We flew to California last week and had a great time visiting friends and attending a conference at a church near Sacramento. Unfortunately, we had to visit an ER two separate times but for similar issues. On Thursday night, Lori couldn’t sleep due to pain increasing in her swollen abdomen. By 4 am it was too much to work through in the hotel room and we decided to check in to the local ER. The local ER was a mess. I chewed out a janitor, a nurse, and an admin person about the filthy bathrooms and their lack of care for patients. We waited hours between checkups from nurses or doctors. IV bags emptied and Lori and I swapped out new ones because no one came. The real kicker was when the moans of a man in an adjacent room became too loud, and I actually heard a med tech ask his buddy “is he dying…can’t he die quietly?” Despite the conditions, she recovered from the pain and was discharged by 1 pm. Two days later, she had another difficult night sleeping due to shortness of breath. The abdomen swelling had begun to press up on her lungs when she laid flat. This resulted in her waking up suddenly without breath. Since it was one day prior to our scheduled flight home, we wanted to get her checked out again. This time, we drove two hours back to to Vacaville to a better facility, and they did a great job with her there. Scans were accomplished, and the ER doc spoke with Dr. Marinella on the phone. The consensus was to let her fly home without taking any additional action until back in Dayton.
We flew home on Sunday without any issue and today we went to MVHS for a checkup with Dr. Marinella. He ordered an ultrasound which was accomplished that same hour. The results showed small to moderate amounts of fluid buildup in many different quadrants of her abdomen as well as some buildup around her chest. Tonight, Dr. Marinella will review the scans and decide on whether or not to tap the pockets of fluid to drain and relieve some of that pressure. We’ll hear about that tomorrow morning. I’m expecting that they will drain at least some of the fluid.
The cause of the fluid buildup however, is likely liver performance. The liver is still diffuse and likely failing to filter properly. We’re still hoping her new chemo will help turn around this negative health trend. Her pain has been down today generally, but she’s not strong. It’s good to be home where she can fully rest as much as she wants or needs to.