Sunday, October 24, 2004

Tripping on steroids

It's 7:18 my time. Just got off the phone with Dad. I had tried at 5 their time but no answer either place. Got a brief report from Nurse T. because the operator intervened. She is very
sweet. Then I caught Dad at home at 6:30 after I got home from picking up the kids at soccer practice.

The skinny: T. expected Mom to go home today but then they changed dosage of a medicine that was confusing her. (I found out later that was the steroids.) She thinks she is doing great and will go home tomorrow.

The skinny from Dad: Yesterday went to pot after he talked to you. It seems the steroids built up too quickly in Mom's body and she was getting strange. The rainbow incident magnified. For example, she was waiting for Arby's for dinner. By the end of the day she had gone on so many walks that they couldn't keep her in her room. She got really cranked up, dressed herself, and got ready to go. Dad said he caught her trying to go to the bathroom by herself. She spilled some water and was trying to clean it up, etc. She was furious with Dad when he wouldn't let her stroll up and down the halls. Dad reported the behavior and asked for help. Rochelle (a hero!) came on duty and sat down with her for a long time to calm her down. Another nurse went to work researching the relationship between the steroids and other meds. She worked with the Rx and doctors and they decided to cut the steroids back considerably. By the way, at one point Dad found Mom in a wheelchair at the end of the hall because they had captured her before she
went down the stairs. That's when they put her on a tether system so that she wouldn't stray far before an alarm went off. But Rochelle was terrific all evening and took great care of her. (Dad thanked her profusely today.)

Dad went home feeling useless and exhausted. Got to bed at 10 and slept OK. This morning he was dreading the return to the hospital but found her in good shape. The doctor had cut the steroids by half and then later today they were cut by another quarter. They can't cut them out altogether. (They also switched them to a pill form for fewer side effects.) They need to monitor her progress before she can go home. Gastro doctor and other doctor were going to confer tomorrow morning and send her home if they had a consensus. Dad thought another day in the hospital would be good for her after the steroids slow down. Those steroids are nasty. Grandma S. had a terrible time with them. They help but they need to be monitored. Very frustrating for Dad, but typical side effects from everything I have heard. Before he left the hospital at 5:30 today he and the nurses got her into bed for some quiet time. She has been sitting up and walking all day (trying to get in shape to go home!) and he knew she was tired. He also said her feet were swollen. So he was going to let her rest before dinner and then return. He went home for a beer, a little dinner, and then will go back to see her. He asked us not to call so she could have a quiet evening. What a trooper he is! He was even polite to the neighbor boys who knocked on the door to ask if they could play in the yard while he was on the phone with me.
Dad confirmed thatMom is just about 160 pounds. She has put on several pounds in the hospital but is still way down from August.

That's all I can think of right now.

...and it explains the behavior of many athletes!

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