Monthly Archives: July 2012
Dan had to spend two nights in the hospital. The doctors let him out yesterday morning. His potassium remained at a good number overnight and yesterday morning. They think what happened is that one of his meds made his potassium go up. They switched him to a different medicine, so hopefully it won’t happen again. It’s surprising though how bad high potassium can make you feel. Dan is really watching what he eats now, making sure his food isn’t high in potassium.
He has been feeling a lot better. So we went out on a lunch date today. We haven’t been out to eat, just us, forever! I can’t remember the last time. It must have been before October of last year. We got smores for dessert! We had a nice time.
Well, Dan and I are back in the hospital. Two days ago he started not feeling well, overall fatigue and sick feeling he said. Then yesterday his stomach was hurting and was feeling worse, so he called the doctor and he said to go into the ER. I was in Oregon, luckily on my first of four days off from work, so I flew up last night. I had a nice flight, here is a picture of Mt Hood.
By the time I got here, Dan was feeling lots better. They found his potassium to be high (6.7), so they gave him some meds to lower it and it helped him feel so much better. They still admitted him to try to find out why his potassium was high and make sure it wasn’t something else like a GI infection.
The doctors came in this morning, said they want to do some more blood tests today so he will at least be here for the afternoon. They also want the gastrointestinal doctors to consult to make sure they aren’t missing anything and see if they want to do an endoscopy. Dan is still feeling better this morning, so hopefully he’ll be able to get out today. We really want this to be a quick hospital stay. One nice thing though is he is on 5NE, the cardio-thoracic floor (post transplant floor), and the nurses are great on this floor.
Dan is doing ok. Not great, but not terrible. He’s still pretty tired, but definitely better than two weeks ago.
Marti, Cheryl, Jackson and I are heading back to Oregon today. Our plans changed a bit and we are all going back except Dan. We’ve got the car all packed and will be leaving soon.
Dan’s follow up appointment is Monday. So we will see what the doctor says about when he can go back to Oregon. My guess is he’ll want Dan to wait at least another week or two before considering going back.
The doctors decided Dan can get out today! They don’t see any reason he needs to stay another night. He will have a follow up appointment early next week. They did a chest X-ray and physical therapy came and did a stair test with him already. Dan took his oxygen off this morning to see how he would do and he’s actually doing really well! He still will have oxygen at home just in case, but shouldn’t need it very often and for very long.
Dan is still waiting for them to take the central line out and get all his medications ordered through the pharmacy. So probably this afternoon we can leave!
Check out his bruises. This first one is from the arterial lines placed back on the 6th. The resident missed the first one, got the second one but it fell out, and then finally got the third secured.
This bruise on the right side (his left) is from the dialysis catheter. And then the bandage is his central line we are waiting for them to take out still.
Dan is still improving. The doctors lowered the steroid medication yesterday, so we are hoping his body does well with that change. Last time they lowered it, was when he had to go back to ICU. I think his body is ready for it and won’t have any problems this time. The doctors haven’t rounded yet, so we will see what they say this morning. Yesterday they were thinking he could go home Friday or Saturday. And when I say home, I just mean Uncle Marks up here in Seattle. They will need him up here for a bit to keep a better eye on him.
Dan’s sister, Cheryl, is up here helping Marti with Jackson. She got here two nights ago. I’ve been still sleeping at the hospital with Dan. The last two days, Marti and Cheryl bring Jackson and I take him for the day and they stay here with Dan. The first day we went to the zoo (we still have those zoo passes) and yesterday we went to the Ballard Locks.
Since Dan is doing much better, we’ve also been trying to decide what to do about me working and Jackson. We are thinking the best option right now is for me to go back to work, my next scheduled days are Sunday-Wednesday. Leave Jackson and Cheryl up here with Dan. And then I would come back up on Thursday for my four days off. We would then reevaluate and decide again what to do. It’s tough. Dan is getting better, but not totally better yet. We both wish I could stay with him and Jackson, but I need to get back to work.
Yesterday because his breathing was worse, they moved Dan to the ICU to monitor him better. They put him back on the higher steroid and gave him a bunch of lasix. They are thinking since dialysis was last done on Friday, some fluid might have built up in his lungs. So the lasix (a diuretic) helped get that fluid off. They are continuing some more lasix today too. His kidneys are reacting well to the lasix, so they are getting better so he shouldn’t need dialysis anymore for now.
Dan is feeling better today than he has since before he was intubated. He ate breakfast, went on a walk (5 laps around ICU), at lunch, sat in his chair some, rested and now is getting ready to go on another walk. Since he is feeling so good, he’s getting kicked out of the ICU again.
Here is a pic of washing his hair today. It’s a warm shower cap with water and soap in it.
And here is a pic of him eating a snack. Plus, they switched him to a regular diet now!
Well, Dan’s oxygen sats dropped this early morning. He didn’t sleep well again and just hasn’t fell well either. The doctors ordered a chest X-ray, various blood labs/cultures and a sputum culture. They also changed his steroid medicine and gave more lasix. Yesterday, they switched from an IV steroid to a different oral steroid, so maybe his body wasn’t ready for the switch yet.
My Mom had been watching Jackson this past week. Since Dan wasn’t well enough for me to go back to work yet, I requested sick leave for this week. So since I wasn’t going back to Redmond, my parents brought Jackson up here! We had missed him so much. It was so good to see him. He will now stay up here with us, Marti (Dan’s mom) and I will take turns with him while the other is with Dan.
Dan moved to the floor yesterday. His dialysis catheter in his neck was being a ‘pain in the neck’. It had been bleeding all day and night at the insertion site. They tried everything to stop it and it wasn’t working. They wanted one more round of dialysis, so they couldn’t pull it yesterday. So they bandaged it the best they could and waited until this morning for dialysis. Dan also needed a pint of blood because he was low from bleeding all day. Then the doctors ordered an ultrasound to check the area for any complications, it was fine. So they pulled the catheter out this afternoon.
Dan’s kidneys are showing signs of improvement. The doctors are hoping they will recover over the weekend. If they don’t, then Monday he will need to get another dialysis catheter placed and have more dialysis.
Dan’s lungs are also showing signs of improvement. He is only on 3 lpm of oxygen on a nasal cannula. He was able to stand and walk to the sink in the room without needing the oxygen turned up more. He’s also been feeling better, interested in watching tv and eating some more too.
Dan is officially on floor care this evening and will be moved to the medical floor tomorrow. Which means that the doctors think he is well enough to get out of ICU. This morning they were discussing moving him this afternoon, but I was a little concerned about that. Dan is doing better, but he just got off the ventilator yesterday, just took his first bites of food, hadn’t gotten out of bed yet and just isn’t very engaged/interactive yet. As you’ll read, he’s done better throughout the day and I think moving him tomorrow is appropriate (even though I like ICU much better than the floor).
Other news, about that diagnosis, Acute Idiopathic Eosinophilic Pneumonia. The doctors are now saying they don’t think it is that. It doesn’t match up all the way. They expected to find eosinophils through out the lung biopsies from the bronchoscopy, but did not. So they are all scratching their heads again. “They” being all the regular doctors that round on him (from the previous picture), his CF doctor, the two transplant doctors and the two infectious disease doctors. They do know that it got better from the medicine they gave, which were quite a few at first, but they think it was the steroids. So they are just really watching him and looking for any other signs of infection, but so far nothing else is showing up.
Today the kidney doctors came by and ordered some lasix. His kidneys are doing a little better, so the hope was for the lasix to help get the fluid out, but it didn’t. So they did another round of dialysis today. The doctors are expecting the kidneys to do even better tomorrow, so this is still just a temporary supportive measure.
Things are still improving. Dan sat in a chair twice today. He watched a little American Guns on tv. And ate some peaches, pears and cheesecake. I’m confident tomorrow will continue to be even better.