Tuesday, March 20, 2012

Treat the patient not the numbers.

One of the many things I love about most members of our medical team is their human approach. For many doctors it can be easy to look at and treat symptoms - almost forgetting that those symptoms are attached to a human being. We are fortunate to have specialists who take a more balanced approach.

The pancreatitis craziness is frustrating, and perplexing. Evelyn's enzyme levels are high (bad), but today she was looking much better, and I think I officially saw our first post-surgery smile. We are definitely going to have to take and post pictures tomorrow. Because her labwork wasn't great, a CT scan was ordered to get a good look at her pancreas and rule out any of the 'really really bad stuff'. Thankfully, her pancreas looked normal, as did the rest of her internal organs. Because of that, and because she seems to be doing fairly well, they've decided to start feeding her again - for a few days we will very slowly deliver (via feeding pump) formula (similar to pediasure) into her jejunum, which is the top of the small intestine. Sending the food directly to the intestine will give her pancreas a little more time to rest while working to resume normal intestinal function. After a few days (assuming her labwork improves and she handles it well) we will move to formula in her stomach, then resume a lowfat blended diet, and finally return to her regular food. Some of this process will likely happen after we've come home. I think everyone is hoping the pancreatitis goes away as quickly as it appeared.

As we work through that, we are still working towards Evelyn using her trach with no breathing support. Tonight she spent about two hours with absolutely no assistance, and tomorrow she will do two sessions for a total of four hours. We will ramp that up each day until we go home, and if they feel its appropriate we may work towards no support at night as well. I am officially done with trach training, so other than a family CPR class and a 'rooming in' session - I've done my homework. :) Later this week once our home equipment is delivered, I will spend 24hours providing all of Evelyn's care (mainly trach care) to demonstrate that I know what I'm doing and am capable of continuing her care at home. Daniel will do the same. Luckily I've been mostly doing that the whole time we've been at the hospital, so it will not be a problem. :)

Right now, if things go as planned, we will go home next Tuesday. Hooray! It isn't in our hands, but I really hope we achieve that timing. Today is day 13, so this is officially our longest hospital stay to date. Thankfully there have been a lot of positives during this stay, and while Evelyn and her pancreas have thrown us a curveball, in general things are good, so we are thankful.

Have a great night!