April 8, 2016
Den was very agitated this morning. His nurse, Chris, and I pow wowed as to the cause. It turned out that his blood sugar was dropping to dangerous levels. This was causing his agitation and combativeness. We got some apple juice into him right away and within 30 minutes he seemed to be a lot better. He started complaining of abdominal pain when he tried to take a deep breath shortly there after. So we kept a close eye on that.
Den did eat breakfast, some cereal, milk and some more juice. So I was very happy to see him eat something.
The doctors made rounds shortly before lunch. The nurses had noticed that Den coughed after drinking anything. So the doctors ordered a speech consult to see if there was a problem. Dr. Bloom, from Speech, came in to talk to Den. She ordered a swallow study for Monday morning and left orders for Den to only drink from a straw for the weekend and to use the “Chin Tuck Chuck” method for all food and drink. This is where you put your chin to your chest before you swallow to close the windpipe to ensure food/liquids don’t go down the wrong way. Den had chicken soup, juice and a Popsicle for lunch, and he practiced his chin tuck with everything…it seemed to work…no coughing.
After lunch, Vika, from the LVAD team, came to see us. She is one of the clinical care nurses that work with the patients and their families. She told us that the team meets on Wednesdays to discuss new and existing patients. So we should have a definite plan the following week. She told us that there were lots of tests that needed to be done before Den could be considered a candidate for the LVAD surgery.
Den ate some dinner….cereal, banana, juice and a Popsicle.
After dinner, the doctors decided to remove the central line from Den’s neck. The SWAN had better access at that point and was stable. It was also able to deliver medication directly to the heart so they would be distributed through out the body efficiently.
Physical therapy came by to do an initial evaluation. They had Den stand and sit a few times before he was too tired to continue. They said they would be back tomorrow for a little more and the goal was to be walking the ward before the end of next week.
Den’s weight today was 243.