Sunday, November 9, 2008

my dad - part III

Good Sunday morning to you all.

Dad's nurse said he slept better last night than the one before. He even moved himself onto his side, where he slept for several hours. That might not seem significant to most, but he's spent 90% of the last two months flat on his back unless the nursing staff (usually two of them) turned him onto his side. So it's encouraging that he was able to do it on his own, inspite of his weakness and recent major abdomenal surgery.

He still seems confused much of the time. Not so much that he doesn't know/understand what's going on or being said, but more of him having great difficulty articulating his thoughts (from what I understand). Sometimes you can kind of figure out where he was going with something and see that it just came out wrong, other times he makes no sense. I have no idea how aware he is of what's coming out of his mouth. I imagine it must be very frustrating for him to know what he's trying to say and to know that it's not coming out right.

As for his mental state, he'd been doing significantly better between the time that the dialysis started and the days following the nasal surgery when the c. diff infection started taking over. In this case, it seems to have been the obvious variable. My question is about whether or not the effects of c. diff and the systemic infection/toxicity that went with it (remember he was basically comatose last Sunday night!) produce permanant damage or if we can expect this to "wear off".

Also, with the feeding tube being out, he's currently getting no nutrition at all. I thought the TPN (intravenous nutrition) was still being given, but it's so hard on the kidneys and liver that they removed it. So without the feeding tube, he's only getting what he'll take by mouth. Yesterday he gagged a bit on one of his pills and then threw up, so they've restricted all his food/fluid intake until a swallowing test can be done, which will hopefully be tomorrow - if there aren't too many people in line ahead of him. For a normal person, a day or two without food wouldn't be the end of the world, but he has ZERO reserves left.

Hopefully I'll get to talk to him today.

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