Monday, April 18, 2011

Monday April 18 update

Monday evening update. April 18. 

A solid recovery day in ICU today. Her sodium levels have stabilized and her brain swelling is coming down. By tomorrow she should be able to get by with salt tablets, water restriction, and drinking high sodium smoothies. Probably a while before her body can self regulate. I expect she will move out of ICU tomorrow up to floor 3 acute care.  She'll be free of IVs there and constant monitoring. That means more sleep (they wake you in ICU every two hours, only every four in acute care). I think the sleep deprivation makes the recovery from aphasia harder. She will continue on the meds for brain inflammation and seizures   She also wants out of her hospital gown so I'm hoping to get her into her yoga clothes  tomorrow  From there it's hard to say what happens before she is discharged. She will likely be a couple days in acute care to start walking and sitting more. She needs to build strength and balance to walk independently  Hopefully evaluated by therapists then likely a stint of some duration on the 4th floor for intensive therapy. That will involve speech therapy as well as addressing right side weakness and her lack of right peripheral vision. 

Dr. Kaplan, her oncologist, called tonight to check in on her. He will visit later in the week. She's obviously concerned about getting on with the cancer battle. We'll discuss the new game plan with him. 

She's sick and tired of the docs on their rounds asking all the questions. Ditto every nurse change. Frustrated because she can't find the words. If you ask her what day it is she can't answer. But if you ask her if it's Monday she'll answer correctly. So I'd say the frustration level is much higher than last week at where she is and the pace of recovery. It does seem a bit slower  I reassure her a lot. I'm also not bringing up issues which might upset her, like how this might change certain plans we had prior to this event. 

What I'm really realizing this go round is she is a stroke victim as well as a cancer victim. Even though it was a cancer brain tumor which caused the brain damage.   Both have to be addressed, differently, and it's harder to discuss the cancer when she's having difficulty understanding and expressing. Patience and clarity are needed. And there are times when she says "stop " it's just not registering and she needs a break or rest or nap. In fact there have been times she's been peeved with me or the docs. But no different than how I'd be. 

The personality, humor, warmth and wit is all there. She's still Meagan. She just has a few differences. Most should resolve in time. Some may not. As they become less of a front burner concern the cancer will move front and center. Our options have been limited but there are still ones on the table. It's a fight she's ready for. 

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