I went into this whole thing with less anxiety and worry because, “I’ve been through this before with Fulton! I know what to expect!” And it’s true, I did know what to expect, up to the point where Teddy’s recovery diverged from Fulton’s. The last few days have been humbling for me as Teddy struggles in ways I didn’t anticipate.
The day started well enough (I even got a smile out of him!), and after morning pain meds, we got Teddy up into his wheelchair for the first time. He lasted for two and half hours before getting in bed and taking a long nap. But later in the day he started having GI issues that were making him really uncomfortable. By Friday night, he wasn’t eating anything, only taking small sips of his drinks, and gagging or throwing up. In addition, something he was on was making his face itchy, and I was constantly scratching his face. Despite everything, he slept well overnight.
It was a rough day. He was in a lot of pain around his abdomen; he didn’t even mention his back. He got up in his wheelchair again and barely lasted two hours. By late afternoon, I requested to get him back on IV fluids, since he hadn’t had much to eat or drink since dinner the day before. The doctor agreed and even as some GI issues resolved themselves, Teddy was nauseous and unable to eat or drink much. The doctor offers to give Teddy an anti-nausea drug but I know from the great stomach bug fest that was 2019, that Teddy doesn’t respond to that anti-nausea drug. After Teddy receives pain meds at 8 p.m., I head home and Tony takes over. It’s not a peaceful night. Since the 8 p.m. pain meds made him gag so much, Teddy refuses pain meds later in the night and is up a lot asking to be repositioned.
While I’m at home, Tony keeps me updated on Teddy’s condition. I learn that Teddy’s still not eating, not drinking much, and still gagging or throwing up. He also continues to refuse pain medicine. Teddy did get in his chair twice, and spent lots of time driving around the hospital. His drain was taken out, and the bandages on his back changed (which is pretty painful, and the only thing Fulton was sure to warn Teddy about). I arrived and after talking with Tony, we asked to have some pain medicines given to Teddy so he could hopefully sleep better. We opted for medicine with the smallest oral dose, and unfortunately, it still caused him to throw up.
As I write this, I have no idea if he will be discharged tomorrow; it seems unlikely. I packed clothes and snacks assuming I would still be here with him on Tuesday. I hope we can figure out why he feels the way he does. I will update this post when we have a game plan for the next 24-48 hours.
UPDATE: Monday, 4 p.m.
Teddy slept well from 8 p.m. until midnight. He seemed uncomfortable so I insisted on pain medication. He took it and kept it down without gagging, and slept well until 4 a.m. At that point he refused pain meds again, but thankfully he remained comfortable and fell back to sleep for a couple more hours. He was taken off IV fluids around 6 a.m. He’s been in better spirits today and even requested a big breakfast; I thought, “An answer to prayers!!” He only ate maybe a piece of bacon, and drank one cup of OJ, but he didn’t have any gagging or stomach pains afterwards. (He was not a fan of the hospital scrambled eggs and spit them out.) Teddy was up in his chair by 9 a.m. and stayed in until almost noon. He drove around, and enjoyed the Xbox in the teen lounge. We didn’t see the surgeon this morning. I don’t know if we missed him while we were in the lounge, but a nurse practitioner we chatted with mentioned taking off some bandages tomorrow, so I’m assuming we’re looking at a Tuesday discharge. He ordered a big lunch, but once again didn’t like the sandwich he chose and only ate some mashed potatoes. But he drank his entire Gatorade and it all stayed down with no discomfort. While I would like his appetite to increase, at least what he’s eating is finally staying down and not causing him pain. He’s been up driving in his chair more this afternoon, and got another round of x-rays. I can tell his back is bothering him, but he’s still refusing pain meds. I’m not going to insist on anything until bedtime because otherwise, he can’t sleep soundly (and neither do I).
Thank you for your prayers! Please keep them coming. Updated to add – I’ve seen a marked improvement since I published this post last night.
And thanks to everyone who has sent things. He has enjoyed having mail to open.