Saturday, June 13, 2015

Drink, Janey, Drink! Part 10

I most sincerely  hope part 10 is the last part of this saga written in the hospital.  Janey is ready to go home except for one thing---her drinking.  Talking with her surgeon on Friday night, she explained her eating, although not good, is not nearly as crucial as making sure she drinks enough.  You can go a long, long time without eating---Janey went about 10 days without anything but IV fluids---but you can't go long at all without drinking.  And Janey is drinking very little.  She did  better today.  She had about 20 sips of water, and quite a few times, she let Tony fill a straw with lemonade and then put it in her mouth.  All together, her fluid input by mouth was maybe 4 to 6 ounces, and that was with extreme effort.  That isn't enough.

Part of why Janey isn't drinking is the thrush in her mouth.  All the bacteria pretty much in her digestive system was killed by 2 weeks of three strong antibiotics.  So yeast was able to take over.  She has a terrible diaper yeast diaper rash and the thrush is also yeast.  It probably hurts her to drink, although she does seem able to eat things that aren't super easy to eat, like salami and onions.  Part of it might just be that she is sick of us trying to force liquids on her, and she is sick of the whole hospital routine.  I think if she were home, she'd drink more, but Tony isn't as sure, and I trust his judgement.  He's the best at getting her to eat and drink.

There was talk today about putting her on something to stimulate her appetite, but we have learned that not much seems to happen  in hospitals on the weekends.  Despite that, I am hoping tomorrow might be the day we go home, but it would more likely be Monday.

How do I feel about going home?  Mixed feelings.   I am scared, partly.  I'm scared because I now see how very much I don't know about Janey's health, and how quickly and scarily things can go downhill.  How will I know how serious things are, if a top-notch hospital first saw her very early Wednesday morning and didn't finally realize she had a burst appendix until Friday afternoon?  They know a lot more than I do, and they didn't see what was happening until things became hugely serious, leading to a recovery fraught with complications.  That is Janey.  She is hard to read, I know, and I am realizing it goes further than I ever even knew.

I am scared also because Janey is still tough in the ways she was before this all happened.  She has been, ironically, easier in a behavioral way during the whole ordeal than she has in years, but of course not for good reasons.  She has been in pain, on morphine a lot, out of it.  Now, as she starts to come back into herself, we are again seeing some self-biting, a little aggression.   And we have no more help, no more solutions, than we ever did.  In fact, we are more sure than ever there really isn't any help out there.  I talked to two separate hospital social workers and the hospital OT who is the autism specialist, and neither of them knew of a single source of respite or a single program that would help Janey.  I am satisfied, if that is the word, that none exist.  Except school, and school for Janey is over until maybe summer school.  There are two weeks left of school in Boston, but Janey will be home.  She is still too sick for school.

The good feelings about going home are, well, that I will get part of my life back.  I got into gardening in a big way this year.  The garden has been left almost all to its own accords for weeks now.  I hope I can salvage some of it.  Janey may be easier to entertain at home, or not.  I will be able to spend more time with my boys, and see the cats, and just not be in a hospital all the time.

In many ways, I feel like I haven't really even fully processed what has happened.  It feels unreal in a lot of ways.  Of all the things I worried about with Janey, the idea of her becoming seriously sick was right up with the last of them.  Life likes to do that to people, and sometimes when I am feeling sorry for myself, which has happened a bit more lately, it feels like it likes to do it to me in particular.  I don't like that feeling.  I don't like feeling sorry for myself.  I am working to get that out of my head.  But it sneaks back now and then.  Maybe I should just take a while to feel it, and then move on, because that is all I can do.  It's all all of us can do.

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