29 July 2011

Pole Dancing

After a four-day hiatus, I was finally restarted on the TPN last night. I was actually kind of enjoying not being hooked up to the IV overnight. It wasn't until I restarted last night that I remembered how nasty the TPN itself smells, which I'm pretty certain starts seeping through my pores after a few hours (lovely, I know). Regardless, I'm happy to be getting my 1600 calories, and 80 grams of fat (which is what makes the stuff smell) and all the other vitamin and mineral goodness that is coming through my line.

As a result of the break, the dietitian advised that we resume the drip over a 20-hour period so it wouldn't spike my blood sugar too high. We had managed to taper down to 14 hours by this past weekend, and I believe the plan is to go back to that this evening. I don't mind be tethered to the IV pole all that much, other than it means I can't really leave the sixth floor of the hospital. I guess it also means I have to drag the stupid thing around everywhere which can be a pain when trying to get washed. At least the line is in my chest and not my arm. Cannulas in the arm can be a right pain when you want to wash, but are hooked up and can't remove any of your clothing.

Yesterday was a rather good day for me. Not only was I feeling really good, but I managed to straighten a few points out with the doctor regarding my treatment as of late:

  1. When was the TPN actually resuming? There is a lot of miscommunication between the doctors and the nursing staff on this ward lately. It kind of makes me anxious to either get moved within hospital or moved to St. George's sooner. One of the doctors had told a nurse that the TPN could resume Tuesday, however, they had not written an order for it, and without the order, the nurses could not administer it. I do have to credit the nurse, though, she did ring the on-call doctor to see what they thought, but because they were not too familiar with my case regarding the TPN and infection, they thought best to hold off. Then Wednesday when the doctors stopped by, they had mentioned that TPN would be resuming that night. Well, I don't think the dietitians were on the ward at all that day, so there was no feed ready for administration. Then yesterday, I confirmed that because the blood work had been gathered in the morning and the dietitians had been round that it was, indeed, going to be administered. The doctor confirmed, but again, I think they forgot to write the order. Luckily, one of them was on-call last night, and that was sorted out (otherwise, I would have gotten a bit cranky, I think!).
  2. Why was my IV anti-sickness switched to oral anti-sickness? This just didn't make sense--to me, the nurse who was administering the drugs, or even the doctor when I enquired about it. I told the doctor that I didn't feel I needed to have the Cyclizine regularly any more, and she agreed to add it as an as-needed drug via IV. That will be more useful when I'm feeling really sick and unable to keep pills down (fingers crossed I'm getting past that point!).
  3. When could I have the cannula in my arm removed? I had to have this placed Monday to administer the antibiotics and give my Hickman line a rest. While I don't necessarily mind cannulas in the arms, this one was placed in the crook of my elbow and made it very uncomfortable to bend my arm. As a result, I had not even attempted to wash my hair for several days, and had joked with the doctor that I was worried about forming dreads soon. I struck a deal with the doctor that I could have it removed after I received a bag of IV fluids (I don't think she was too keen to see me with dreads).
  4. What was the source of the infection in my Hickman line? This one wasn't answered, but at least I asked, and I will ask again next week when they actually have the results of the cultures. I'm interested to know whether it was from the site or within the line itself, so if needed, I can question any dodgy action taken by the nurses or anyone else when they are near my line.
Today is shaping up to be another good day. I'm thinking about doing a bit of a runner to the nearby ASDA (British equivalent of Wal-Mart) to pick up some snacks that should be safe for me to eat. I think it will be nice to venture outside the perimeter of the hospital, even if it's not all that far, and only for a short time.

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