Vic had a night out of hell! The nausea was vicious and unrelenting. Pain reduced Vic to a whimpering bundle of human flesh.
Vic’s palliative Care physician, Dr Sue, visited Vic this morning. I think she was a little taken aback by Vic’s condition.
Sue is an amazing person. She was so gentle with Vic. Vic’s heart rate is fast and her blood pressure is 101/58. Vic has a bronchial infection, her liver is taking severe strain and the sepsis has flared up – badly. Her oxygen saturation levels are low – 90%.
Sue gently explained that although Vic is running a fever her body’s “warning systems” have started shutting down….. Vic is very warm to the touch yet the thermometer only reflects a temperature of 36.8⁰.
I asked her what I was doing wrong because sometimes, when I inject Vic and withdraw the needle, blood and/or the injection fluid spews out! Sue explained that it because Vic’s collagen is so poor…. In layman’s terms; the flesh does not “seal” when I extract the needle…. That is why the subcutaneous syringe driver did not work and blood and whatever else spews out.
Vic is such as gentle, beautiful, caring human being. Last night when I gave her an additional morphine injection, in desperation, she said “Mommy, what do poor people do who have no access to pain medication?
As a layman with access to Google I Googled “low oxygen saturation” and nearly had a heart attack of my own.
Basically, a saturation of 97% of the total amount of hemoglobin in the body is filled with oxygen molecules. A range of 96% to 100% is generally considered normal. Anything below 90% could quickly lead to life-threatening complications. The margin between “healthy” saturation levels (95-98%) and respiratory failure (usually 85-90%) is narrow. If oxyhemoglobin is low (below 90%) inadequate amounts of oxygen will reach body cells!
As a rule of thumb, respiratory failure usually occurs when saturation (SpO2) falls to 90%, although some patients with chronic respiratory disease may tolerate lower saturations. http://www.favoriteplus.com/oxygen-saturation.php
Every time your blood oxygen level falls below 92% saturation your body suffers drastic consequences Insufficient oxygen level is an immediately life threatening issue. http://www.heartfailuresolutions.com/34/oxygen/low-oxygen-levels-how-low-is-too-low-and-should-you-worry
By tomorrow afternoon we should start getting the results in from the blood tests and blood gases. In the interim Sue has increased the amount of intravenous anti-nausea medication as well as the pain medication. Dr Sue will make a call tomorrow whether Vic should go onto oxygen or not.
We have cancelled all our vacation plans. We desperately wanted to take the boys away for a couple of days to give them a break, but it is not possible. We will have the best Christmas ever. A Christmas filled with love and togetherness…. Maybe our last.