him to have any, so she had not given him any either. I just hope they continue to pass on the word. Ben was awake when I came into his room and stayed awake almost the entire time I was there, but when I first arrived, he was a little agitated. He started to drift off some just before I left to come home. They tried to start the breathing trial on him again this morning around 8:00 AM but after about 5 minutes, his heart rate had jumped up to 130 and he was really gasping for air, so they immediately put him back on the ventilator. The Respiratory Therapist told me that this is normal…sometimes they will have a good day and be on it for several hours and other days, they cannot get by without it. They are going to try again tomorrow morning. She told me she had hoped that he'd be on it most of today, but that didn't happen. They had stopped his tube feeding of the Fibersource for awhile today because the ICU doctor thought Ben's stomach was too distended. They did an x-ray and said he has a lot of air in his stomach. His vitals remained good all day except around 10:30 AM his heart rate jumped up to 153 for about 2 minutes. Nida noticed it on her monitor outside and came in, but by that time, I had gotten him calmed back down and his heart rate was back down to around 100. Nida said that this happens now and then, but as long as his B/P is within normal range, and the heart rate does not stay up for a long period of time, they usually don't worry about it too much. I finally met Dr. Han the ICU doctor today. He is a Pulmonologist. He told me that they want to give Ben a tracheotomy because they do not want the ventilator tube through his mouth much longer as he is going to probably need the ventilator for quite awhile longer. Dr. Han said the problem is, they cannot do the trach or the Paracentesis (which they still want to do) until they can get his blood to thickened up. They have given him Vitamin K and plasma, but it doesn't seem to be working. Dr. Han said Ben's blood is extremely thin for some reason. He told me that they usually see this in people who have liver damage. They said his liver could have been damaged just like his kidneys were when his B/P had dropped so low and that they will normally heal themselves just as the kidneys do. He said they are hoping to be able to do the trach early next week if they can get his blood thicker. He was going to talk to Dr. Rupp (the surgeon) about it. He also told me that Ben's recovery is going to be very slow and lengthy. THAT I didn't need to hear. The physical Therapist came in too, after I asked the nurse to page her. She tried to get Ben to work with her, but he would not interact with her as he is still so weak, so she showed me light exercises to help him move his feet, ankles, legs, knees, wrists, elbows and shoulders so that he will get a little limbered up. He is so stiff. I told her that I am there every day and that I am there around 4 hours each day, so she said if I do these exercises with him every couple of hours in those 4 hours, that will help a lot and then they should eventually be able to get him to work with them. His nurse took his temperature around 11:30 AM when she gave him his antibiotics and other medications. It was 98.8° at that time and stayed right around that all day. His blood sugar was 144 so she gave him a little bit of insulin. They want it to be below 140. Also around 11:30 AM, a lady came into ICU with a harp and sat outside the patient's rooms and played for them for about 30 minutes. It was very soothing. Around 1:15, Nida came in and said that she spoke with Dr. Rupp (the surgeon) and the doctor told her to put Ben back on his feeding tube (the Fibersouce), so she did that. He started falling asleep right after she did that, so I decided to leave. When I was telling him I was leaving to come home, he started pulling the sheet off of himself and acted like he thought he was going to get out of that bed and come with me. I had to calm him down again before I left. For those of you who have been worrying about me not exercising, I did 20 minutes of aerobics with Jane Fonda on Exercise TV this morning and then when I got home from the hospital, I went out into the yard and pulled a bunch of weeds for about 15 minutes that were getting very unruly since I have not had time to get out there and pull them.


  1. I know you are about worn out. Prayers for both of you. Helen

  2. Glad you are taking care of yourself, Kay... That is so important. As you said, Ben's recovery will be a long one it seems... SO--you need to stay healthy through all of this.

    We will be out-of-town and out-of-pocket all next week... SO---I will 'try' to check on you when possible, but I may not write until after April 3. I will continue praying for you each and every day.

  3. The harp music must be something they are doing now days. The last time I went to my Hemotoligist a lady came and played the harp in the waiting room. It was nice as there is such a long wait. My prayers for you and Ben continue.


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