We arrived at the hospital at 10:30 last Tuesday so that the Interventional Radiology group could change my husband’s biliary stent at the agreed upon 11 am time. Unfortunately, emergencies and a doctor out sick meant that the time for my husband’s procedure was pushed back to 2:30 pm. He hadn’t eaten since Monday afternoon.
By the time he came out of surgery at 4 pm he was ravenous, and roaring about it. Thankfully, the angelic nurses in recovery brought him cup after cup of cranberry and apple juices and two tuna sandwiches. With his blood pressure rising, he was quieter, but still just wanted to go home. I couldn’t blame him. By the time we walked in our front door at shortly past 7pm, we’d spent just under 9 hours in hospital for a 90 minute procedure.
I was confident that his diarrhea would subside now that the bile was redirected to do its proper work in the intestines, but no. My husband, determined to have things his own way, began brewing his own tea and mixing it with orange juice to make an iced tea he remembered from childhood. Now, a minimal amount of any caffeinated drink isn’t forbidden when on chemo, but drinking it to excess–or in his case, drinking solely that–causes dehydration, and–you guessed it–diarrhea. He’s determined to be his own unwitting worse enemy, which leaves me on guard duty 24/7. It’s exhausting, and frustrating.
Having resumed the reins a few days ago, I’ve dumped out his gallons of iced tea, supplying him with Gatorade and straight orange juice, and renewed his Imodium regimen. The diarrhea is now under control. He’s not as gray as he was earlier in the week, and he’s feeling a little stronger… just in time to resume dosing him with the oral chemo drug that worsens his diarrhea. <sigh>
Our next doctor’s visit is on Thursday. At this point, I can’t begin to divine what he’ll say when he sees his patient.