Doctor Crooks just left Sue's room. He said I could take my mask off because Sue does not have T.B. That's a relief for about 500 people besides Sue and me.
Sue had a swallow test earlier today and completely failed it, so now the thinking is that she has been aspirating some of her food and probably has (food) aspiration pneumonia. The problems noted in scans of the upper lobes of Sue's lungs are now believed to be food particles that have lodged in the lungs (as opposed to TB lesions), some of which are merely infected or causing toxic releases, and some of which may have become abscessed. They are going to do a needle biopsy on the ones (or some of the ones) that appear to be abscessed tomorrow. Fun.
So Sue is now ordered to be NPO -- Nil Per Os, meaning nothing by mouth. No food. Bummer. One of the few happy spots in her day shot down like a Zero.
On the bright side, Dr. Crooks is ordering a PCA for Sue. That's the little red button she's been wanting so badly. (See my "If I Had A Button" blog of 2-28.) PCA stands for Patient Control Activator. Dilaudid on demand. Party! Uh Huh.
Dr. Crooks (new doctor on call tonight) is concerned about the causes of the muscle weakness that has affected virtually Sue's whole body. Finally someone on the medical staff noticed that she can't walk, can't get up, can't lift her left arm etc. and is concerned about it. And apparently what caused them to take notice was that she failed a swallow test. And it was the R.N. on duty yesterday who suggested they do a swallow test because she saw Sue gag when trying to swallow a pill. But Dr. Crooks is on it. He's going to review Sue's charts, review her MRI, and get a neurologist into the brain-trust mix tomorrow.
It's after 11 pm and I want to be back here (at the hospital) by 6 am to try to catch the oncologist when he makes his rounds tomorrow. They say he comes early, around 6:30. Ah yes, well the early bird gets the worm, so they say.