Thursday, April 7, 2011
Thursday Update For Ben
Ben was asleep when I came into his room this morning. He opened his eyes when I said Good Morning to him. He seemed totally out of it again. His vitals were pretty good. His temperature was 99.9°. I found his nurse Dennis who told me that they tried to start Ben on his breathing trials this morning but he only did 15 seconds and could not breathe on his own so they said he "failed" the trial today. They said they would try again tomorrow morning. The respiratory therapist told me that it could be because he did 3 days in a row with 3 to 4 hours of breathing trials and he is just wiped out from that. The physical therapist did not come today because he was too tired to work with them, so I worked with Ben's muscles from. He could not really help me, but I moved his arms a legs for him in the morning and then again after lunch. My friend Judy Arbogast came and bought my lunch at the cafeteria again today. It's nice to have someone who knows me that I can pour my heart out to now and then. Thank you Judy. Yesterday my social worker gave me the name of a fee free senior advocate and told me to call him for information on how to file for Ben's Medical. He is an ex-professional who now volunteers his time for free to seniors to help them understand their financial rights and obligations and how to file for financial help from the state and/or federal government. He said I can come to his home office and he will help me. He suggested I bring Lanny along with me to help me out with everything. Now I need Lanny to tell me when he's available to meet with me and the advocate at his home office in Sunland, the town I was raised in. I also spoke with one of the ladies at the Kaiser Santa Clarita Insurance Office who was so helpful back when I was having problems getting Ben's SDI started for the first time. I asked her about filing long-term disability because my social worker and Ben's case manager had told me I needed to file for it asap. Eileen (from the insurance office) told me NOT to file for it now because Ben is entitled to a full year of SDI and the long-term disability only kicks in after SDI runs out. She had me notified our primary doctor and have him extend Ben's SDI until July 1st and she has already sent the papers in for me to do that. She told me that around June 15th, if Ben is still not ready to return to work for me to have our doctor extend it again. While I was with Ben today, Dr. Awad from Internal Medicine and Dr. Connado came in together this morning to check on Ben. I asked them about his huge belly. They said that they are going to run some x-rays and other scans on his belly to have a look. Dr. Connado said she does not think there is a blockage because they can hear a lot of gastric sounds in Ben's stomach. The swelling on his arms and hands was down quite a bit today. Both doctors said that his sodium level is too high and they are trying to fix that problem. Dr. Awad mentioned that he thought Ben was diabetic. I said he never was before and when I spoke with the nurse, he told me that Ben's blood sugar level was normal and that he sees nothing in Ben's records stating that he is diabetic. I've been trying to explain to Ben that he may be going to an outside facility to help him get stronger. Don't know if he understand or not. A long time friend of mine, Marla Benedict, is flying out from Oklahoma today to stay with me for a few days. She and I go way back. She used to work with me in Burbank at Lockheed years ago land she used to date my brother Keith. She will fly in today, stay at her brother's in Burbank tonight and then come over to my house sometime tomorrow. When I got back from lunch, Ben was still asleep. Ben's nurse Dennis told me that they have started giving Ben dextrose again because they have stopped his liquid diet through the NG tube and they are now suctioning the fluids out of his belly again to try to make the bloating to go down. Later they will do the abdominal x-rays. Hopefully they will find the cause of his bloating so the pressure will come off of his lungs. To me, he does not seem to be getting any better.