So on Day 5 (Monday) we asked for some hydration. Sunday had started off so good, but went downhill. So by Monday morning I put a call in to the visiting nurse for hydration. She came in the afternoon, around 2:30 pm and hooked him up to an IV. Unfortunately we didn’t have an IV pole and so had to rig a hanger and a coat rack. This made moving around a bit awkward, but it did in a pinch. The IV took about 4 hours to complete. The saline solution did the trick and by 7 pm last night he was looking back on track. Although his appetite was a bit off, his spirits were back up. It didn’t hurt that there was an NFL exhibition game on either! Just like old times, Monday Night Football.
The nurse called on the phone again this morning to see how things were. Today, Tuesday, he’s very, very tired, but not nauseous and actually is eating pretty well. The hydration order provided by the hospital was provided to the visiting nurse staff on an as needed basis. So if he were to get severely nauseated or develop diarrhea then they would be able to come back in to hydrate him. We spoke about the risk to heart patients with respect to the IV adminstration of fluids. Definitely it is preferable to have him drink the fluids rather than use an IV, but if we use the IV then a slow administration, like the four hours used for the litre yesterday, is the safest way to go.
This continues to be one big learning curve, and I continue to ask questions of everyone as this progresses. For the most part the people that I have met along the way have been engaged, dedicated and caring and very receptive to questions. As is true of most things, I have met one or two individuals along the way where this is just a job. These are the people that I worry about.