Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Continuing frustration for my very brave Pammy

It's now mid January 2012 and I felt it was time to report on my poor wife's frequent torments.  (I don't think I'd wish MS on my worst enemy - if I had one.  MS is simply horrible!)

As was reported earlier under the heading 'Applied Love v/s Applied Cruelty', Pam continues to be bothered by random feelings of nausea, all too frequently developing as a regurgitation into her mouth and subsequent aspiration - potentially all the way into her lungs. There, it would quickly result in aspiration pneumonia which, as you may have already read below, is now well known to Pam

Since the last posting, Pam has aspirated her stomach contents on two more occasions - including one just yesterday.  I looked through my diary to see if I'd written the dates when Pam got crook enough to be hospitalised, but that wasn't a happening thing - I'd been a bit slack; so I went over to the hospital to ask.

I should add at this point how impressed Pam & I are with the attitudes, help and care regularly demonstrated by the doctors, nursing staff, administration and general staff, given the trying conditions they have to work under in the hopelessly under-designed facility; it is without exception that their attitudes are simply amazing.

Well, none of the staff took pleasure in telling me that these days, information about other people's hospitalisation is forbidden due to privacy laws - even to loving husbands. (It's funny, but I anticipated that very response as I spoke.) It was OK though I thought - I have Pam's medical and financial powers of attorney and I remember giving copies of those to MBH months ago, so that'll give me the right to be told.  Ah, but they couldn't find them as it turned out; so I was almost back to square one.

However, Chris from Hospital Information Services said I could email a copy of Pam's medical P of A if that was easier and he would then be able to tell me the dates. I did that deed just before I took the picture below.

Just to prove a point, here's a picture of my brave lady taken only a few moments ago.  Who'd have thought just yesterday, she was troubled enough to be ambulanced to Mildura Base Hospital's Emergency Dept?

Here it is now Thursday 19th and I've just received Chris's reply. He says…


8/11/11 – 9/11/11

ED Presentation

12/12/11 – 12/12/11
17/01/12 – 17/01/12

… which is exactly what I wanted to know.

The November overnight admission prompted the previous posting and that was for Pam's PEG tube replacement but the next two entries (ED Presentations) were identical to each other insofar as that was when Pam regurgitated stomach contents and consequently had breathing difficulties.  She was coughing feebly (and ineffectually) and had a gurgly chest.  In each case I monitored her temperature, but that was all I could do.  On each occasion, Pam didn’t seem to be getting any better with time and if she had aspirated into her lungs, all that my thermometer could eventually tell me was that she had (once again) developed aspiration pneumonia. 

Each time, I was between a rock and a hard place.  Pam reckoned she was OK and didn’t want to go to hospital.  I on the other hand, didn’t want to risk Pam getting pneumonia.  That eventuality would take weeks to get over – but that’s the time I reckon (by experience) when her MS will attack most viciously and mercilessly. In fact it was a safe bet that Pam wouldn’t quite ‘get over it’.  She never does – her MS sees to that.

No, I was over the moon each time the X-rays confirmed Pam's aspirations had got no further than her trachea (wind pipe). The staff even congratulated me for dialling 000 for an ambulance, because they agreed it was far better to be safe than sorry.

...but when I look at those dates - September, October, (November), December, January.  This is very bothersome - what has February got in store I wonder?