Yarrow (angelweed) wrote,

PCA and Electrostimulation and Wounds

I went in to the nursing home Monday because Marsha had a lot of news that I didn't quite understand about changes in her care. It seems to work out to a mix of good and bad news.

The bad news is that they're worried about her bed sores, which are getting close to the bone again. They want to send her to a wound doctor at Retreat Hospital, but need to get a permission form signed, which Retreat hasn't yet faxed to them.

The better news is some new approaches to pain relief for Marsha. One is electrostimulation, where they put a pad on some part of leg, which sends some kind of electrical impulses through the tissue. They've tried it on her thigh and it worked, so I'm hoping that's a good omen.

The other new approach is PCA, which stands for patient-controlled analgesia. The head of the nursing station hadn't heard of that one, but presumably somebody mentioned it to her. I'm thinking her pain doctor at Henrico Doctors' Hospital may have talked about it, or maybe just somebody who knew she had an appointment coming up with him. She currently has a small infusion pump inside her body, which sends small amounts of muscle relaxants and morphine directly to her spine. The idea is to relieve her leg spasms and the resultant pain without making her groggy, by injecting the medicine near her legs and far from her brain.

PCA would allow her to control the rate at which the drugs are released (presumably within certain boundaries). She could press a button and get more injected after or just before wound care, for instance, when they need to turn her over and move her legs; and when she's writing an email or listening to music and doesn't need the drugs she wouldn't press the button.

Tags: marsha

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