Monday, May 16, 2011
Today's Update For Ben
Ben was very alert today and trying to talk to me when I came into his room. I took his wrist restraints off of him when I got there so he could stretch his arms. I still do not believe he pulls the tubes out on purpose, but we still have to watch him. His belly is still big, but is soft. Vicki (physical therapist) came in around 10:15 AM and worked with him for about 20 minutes. She said that maybe in a few days she will try to sit him up on the side of the bed like they do over at All Saints. I found out my social worker was not in today so I talked to another one and told them I wanted to speak with the GI doctor and to please call him and have him come see me while I was in Ben's room. Dennis (Ben's nurse) told me that they plan to do some tests and x-rays on his belly this afternoon or this evening. Dr. Schlussel (GI doctor) came in around 12:40 PM. He pretty much said the same thing all the other doctors have said. He said Ben has cirrhosis and that the last cat scan showed now blockage, but because today he heard some "high pitched" sounds in Ben's belly, there "may" be a blockage in the small intestine, so the need to try to find out if there is because no surgeon will do surgery on Ben in the condition he is in unless they really know something is in there. He said it may be what they call a pseudo-obstruction of the bowel which is a rare condition with symptoms like those caused by a bowel obstruction, or blockage. But when the intestines are examined, no blockage is found. Instead, the symptoms are due to nerve or muscle problems that affect the movement of food, fluid, and air through the intestines. In older adults, the colon becomes enlarged after surgery or illness. This condition is known as acute colonic pseudo-obstruction (ACPO), also called Ogilvie syndrome or acute colonic ileums. ACPO can lead to serious complications and can be life-threatening. This was not something I really wanted to hear and I'm praying this is NOT the case. Before I left to come home, Dennis came in to give put in a new bag of TPN for Ben and Ben asked Dennis if he promised not to pull on any tubes, would Dennis please not restrain him. Dennis told him ok, but that he would be watching him. I'm sure they will restrain him tonight though because I think he does it in his sleep without realizing it. I also told Ben that it is supposed to be raining pretty hard tomorrow and I might not be able to get down to see him. He made a "sad" face but then nodded OK. I said "you don't want me to come down if the drive is not safe do you?" and he shook his head "No".