Wednesday, May 21, 2008

An Unruly Ostomy

Even though you would never know it by looking at her, Ellie just narrowly missed an admission to Children's today. We couldn't be happier to be home instead of having an unscheduled visit to Children's.

Ellie's ostomy normally puts out around 500 ml (~8 ounces) of fluid a day which is replaced by her elecare and her TPN at night. Since Sunday her ostomy has been dumping fluid pretty much non-stop and hit a new house record last night at just a bit more than 1300 ml. To put that in context she is losing around 10 percent of her 12 kg body weight each day as diarrhea out the side. For me to lose that portion of my weight would be gallons of fluid so we knew that we needed to watch this closely and have been giving Ellie IV fluids during her naps to make up for her lost fluids.

We first thought that it was something that she ate since new foods often take her out of whack for a day or so as she adjusts to them. We cranked back on her diet and fed her a lot of rice and other foods that she handles well. No luck. Her outputs kept going up. When she hit a new high last night and started towards another bad day this morning we called Dr. Jennings who asked us to come in and we packed our bags for an admission.

Fortunately her bloodwork came back this afternoon showing everything was in order and Dr. Jennings sent us home with instructions to watch her closely, be in touch with him and maybe come back tomorrow for more labs if things don't get better. It is most likely a stomach or intestinal 'bug' that will run its course but if it keeps going this way she could need other things besides her IV fluids and her nightly TPN.

Phew, another night at Children's would be lousy.

One of these days she is going to act sick and we are going to freak out. Today isn't one of those days. Ellie ran through the hospital this morning and is giggling herself to sleep right now.

So much for Memorial Day in Maine.

No comments: