Friday, March 13, 2009

No More Pleur-Evac

The Pleur-Evac is this box-like device that you hook up to a suction nozzle. It then uses sterile water in one chamber to create a vacuum in a chest tube to draw fluid out and into one of three storage chambers. It's about the size of a notebook computer case stood on it's end and much heavier. You hang it off the hospital bed

This is what Elle has had lugged around behind her every time she walked anywhere or went to the bathroom. She couldn't roll everywhere in the bed because she risked yanking on the tube, which apparently hurts like hell.

Well, the Pleur-Evac is no more. Her fluid production is down enough where they were able instead to attach something that looks like the squeeze bulb on a turkey baster. Except the bulb is clear, made of tougher material and I would wager is a lot more sterile. What they do is squeeze the bulb, hook it up to the tube and then secure the bulb (it has a loop attached) with a safety pin to Elle's shirt. Then suction draws the liquid out over time. And when it is time to empty it, you just clamp the tube, detach the bulb and then clean it, squeeze it and re-attach it.

So now Elle is essentially able to go anywhere she wants without a massive box behind her. And once her fluid gets down to a level where she'll be able to naturally re-absorb it and pass it, she can come home. Hopefully that will be early next week.

The only other news is that she had her second dose of Irinotecan. She handled it pretty well with just a touch of nausea. So they gave her Benadryl for it, which actually works well for nausea with kids. I prefer it for Elle as opposed to this stuff they gave her last night that made her look more stoned than James Franco in Pineapple Express.

Also, there are two local radio stations doing a charity drive for the Barbara Bush Children's Hospital (the pediatric wing at Maine Med where Elle is). And Beth got to go on the air and tell Elle's (and our) story as part of it. She did well enough that she is going on again tomorrow. And Elle may be with her. It depends on her mood and if they can get her painkillers into her on time. Otherwise you get Cranky Elle and no one wants that on a live mike.

No comments: