Wednesday, December 20, 2006

The PICC Line Stays

Jim’s GI DR called last night and insisted the PICC line be removed. He said there was too much potential for infection. He asked who wanted it put in and why. I gave him Jim’s GP’s number. The GI DR also wants to see Jim the first week or two in January.

I talked to Jim’s GP this morning. He said he had an enlightening conversation with the GI DR and that I need to be vigilant about restricting Jim’s fluids. He said he learned that fluid restriction is the key to managing Jim’s sodium; not manipulating the meds. He said the GI DR also agreed to leave the PICC line in until Jim no longer needed close monitoring of blood values.

I got a jar and measured 1200ccs into it and marked a line. I then put in volumes equal to the tea, cereal milk, juice, yogurt, and water for pills Jim had this morning. Yowza!! It amounted to almost 2/3rds of Jim’s daily fluid allowance. Yes we have to cut way back. But the hospital DR had said only clear liquids counted; he said I didn’t need to count things like jello, yogurt, milk, and Boost. GP says to count everything. (I didn’t ask about fluid rich fruits like grapes and oranges.)

Jim was accepting of the further fluid restriction. He handed over his daily bottle of spring water without a whimper.

Jim will get another blood draw tomorrow.

Patrick was here overnight. I got up at 5:45 am and found the two of them watching CNN with the volume way up. I asked whether they were having a slumber party. Jim refused to let Patrick or me clean him up.

I am hoping that in a couple of days, this renewed effort at fluid restriction will increase Jim’s blood sodium and help to reduce the mental confusion.

I ordered Jim a wonderful Christmas gift. He is so cold from the low blood pressure and temperature. I found a pair of wheat slippers that I can warm up in the microwave. At present, I use the wheat bag I received from Martha to heat Jim’s hands. The house heat is at 74, the fireplace is blazing, and he has an electric heater going. I wish he would wear the chemo cap that Cat’s Mom knitted for me, but he thinks it’s goofy.

I’m fine. The radiation burn is gone; just the skin thickening and tightness. I tell you, my faux boobs are never going to sag. I saw my GP on Monday and she said the retest on my liver functions and white blood cell count showed them all in a normal range. I still may have the enlarged liver and tiny “image” on my liver, but that’s for the GI DR to deal with. She asked me to take anti-anxiety meds BID (not PRN) because I lost 10 pounds in 2 weeks from being too anxious about taking care of Jim to eat. Maybe I shouldn’t have given all my size 6 clothes away a few years back.

Patrick won’t be here the next two Sunday nights. Because the Mondays are holidays, we would have to pay double time. And, we don’t want Patrick away from his family on holidays. I am still thinking about having an open house for a couple hours on New Years Day so Jim’s friends can visit for a brief time with him.


julie said...

just checking in and sending lots of love to you both! I hope you have a happy holiday!!!

Alice said...

Boob that never sag. Sounds fantastic. Sending lots of love your way.