Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Romy's Appendix Ruptures: Day Five

Early this morning, when the nurse came to give Romy's morning dose of antibiotics, she decided that his IV was getting old. It was a little sore and painful for the last day, so this morning they finally changed it out, and poked a new hole a few inches away. It was near his wrist, a stupid spot since it has very thin skin and its close to a joint where there is a lot of motion. Romy complained about it later, and said that if he was fully awake, he would of stopped the nurse from putting it there.

We learned at breakfast that the CT scan was going to be scheduled for 11am. Instead of a breakfast plate, Romy got two liters of contrast fluid. It was berry flavored, but it looked like white liquidy chalk. Romy said it was gross and made him gag, but he downed the two liters over the next two hours. He couldn't eat anything before the CT scan. I scheduled an appointment to call one of the scientists at DRI who might be my potential boss if I get hired, so I stepped out of the room for about an hour and a half to talk to him. When I came back in, I barely had time to tell Romy what I learned over the phone call before he was wheeled away to the CT scan! I waved goodbye as he was wheeled down the hall. I had a bunch of laundry to do now at this point, so I decided to go home and wash some cloths, and download a few programs on my computer while he was in the scanner.

Romy at Work
Romy is feeling better and he is out of bed internetting on a chair! We have a nice view of the Berkeley hills out the window.

Romy told me that when he went in for the CT scan, the contrast agent was injected at a high rate. Romy mentioned his vein swelled up. By afternoon, when he was getting his antibiotics, it swelled up again but apparently Romy was able to tolerate it. Soon it will have to be replaced. Nicole and Marcel came by to visit again. It wasn't very nice out, kind of cloudy and rainy, so we staying in the hospital room. I ate lunch and N&M were munching on stuff. The guy in the bed next to Romy's got his lunch plate, but nothing came for Romy. We were wondering since his scan was over, if he could get some food and drink now. When the nurses went to go check, they said the doctor ordered him to have nothing by mouth until they could decide what to do after analyzing the CT scan results. So we waited until we heard back.

Soon Dr. Fowler came by to tell us what we did not want to hear! He said that there were still many small abscess sacks but nothing that coalesced into something drainable. He said that there would not be any procedure done today to drain the abscess. Also, it looked like the appendix was still very inflamed and messed up. Even though Romy was feeling better (he did not have any pain medication at all today) his appendix was not very much better. So the doctor ordered that he stay on antibiotics for longer. He wanted Romy to stay one more night so that he could monitor his progress and see if his white blood cell count would go down to normal. Then tomorrow he would arrange for him to go home and continue the antibiotics at home. At least he could go home soon!

Walking Around Today
Happy to be spending our last night in the hospital!

We were so excited and also bummed by the news. Soon after Fowler, a nurse came in and we asked if Romy could eat now that there was no procedure that was going to be done that day. She said she didn't know but she would check with Fowler, because the order for 'nothing by mouth' was still on the charts. That meant he couldn't even drink water either! So Romy waited to hear anything back. Every time a nurse came in that afternoon, we asked if Romy could eat or drink anything. When the dinner plate came for the guy in the next bed, we asked again if Romy could eat or drink anything. Every time we asked, we got no answer. Every time they called the doctor, they could not get through to him, and just assumed that he was in surgery. Romy was starting to get really thirsty. We asked that if he could not drink, then could he get an IV at least? The nurses kept saying that they could not get through to his doctor and they did not have the power to give him an IV. Even the second doctor, Dr Westeguard, kept deferring to the one that was not available, instead of making an order herself for him to drink! It was getting very frustrating!!!

By 8pm, we got so annoyed that Romy just drank water and ate a few strawberries anyway. This was starting to get upsetting. It seemed like they didn't care if Romy was gonna go thirsty or hungry. Unbeknownst to us, Dr Fowler did call back by 9pm but it was never communicated to us. We were already going to sleep by then. In general, the end of the day turned sour. Dr Fowler should've changed his diet orders as soon as he determined no procedure would be done that day. Also, it should be automatic of you have a 'nothing by mouth' diet order, that you should be able to get an IV for fluids without any doctor's order!!!! WTF!?