It’s different staying in the hospital with a patient as opposed to being the patient. Somehow, I think it is almost easier being the patient, than watching someone you care about go through a trial that you are helpless to control or help them with. My Mother-in-law had been in Harriman Hospital since last Tuesday. She was transferred to UT Hospital this Tuesday. I have stayed the night with her the last two nights. She was taken down to have a drainage tube and a feeding tube inserted yesterday morning. Her symptoms began over two weeks ago; it was just hard convincing her she needed to go to the hospital!!!! Dr. Denton admitted her into the hospital as soon as she went to his office. She has been having trouble swallowing. Everything she ate or drank felt as if it was getting stuck in her esophageous. They wanted to do a scope test on her, but they had to take her off of her blood thinner medicine and wait for her numbers to come up, her blood to thicken, before doing the scope test. They were finally able to do the test last Friday. They found a Diverticuli (spelling is probably wrong, but it sounds right!!!); a pouch had formed on the back side of her esophageous close to her heart. They also discovered some irritation in her intestine and the top of her stomach, even though it did not look as if it were narrow, they stretched her esophgeous while they were doing the procedure, hoping it would help. There was also food lodged in the pouch, so the surgeon cleaned it out during the scope test. Afterwards, she was not getting any better, so Monday they did a CAT scan. They discovered what they thought was a perforation under the diverticuli on her esophageous. There is some fluid sitting on the lobe of her lung, which they assume has leaked out of the perforation. They transferred her here to UT for further tests and opinions. The Doctors are amazed that she is not deathly sick from this leakage. Upon first seeing her they thought the doctors at Harriman were mistaken, if she had a leakage she would be much sicker. After leaving the room and reviewing her scans they came back amazed!!! They couldn't get over the fact that she is not deathly sick!!! She was not sick and was not even requiring pain medicine!!! They took her down yesterday morning and inserted a drainage tube to drain what has leaked out of her esopheagus and a PEG feeding tube. This is the part were I have problems keeping my emotions in check. I was threatened with a PEG tube, they had even scheduled me for one, but I refused to have it placed, and by the Grace of God, and with Wendell and Jeans great care, I was able to survive without one. When I was in Vanderbilt ICU, I was unable to eat or drink a drop of anything for seven whole days. Food became easier to live without; not being able to drink was a whole different story!!! I have since joked that at one point I would have sold my liver for a teaspoon of Sonic unsweet tea!!!! Jean has not eaten anything substantial for probably three weeks now. While at Harriman, when they allowed her to have anything, she was given chicken broth and on one occasion tomato soup, which felt like Thanksgiving dinner to her!!!! Their plans are to insert the feeding and drainage tubes, give her strong antibiotics and wait for the perforation to hopefully heal. The only other option would be MAJOR surgery where they would open up her chest and go in and repair the tear, then insert the feeding tube and wait for it all to heal. She will not be able to take anything orally while on the feeding tube and waiting for the perforation to heal, which could take two or three months or possibly even longer!!! PLEASE pray for her, she has been really discouraged thinking on all this, the thought of not being able to even have a sip of water for possibly two to three months or longer, is almost more than she can deal with. I know how it feels to go seven days without a drop of liquids, I can not begin to imagine months!!!! My heart is broke for her. She has been such a help and blessing to me during my cancer journey. I have said more than once, without the grace of God and Jean and Wendell I would probably not still be here. She worried over me constantly. The thought of me being hungry was hard for her to deal with and she made sure she did everything she could to see that I had something I could eat. She has been so good to me; it is killing me to see her suffer!!!!
I started this blog post yesterday but was unable to get it to post until today, so I am finishing it today, if my time line seems a little off that is why.
When she came back from having the procedures done yesterday she was is excruciating pain. They ended up having to take her back down to x-ray to x-ray and adjust on the feeding tube. They said they did not find anything unusual, to be causing so much pain, they said it was probably from the nerves that are involved in that area of her stomach. Anyway, her pain was almost unbearable. She had been given several different, strong, pain killers including morphine and fentynol. These drugs did not even phase her pain. She has not had much luck with morphine before and they were fixing to try hydrocodone, which I new would be useless if the morphine hadn't helped, so I finally suggested they try delauted. They gave her the delauted and slowly but surely she started getting some relief. The night shift nurse pressed for Jean to get a pain pump where she could administer the medicine herself, which has been wonderful. We are finally "ahead" of the pain and she is doing a hundred percent better today. I don't think she or I could endure another day like yesterday!!!! At first she was reluctant to press the button, but after much persuasion she has improved!!! We were finally able to get a little sleep last night which seems to have really helped her. They also put in a Pick line yesterday. She had three major procedures yesterday and they really took a toll on her both physically and emotionally. Today is a much better day!!!!Yeah!!!! She looks and feels soooo much better!!!! Please remember her in prayer, her journey has just begun and it appears as if it is going to be a long, difficult one.