Thursday, September 17, 2009

We're marking the second week that dad is in the hospital. He is out of the high dependency ward now and has had his tubes and lines taken out. He is more or less pain-free and is able to eat and drink lightly. His output has gone up significantly and his creatinine levels have come down. He has even taken a bath!

We're happy with whatever progress we can get but he is not out of the woods yet, not by a long shot. It really looks to me like we're taking one step forward and two steps back. While he is no longer in High Dependency, his recovery is extremely slow. His stomach remains bloated and the bloat has gone to his arms and hands so much that it is hard to even find a vein these days.

Another scan two days ago showed that his pancreatic situation has worsened than when he was admitted. There is a lot of fluid accumulation and parts of the pancreas are now showing signs of necrosis. His air entry into his lower lungs is also poor and they look like they are on the verge of collapse. He is now running a fever and coughing, all not good signs for his lungs. We worry about both the necrosis in the pancreas and the likelihood of pneumonia as exacerbating factor.

The docs have given him a PICC line because they can't find a vein anywhere else thanks to the bloat! He has to be given intravenous antiobiotics thrice a day to help stem infection in the pancreas. He has to ambulate, move around, sit out of bed etc to improve air entry into the lungs. But our friend is very stubbon, highly recalcitrant and would not, flatly refuses to do all this. We do understand why - he looks extremely tired and even that bath that day exhausted him so much he broke out in cold sweat from the effort. But its really a Catch 22 situation we're facing here.

Thanks to the second CT scan the dye, we're back to again scrutinising pee output and creatinine levels, hoping the kidneys would be able to withstand the insult from the dye. Thus far, he is peeing but output has again dwindled.

Two days ago when I visited him, he asked me to get Coke Zero for him! "Dad," I told him in exasperation, "even if YOU don't care, I don't want my head chopped by the doctors you know!"

Pursed his lips, sighed, looked upwards and basically just pressed all my guilt buttons. Finally I said I'd take a look at the ward vending machine. Nada. Triumphantly I told him they don't sell Coke Zero in the ward! But he looked so resigned and disappointed that I said I'd get him some the next day I came, but I would be the one to regulate how much he drank.

Next day I came, I brandished the Coke happily and poured out a smidgen for him. He was happy to just have that sip. And while I know Coke is not the best thing for him now, it is what he wants and one or two sips should not make a difference. Not when the man is already quaffing down cups of teh-O! Also, to be honest, I really don't know what's going to happen with dad. I don't know if he will get better or if he will leave us. It could go either way at this point. But I figure that one or two sips won't kill (there's enough going on inside him that will do that easily enough!) but if it is what he wants, and it makes him happy, why not? Maybe that is really what is important right now. Depressing thought though it may be, it might be one of the last few things that I might do for him. And morbid though it is, I think I do understand where dad is coming from. Life is short and at this point, it looks shorter than it ever has, so if I were in dad's shoes, I would also want to be comfortable and do the little things that make me happy - like having an illicit sip or two of Coke.


Cory said...

sigh.... HUGS, Pat.

mummyof3 said...

Oh hugs! Still praying for you and your dad.