Saturday, April 16, 2011

Saturday Update For Ben

Today I didn't get over to the hospital until around 12:30 PM because I had to wait for our gardener to get here so I could let him into the backyard to mow the lawn. He cannot get back there if we are not home. Ben was awake when I got there and his nurse Antonette was with him. His vitals were good, he was very alert and Antonette said he only had a very low grade fever of about 99°. She told me that they had tried to do his breathing trial this morning, but he just could not tolerate it. Ben was really trying to talk to me today. His mouth was just "flapping" like crazy and I kept telling him that he could not talk and that I could not read his lips but he just kept trying. I asked him if he wanted to try to write what he was trying to say and he nodded yes, but when I gave him a pen and paper, all he could do was scribble and then he kept dropping the pen. He was getting so frustrated. Since he was so alert, I decided to go over everything for him again from his colonoscopy appointment all the way up to today of what had happened and why he was still in the hospital. He seemed to understand everything because he was looking right into my eyes and kept nodding when I'd ask him if he understood or remembered. I cried a little while I was telling him and he squeezed my hand. I asked him to promise me that he will not give up on getting well and he nodded ok. We said a prayer together and when I asked him if he's been praying when I'm not there, he nodded yes. I turned on a baseball game for him on the television and he was watching that, but then he kept trying to pull the sheet off of his body and he kept acting like he was trying to get out of the bed, which he can't since he is so weak plus with the ventilator and all. He started trying to really tell me something again. I kept telling him to say it slowly to see if I could read his lips. He then started trying to make as much noise as he could with his throat and I finally realized he was saying "I have to go to the bathroom". He has a catheter and also has a tube in his rectum, so he just has to go while lying in bed, but I guess he forgot that. This same thing had happened once over at Henry Mayo Hospital the second week he was there. He kept telling me he had to go. Anyway once I realized what he said, I asked him "Are you saying you have to go to the bathroom?" and he actually "yelled" the word "YES!" It was very raspy, but I understood. I got him to calm him down and explained to him about the tubes that were inside of him so he could go to the bathroom and I told him to just go ahead and do it because it was ok and he would not mess himself. He finally settled down after that. His doctor this week is Dr. Mason. She is from Internal Medicine. She came in this afternoon and she was very nice and very caring. She said she was going to request another paracentesis to be done on Ben tomorrow, so they brought me the paperwork today to ok that procedure. She said they are hoping that he can get a little stronger and start moving around more so that the bloating will heal itself. They all keep saying that more movement is probably the "only" thing that is going to get his intestines working properly to prevent the bloating. She was also going to check on getting the physical therapists in there again. When I told her he kept trying to talk, she asked me if I had a IPad and I told her I didn't because she said maybe he could use the keyboard on one of those to try to communicate with me. She went and got me more paper and a pen to see if he could try to write again, but he could not do it. I even wrote all of the letters on a piece of paper and told him to point at them to spell words out, but he just kept staring at it and couldn't do it. She, like all of the other doctors told me that he does seem to be getting better and they are very optimistic about his recovery but that all he can do is take "baby steps". I spoke with her about some of the doctors wanting to move him to an outside Sub-acute facility and she said he is just not stable enough now to be moved anywhere and that she doesn't think he will be for awhile. I trimmed his finger nails and toe nails today and he is really needing a haircut, but I don't know what I'm going to do about that. Ben was showing his sense of humor again today by "dancing" while lying in bed. He shakes his arms around, moves he legs, shakes his head a little and makes silly faces. He was trying to cheer me up by doing that most of the afternoon. The respiratory therapist came in around 2:30 PM and checked his ventilator and trach and told me again that he wasn't able to do the breathing trial today, but that they will try it again in the morning. We had some quality time together today because he was so alert. I just wish he could breathe on his own and talk to me. He was watching the baseball game I turned on for him when I got ready to leave and I noticed he looked like he was getting a little sleepy.


  1. Love and prayers, Kay... I read your update every single day --even when I don't comment...

    Praying for Ben--and you.

  2. Oh, Kay, again...hugs via the web! I had tears reading the first part of this post. Remembering you both, and like Betsy, I read every one of your posts!

  3. I'm so happy you had some quality time with Ben today. Maybe things are looking up now and the baby steps are starting.

  4. Praying this is a start to continued improvement. You're both in my prayers, Sheila


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