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01/03/2011 07:31 PM

Husband in ICU, Poor Outlook

clcronin
 
Posts: 8
New Member

I wish I had found this group months ago. My husband was admitted to the hospital three weeks ago and told he had a 30-50% chance of not survivng. He went through a rough period of withdrawal and then apparently had a seizure. Since then he has been intubated for breathing problems and then it was removed. His platelets were extremely low and he was transfused. He has been moved in and out of ICU several times. Now, he has been in ICU for the past four days with no plans to move again. His ammonia and sodium levels are causing issues with awareness and general lethargy. Still has some breahting concerns but no plans for untubation. He is receiving tube feedings, lactulose, and low sodium IVs. Two days ago I was able to have a minimal converstion, yesterday and today, nothing. He does respond when his name is called, but loses focus very quickly. The docs have said it is now in God's hands. He does not have a will, advance directive, or anything. I know it's bad, but I am still hoping for a miracle. Has anyone known of others this sick who recovered?
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01/03/2011 08:41 PM
bjlvls
bjlvls  
Posts: 1013
Senior Member

It's certainly not impossible, as long as there's life there's hope. It does sound, however, like his condition is very very fragile. Even though he appears unresponsive, keep talking to him when you're there. Many of our members have reported that loved ones, or even they themselves, had the ability to hear what was going on around them, even though their eyes wouldn't open or they couldn't squeeze a hand. It appears from what you've said that he is receiving appropriate medical care for one whose liver is failing. Take comfort in knowing that all that can be done for him is being done, and use this time to reassure him of your love and support.

Since you don't have any legal paperwork in place, I would suggest that you seek out your hospital's social services division about speaking to a social worker. If you have a doctor or nurse that you have good rapport with, ask them to intercede in your behalf in regard to getting access to such help. Laws vary from state to state, and country to country, so knowing what your rights and responsibilities are will help you come to terms with the situation you find yourself in. Of course, an attorney would be great, but not all of us have the resources to retain that type of assistance. The hospital's chaplain will visit with you too, and you can express your concerns and ask for their help as well.

I'm so sorry that you are faced with this tough situation, and I wish I had better answers.

You're in my thoughts and prayers,

Bobbi

P.S. Feel free to send me a private message if you'd like to. I'll stay up a while just in case. B

Post edited by: bjlvls, at: 01/03/2011 10:08 PM


01/04/2011 09:00 AM
amdavis1126
amdavis1126  
Posts: 154
Member

If the docs say 30-50% of NOT surviving then sounds like he hs a 50-70% chance of Surviving! Keep a positive attitude as best you can. Hopefully he will come out of this bout and you will then be able to get the estate planning paperwork done. You will be in my prayers. Miracles do happen everyday.

Angie


01/04/2011 09:28 AM
clcronin
 
Posts: 8
New Member

50-70% chance of survival is what I keep focusing on! Preparing for the worst, hoping for the best. Nurses told me they are increasing his lactulose for the ammonia, water flushes for the sodium, and now giving him solumedrol for inflammation in the brain. They are doing a CT scan today and probably going to intubate him. I am a little frustrated with how and when they do anything. Now it seems they are getting more aggressive with his treatment, but wonder if it's too late to help.

It's is ironic....he did not want to do a will or anything as he believed it would make his death come faster. He did request it be done when he was first admitted, but never had the chance to do it. Really glad I found this site, thanks for listening, it helps!


01/04/2011 10:08 AM
bjlvls
bjlvls  
Posts: 1013
Senior Member

I would interpret increased agressiveness in his treatment protocol as a good sign that they're seeing some improvement. Have you been able to speak to the doctors yet?

Whenever he regains consiousness, reassure him that completing an advanced directive will in no way hasten his demise. I look at it as a protective measure for myself. With the AD in place I feel that I will have control over what methods of treatment I do or do not want should I be unable to communicate my own wishes. It protects my family from being put in a position to guess about what measures I prefer in such a situation as well.

I hope the information I gave you regarding The National Caregivers Library has proved to be helpful. If you need anything else, or just want someone to talk to, we're here. Hugs and Prayers, B


01/04/2011 12:01 PM
mpmom
mpmom  
Posts: 3275
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

clcronin,

Angie and Bj gave you good advice. Don't be surprised if they refuse to do a AD if his mind isn't clear.

I am sorry he is having such a bad time right now But the others are correct don't give up hope , Being realistic is fine and doesn't mean that you stop fighting.

If you are monitoring his labs are his kidneys OK.

many times multi organ failure (starting with the kidneys) will signal you that things are declining. I 'm talking about actual kidney failure not just minor changes in the labs.

Make certain that the drs. know you want to know everything (You'd be surprised at the number of people that don't)

Welcome to the group and please know we are here for you.

God Bless Mouse


01/04/2011 03:26 PM
clcronin
 
Posts: 8
New Member

Just got back from the hospital. Apparently his kidneys are now in the beginning stages of failure. They are doing a CT scan and a lumbar puncture today. My husband was very sleepy and not responsive at all. He is breathing on his own and vitals signs are good. Still on lactulose, water flushes and steroids. I did get a chance to talk to one of his doctors at great length. We did talk about DNR and being intubated and being on the ventilator. I do know that my husband would not want CPR or to be shocked if his heart stops and he has no pulse. The success rates for this aren't very good and as weak as he is, I don't think it would help. The ventilator is something I am not sure about. Anyone have experience with a loved one being intubated and on the ventilator? I know they are going to want an answer soon, but really need some time to think about it. BTW, my husband's name is Kevin and mine is Cheryl.

01/04/2011 04:07 PM
mpmom
mpmom  
Posts: 3275
VIP Member
I'm an Advocate

clcronin ,

I am sorry things have gotten so bad. Please know that my thoughts and prayers are with you.

I have had a couple of family members on ventilators and One did very well and recovered and the other died while on the ventilator.

I know I wouldn't want them to have struggled to breath. That's a horrible feeling.As long as he isn't struggling I would wait . If he wakes up he may want to be able to speak to you.Knowing that he doesn't want CPR is helpful and you're right about the success rate.

This is such a personal choice. I hope you have family with you.


01/04/2011 04:21 PM
sadlystillsane
sadlystillsane  
Posts: 942
Member

Dear clcronin (Cheryl)

I just logged on and have been reading your story. I am a rookie on this site also, but very experienced and very kind members have been giving you good advice so I won't try to add anything since I know little.

But I will tell you that you are amazing to be so focused on so many things while your husband is so critically ill, and you sound so compassionate for his plight. Please be hopeful. It seems that a good ending or a reprieve is possible so hold out for that. If it does not come, know that you were there with him, and as the one with the disease, I hope when I am that gravely ill that my family is with me in the way it seems you are there for your husband. I am sure on some level he knows you are right beside him.

Stay on the site whenever you can and post whatever/whenever you need to. Someone is reading (listening) and responding. Maybe not that second, but soon....we all care. I have found this to be a very wise and compassionate community. Please let us know how things progress. Please know you are in my thoughts and I am sending the Universe good wishes on your behalf and that of your husband.

SSS (Marg)


01/04/2011 06:21 PM
mbwheeler
mbwheeler  
Posts: 453
Member

Cheryl, you and Kevin are in my thoughts and prayers. It sounds like he is getting the help he needs and is very lucky to have you. Keep strong for both of you.
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