Saturday, April 01, 2006

Recovery? When?

These past six weeks have been really tough. At least that's what I thought until today. For the first two weeks after we got home, Dalton was only allowed to eat and drink clear liquids. Then, when they finally released him and said "eat whatever you'd like", he had a horrible time with what they call dumping syndrome. Basically, the food dumps too quickly into the small intestine and causes dizziness, weakness, sweating, nausea and cramping. He became very reluctant to eat and we spent a lot of our time trying to figure out what was safe. Things seemed weird in that region, but heck, he'd had his insides rearranged. What did we expect?

We met with Dr. Demeester (surgeon) about two and a half weeks ago and discussed Dalton's lack of appetite and occasional morning nausea. In order to stimulate Dalton's appetite, he suggested Dalton stop feeding through the j-tube (a small tube inserted into the small intestine that helps supplement real food until patients can maintain there weight). We know it wasn't related, but after that, everything went to hell in a handbasket.

Suddenly, the vomiting seemed to worsen a bit every day. Dalton developed this strange and severe leg pain that shot down the back of his leg to his calf, and last Wednesday when I went to change his dressing, I noticed that his belly was big, round, and hard. Forgive the analogy, but he hadn't taken any food for over a week (nothing sounded good and he was throwing up anyway), so he looked like the children in Africa who are starving. I freaked out and called the doctor and they said to come right in. Dalton freaked out and said "no way in hell am I going in there. I don't want them to stick me in the hospital again. We'll wait until next week's CT scan and bring it up them."

So, we waited. And we played the guessing game of "How can we make Dalton feel better today?" Eenie meenie minie moe, which anti-nausea pill that won't work would you like to try today? Or, how many dulcolax can you take at one time and still not make any progress (on the bloating that is). Or, how many days can you go without food or water before you need iv hydration?

All along, we were getting scared. Something wasn't right. He wasn't getting better. The pain was getting worse. Something wasn't right.


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