Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Change in the air (day 55)

It's another fairly quiet night in the hospital. Jim and his wife Kathy are visiting, Nancy is napping, and I'm waiting for her night companion to arrive. Nancy is generally doing well, although she has required some norepinephrine to support her blood pressure, and is still running a mild fever.

The hospital contacted me today, and they are starting to talk about moving her in the future to an LTAC, long-term acute care facility.  The only one that can handle her needs anywhere near us is in Kentfield (other alternatives are San Leandro and Reno!)  Her attending oncologist is against any move at this point, and so am I.  As it turns out, as long as she's on a med to support her blood pressure, she's unlikely to move.  This is not an imminent decision, but I imagine that our insurance company doesn't want to pay for ICU care forever.  This is just the beginning of the outer dance that I'm sure is going to go on as long as Nancy is with us.  I'm sure her care has gone solidly into the seven-figure range at this point.

Babbas Andreadis, her main oncologist all year and a man I sincerely appreciate, wants to meet with us to go over the current state of affairs.  I know Nancy has at least two infections, and the ongoing fever, increasing need for pain medication, and blood pressure support are all concerns.  We are going to try to do that tomorrow at 5pm, and whatever comes out of that meeting may have an impact on our situation too.

The electrolarynx device, which should allow Nancy to communicate better, should arrive at work tomorrow.  I'm hoping to bring that to our meeting, and enable her to talk some about her preferences, her feelings, whatever she wants.  It's been weeks since she could talk at all, except for lip reading, and she has some big things she wants to say.


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