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Keeping Up With Fluids

With the virus I had a few weeks ago, I’m very aware of how important it is to keep hydrated. I got into the routine of drinking coffee as my first drink of the day, and “nursed” it for about 2 hours at work. By that time, I was behind on fluid intake, had taken my immunosuppressants, and had dark urine. Now, I drink a bottle of water on my way to work, and my urine is more dilute. I know manage to get in at least 2 liters a day, and even feel better.

Speaking of the intestinal virus I had at Christmas time,  we have been having a lot of office visits and calls from both adults, children, and infants with viral diarrhea. Whichever this virus is, it’s a particularly nasty one; abdominal pain, dehydration, etc.

I mentioned last week that the child I take care of through a nursing agency on weekends had come in to our clinic and was placed on a ventilator. He apparently had this same virus and developed a bowel obstruction. As it turns out, he apparently had bleeding ulcers in his stomach for some time, perforated an ulcer when he got the obstruction, developed peritonitis (an infection throughout the abdominal cavity that is usually fatal; it’s what my mother died from almost 30 years ago), and died the next day.  The other adopted child in the house who had similar neurologic disabilities was admitted to the PICU (Peds ICU) the morning that Brian died ALSO had the virus and developed a bowel obstruction, but her’s was caught early enough, and she’ll be coming home on Friday.

Brian was a victim of Shaken Baby Syndrome, and was given less than a year to live. One of the last times I worked with him was on his 15th birthday (proof that NOBODY can predict when someone will die; not even a doctor).  His adoptive mother thinks that there’s a possibility that murder charges will be brought against his father, since his death can be indirectly tied to his injury. I’m not sure that will happen though…

There are many in the healthcare profession that believe that things happen in threes, including Keagirl. Well, I’m a believer as well. This past summer, we had 3 patients (I work in a Pediatric Clinic that sees a lot of chronically ill patients) either former or current who died within a few short weeks. Most recently, we had 3 patients since New Year’s Eve day that died as well (the day that Brian died, there was also an infant that died that very afternoon). People expect to hear of adults dying, but not children. It does happen, sad as it may be.

We saw Gran Torino last weekend; fantastic movie. I read on an online forum that the person posting had been to see it in Lower Manhattan, and there were people walking out. Not surprising, as I’m sure it was offensive to city-dwellers who aren’t used to hearing/seeing people that are similar to Clint Eastwood’s character, much like blue collar workers such as Eastwood’s character are out of touch with city living. It’s a shame they didn’t stay; the movie evolved past the initial narrow-mindedness.

It’s pretty cold here, but then again, it’s January, and it’s Pennsylvania. Listening to the news (local AND national), you would think that the end is near. I broke out the down-filled jacket, wear my gloves, and despite having to leave the house, I’m still alive. Yes, it is possible to go outside when the temperature is below 10 degrees F. And no, I didn’t have a 2 hour delay for work today, even though the schools did (I still can’t figure out a 2 hour delay for cold temps; it isn’t much warmer at 10am than it is at 8am).  The only problem I have is trying to figure out if this is global warming or global cooling….

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