Sunday, August 23, 2009

Home Rehab

Friday we tried Ellie on clear fluids (pedialyte) at a very slow rate of (20 ml and hour) to see how her system would react to something going down for the first time in more than a week.

After an overnight at this rate Abby checked her stomach contents and found that she still had 170 ml in her stomach, a sign that things weren't working and a bit of depressing news to us.

Checking stomach contents is quite simple with Ellie's g-tube. Simply attach the extension to her g-tube to an empty 60ml syringe, attach the extension to her g-tube and see what comes out. Voila! We can see what has passed, what is still there and what may have sloshed up from below. We can also make the choice to return the contents to her stomach by letting gravity pull the fluids back into her stomach or discarding the fluids (and effectively vomiting for her).

They joys of access. Without this handy tool we would be in amuch worse situation and looking at the dreaded N-G (naso-gastric) tube for her stomach access. We love her button.

Yesterday morning we stopped her fluids and spent most of the day thinking and worrying and speaking with her doctors about what would be causing this. After an in-person talk with Dr. Jennings (on a Saturday!) we agreed to try again and see if things had woken up with the understanding that if things weren't working that we would get an upper GI contrast study done sooner than Tuesday to investigate the cause.

At 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon Ellie went back on pedialyte at 10 ml-1/3 of an ounce-per hour. At 5 PM there was nothing in her belly and we ramped up to 20 ml an hour for the overnight. At 9 and 11 PM, and 1, 3, and 6 AM today we checked her stomach and her belly was clear!

When rounds came though this AM they were very happy with this news as a sign that things had jump started so we bumped up to 30 ml/hour. We also started things in motion toward discharge and at 10:30 this morning, ahead of the mythical 11 AM discharge time that nobody ever seems to meet.

So we are out the door and home with the understanding that things are going well but they want to see her if she shows any signs of her bowel slowing or misbehaving with increased stomach contents, belly distention, pain, etc.

The 21 miles from here to Children's is close enough to be here but not so far that we can't be there ASAP if needed.

This afternoon she went up to 40 ml/hour of pedialyte (her full rate) and we will see how it goes before bed.

If things are still working, we may try some dilute Elecare tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Gib, remember that night when we all came home from college and we heard Mom say, "It's so nice to have all my chickens in their beds"? Good night chickens! Enjoy your beds.

Sarah Thomas, Nora's mom said...

So glad that Ellie is home. I hope she is tolerating her diluted Elecare and doing better. My heart goes out to you Abby and Gib for your worries about your precious Ellie and I hope things get back on track soon.

Karen Owens said...

Yeah for home! Hoping to hear she is back to tolerating the Elecare!

Praying real hard you all get some answers!