Yesterday a team of pain specialists visited Ana in the morning and since she was still pretty uncomfortable, they added a continuous drip of low-dose pain medication (previously she was hitting a button to administer the medication, but she wasn’t doing it enough). That changed everything, really. It got the pain under control and she was a lot more comfortable. She was able to get up and walk to the couch and sit for a few minutes then get back in bed.
Throughout the day she got up to walk to the bathroom (a keen motivator) which is a pretty good walk from her bed (this room is a double and it’s enormous). At first she needed a wheelchair to get to the bathroom, but then she’d walk back to bed and by the third time she just walked there and back without any assistance. We both got a pretty decent night’s sleep (Ana’s roommate was discharged so we had the room all to ourselves). The only problem was she didn’t hit her pain button all night so when she got up to go to the bathroom in the morning, she was in quite a bit of pain.
The pain team came and took the pump away this morning (after she gave herself a couple of more doses) and transitioned her to an oral medication which she started at 9:30. It seems to be managing her pain well and she’s still awake, but she hasn’t gotten up yet. I’m going to have her walk a bit soon to see how her pain is on just the oral med. At this point, the plan is for me to get Ana walking around to assess her pain, and then to watch her and see how well she handles it in between doses (she can get the medication every four hours, but she can also have tylenol every six hours so we’ll stagger it). PT came by to get her out of bed just as the drip was wearing off, but before she’d taken the tablet. Ana was in a lot of pain at that point. They said it can be a rough transition to move to oral pain meds.
There’s no news yet on the biopsy, SO DON’T EVEN ASK! Sorry, that’s actually my conscious mind yelling at my subconscious to shut the hell up about the pathology results already and not me yelling at you.
It’s important to focus on the amazing strides that Ana has made since Monday and not the milestones she still needs to meet before discharge. She’s gotten out of bed and walked four times. She’s eating a bit (mostly snack food, but she’s keeping it down and she’s not nauseous). She’s gone to the bathroom and been very clear with all her doctors about how she’s feeling and what she needs. Yay Ana!
I just came back from picking up two prescriptions at an outside pharmacy including pain medication and Zofran (for nausea). They won’t release her without those. Thanks to my obsessive focus on getting the right insurance, these meds cost nothing (*pats self on back*) While I’m glad for this, I have to say that it’s truly heartbreaking to witness people attempting to pick up their drugs and running into insurance issues that prevent them from getting them. I’m seeing this more and more. People need their medicine. They’re desperate, angry, confused, embarrassed. I’ve been there and know how they feel (I once walked away from an expensive pain medication that cost over $600 when I had shingles because I just couldn’t afford it that day). It just seems…wrong. Anyway, back to Ana…
Dr. Martinez feels she’ll recover better at home and in all likelihood she’ll be discharged this afternoon. They want to get us out of here by around 2 to avoid rush hour (to minimize Ana’s time in the car). So, fingers crossed, we’ll be on our merry way before too long.
The care Ana has received while here has been tremendous. Just….tremendous. The doctors talk to each other, they check in frequently, they care about her pain and her state of mind. They try to anticipate everything and Dr. Martinez, in particular, is such a huge advocate for Ana (and all her patients, I’m sure) that she practically feels like part of the family. I got a little teary eyed while Ana was still in the O.R. on Monday and Dr. Martinez immediately stepped in to hug me and reassure me. She looked like she wanted to cry too. So, yes, it definitely sucks to be here, but when I step away for a moment and look at the big picture, I can’t help but feel incredibly impressed and grateful for the work these doctors and nurses are doing to take care of my child.