Tuesday, May 5, 2015

ICU Update

Yesterday Rudy's blood sugar dropped very low.  It was around 43.   The nurses jumped on that with special fluids and got it up.  The doctor really wants to get Rudy eating again.  He said if Rudy didn't take in some nourishment pronto, they would need to insert a nasal feeding tube.  Rudy had a chocolate protein shake for dinner.  Linda said he seemed to enjoy it.

He has a new oxygen system.  The tubes are larger.  They had wanted to use a mask system, but he wasn't having any of that.

He hated his breakthrough pain meds, so they ever so slightly increased his main med.  It is controlling the pain, but he's a little more loopy.  During the night, he yelled for me.  He had one leg off the bed, had pulled off his oxygen tube and said he'd been told he could go home.   The nurse checked his blood sugar and it had dropped again.  That may explain why he was acting goofy.

Other than the going home incident, tonight has been much calmer than the night before.  He was very restless and needed me over and over all through the night.  It's easy to lose a sense of night and day in a hospital, especially when pain meds are involved.  He knew I was there to help, so he called on me often.  He didn't understand that I might have been "hoping" to sleep.  I was up and down all night long.  The crazy thing - the next day he told me I was going to have to do better about helping him.  He said I was sleeping and he couldn't wake me up.   Seriously???   Later it occurred to me that Linda and I had recently stepped out of the room to talk without disturbing him.  He must have seen my thick blanket (from home) piled up on the sofa.  He can't see it real well from his bed.  He probably thought I was under it sleeping away.

By the way, the blanket is one our niece, Denise, had given us a few months ago.  It's super thick and warm and is really great.  Rudy's ICU room stays pretty cold.  It's perfect for Rudy.  The antibiotics are keeping him warmer than usual. Linda and I are having to dress warmly.  I stay under the blanket whenever possible.

Linda stayed with Rudy for a good part of yesterday.  I was too tired to function.  I went home and took a really hard nap.  Nancy came over and I showed her our crazy system of feeding and taking care of 6 dogs and three cats.  It's not a straightforward system.  We have a dog with allergies who has to eat special foods.  One of our cats is blind.  

I'm not sure what the next few days will bring.  At some point he'll probably be moved to a regular room.  Being with Rudy around the clock is hard.  It's only because of that night shift. I don't mind at all being with him if I've had a decent nights sleep.  I'm not sure what we're going to do but something has to change about the night detail.  I had thought about leaving him to the ICU staff overnight, but tonight's episode has made me rethink that. (He just tried to get out of bed again. )  If I hadn't been right there in the room, he might have tried to walk on out and go home.  He's too weak to walk so getting out of bed would likely result in a fall.  I wouldn't want to strap him in or anything like that.  I also don't want to put any of our friends or family on a night shift.  We have lots of offers for help, but losing sleep is rough.  I'm wondering if I should hire overnight help for a few nights.  I wonder what that would cost.  It doesn't have to be someone in the medical field.  The person would mostly hand him water, adjust his pillow, and keep him from trying to get out of bed when he's feeling loopy.  Does anyone know someone who might like night work?  Or, if anyone has other ideas, please let me know!

I miss Rudy.  He's right in front of me, but it's been a long time since we've had a normal conversation.  Between pain meds, hacking, nausea, and breathing difficulties, he's just not able to talk much.  Cancer is horrible.

That's all for now.  It's 3:07am.