Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Romy's Appendix Ruptures: Day Four

Romy is continuing to get better today. Early this morning, they took his blood again so that they can continue to monitor his white blood cell count. Today we think he may get his CT scan to see how well he is healing. But we won't know until we hear about his blood cell count. Romy finally got the energy to take a shower this morning and he is looking better than ever! Nicole and Marcel came to visit today. It was such a nice and warm day, we decided to see if we could find a wheel chair for Romy and go outside. The 6th floor didn't have any available, but Romy thought he might be able to walk. He hobbled out of his hospital bed and we took him to the elevator.

On The Roof
We went to check out the roof. It was really bright and sunny.

I think it must have been pretty unusual to see Romy walking around, holding a coat over his arm. The nurses looked very alarmed and tried to stop him. They thought we were stealing him from the hospital and he was escaping! Once they realized we were just going for a walk, everything was ok. We got down to the first floor, the lobby, and then walked over to another set of elevators. We passed by a whole rack of wheel chairs so we asked the people at the security desk if we could borrow one. They gave us a really nice wheel chair, and we wheeled Romy to the elevators. They took us up to the 3rd floor roof over the south side of the building.

On The Roof
Romy's hair is all clean after his shower this morning.

The roof was really nice. There was a garden and a fountain. We also found a sun dial. We stayed up there for a while, but Romy started to feel a lot of pain after a while. So we decided to go back to his room so he could get more pain medication and relax again. The pain medication that Romy was getting was pretty strong (dilaudid, 7 times stronger than morphine), and Romy didn't want to keep taking it since the pain wasn't as horrible anymore. The nurse offered him Tylenol as the other option. She went to go investigate how much he could get, and when she came back, she was able to get something more intermediate. It was a pill that was somewhere in the middle between something really strong, and something you can buy over the counter. I think it was called Norco. Romy liked it much better. He was much happier for the rest of the day.

When we got back from the roof, we heard from the blood people that Romy's white blood cell count was still too high (11.8 units, down from 13 yesterday). The goal was to try and get it below 10 units before the CT scan would take place. They figured since the trend was going down, they would schedule the CT scan for tomorrow morning. That was exciting news! If the appendix shows a drainable abscess tomorrow, he only has one more day in the hospital!

Real Soft Food!
Romy is very happy to have real food now, even if its kind of bland.

Other good news too. When lunch came around, we discovered that the doctor upgraded Romy's diet again today. Now he can eat "soft foods," which apparently is anything soft, like cooked veges. It seems it has nothing to do with fiber though. Not sure how soft foods are any different from normal foods, as once it gets into your gut, the food should be already mushed up and soft. It was the first time Romy got a nice plate of food (although it looked better than it tasted). Mashed potatoes, cooked carrots, and some beef roast. Nothing fresh though, all cooked and mushy.

Nothing very eventful happened later in the evening. We just relaxed and watched a movie on the TV screen above the bed before we fell asleep. We did learn one thing from Romy's nurse today about the weekend staff. She told us that the nurses are learning how to use a computerized system for all of the patient files. Currently, they carry around clipboards and binders with all the paper records of what happened to each patient and when. Substitute nurses are being hired for only a few days at a time while the real staff nurses are getting trained somewhere on the new computerized system. So the nurses we had that sucked were all substitute nurses. That makes a lot of sense. Too bad Romy came in during this bad timing!

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