Wednesday, April 20, 2011
Wednesday Update For Ben
A few good days and then a "not so good" day. Ben did seem a little tired when I walked into his room this morning. He was on his breathing trial. They had started him on it at 8:00 AM this morning. His vitals were good except I did notice he was breathing a little harder than he was yesterday when he was breathing on his own. They came in and took some chest x-rays of him right after I got there. Dr. Mason came in and said Ben had spiked a fever again last night of 102°. She is still saying he "may" be transferred to the sub-acute unit soon. She was telling me that the doctor there is also very aggressive and very dedicated to getting the patients weaned off of the ventilators and trachs and getting rehab therapy for them. Guess she tries to get them ready to go home as quickly as possible. At 9:00 AM Dr. Mason requested that the respiratory therapist come in and put Ben back on the ventilator because he was breathing too hard. He was able to breathe on his own for only an hour today. They started tube-feeding him again. He is being given Peptamen this time. Dr. Mason says it is easier on the digestive tract. She also ordered another transfusion for him because his blood levels are low again. Ben was shaking and complaining about being cold this morning. Dr. Mason seems to think that Ben would improve more at the sub-acute unit than he is at the hospital. She says it's because the unit works harder with the patients and that they can do "miracles". The nurses came in at 10:00 AM and put Ben's bed into the chair position again even though he was very tired today and slept almost the entire time I was there today. We checked his temperature since he was shaking and he was running a temperature of about 100.8°. The nurse gave him some Tylenol to try to lower the fever. I thought Ben's belly looked a little bloated again today but Dr. Mason said it still felt soft to her so she was not going to order another Parecentesis yet. Elena, Ben's nurse told me that she felt they left Ben breathing on his own way too long yesterday. She felt that this may have been the reason he had the fever spike last night and still had a fever today. Dr. Mason even said that could be a possibility. Elena said that usually 8 hours is the longest they will keep a trached person breathing on their own, so she was very shocked that they let him go the 12 1/2 hours yesterday. A case worker came in around 11:00 AM and told me that they are almost certain that All Saints will be the sub-acute unit Ben will be sent to when he is transferred, but she did say that she didn't think it would be this week. Ben's friend Ed showed up for a visit around 11:20 AM. Ben realized he was there and tried to say something to Ed, but Ben was just so overly tired that he fell right back to sleep. So far, both times Ed has come by the hospital, Ben has been asleep. Ed and I both left around 12:30 PM since Ben was so out of it. Tomorrow I have an appointment at 11:30 AM with an attorney that specializes in helping older people with Medi-Cal, etc. so I won't be able to get over to the hospital until mid-afternoon. I left a note for the nurses to let Ben know I'd be late tomorrow AND Friday. Friday I have to go to my second care giver support group at the senior center. That's from 9:30 AM to 11:30 AM.