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Riverview Health Center

On Friday, March 30, with her condition on the steady decline, Carli was admitted to the Palliative Care Unit at Riverview Health Center. She was dangerously constipated, still experiencing severe nausea, badly dehydrated, and suffering bouts of fatigue and loss of mental focus. There was some doubt as to whether she would even make it through the weekend, but, somehow, she hung on. During her first week there, her pain medication was increased to bring that aspect under control, but she remained near death on account of both the backlog in her bowels and the deyhrdation, not to mention her rapidly-filling bladder that wasn’t getting emptied. The backlog in her bowels became so severe that she began to throw up feces later in the week.

On Saturday, Carli relented and accepted the catheter she had been refusing to that point. Though Carli screamed through the process, with the help of Linda, Denise and a nurse, they successfully were able to insert the life-saving catheter. Within two hours, more than two liters of urine had been drained from her fragile bladder.

Linda’s entry in the Prayer Request book in the Riverview Worship Center

Carli was far from out of the woods, however. Despite the medication, suppositories and enemas, very little of the backlog in her bowels had been cleared. She started feeling a little better and began to feel homesick as the week went on, but dehydration again became an issue along with another buildup in her bladder. The reality of her situation hit home and she fell into a depression for a brief time, but on the morning of Saturday, April 21, she was given another enema and this one paid off handsomely with a large bowel movement. In making his first visit to see Carli, Curtis Walker’s presence proved to be a good-luck charm for what he later termed a “historic occasion”.

The major emptying of her bowels on Saturday and the following Tuesday brought a temporary reprieve from the nausea and the prospects of getting out on day passes to visit her apartment improved her state of mind considerably. During the week, she was able to make it for two trips home, as well as to stop at the nearby Bridge Drive-Inn for an ice cream on each occasion. Later in the week, however, the nausea came back in full force and the pain in her leg flared up once again. Her catheter tube had become clogged, but that was fixed by a reverse flush that helped her drain a considerable quantity of urine out of her bladder.

Despite her condition, the doctors at Riverview had been discussing the possibility of Carli’s release. Eventually, the choice for Carli came down to one of two options. She could return home with the assistance of home care, then go into a hospice at a later time, or go directly to a hospice. On account of the fact the catheter was now a permanent fixture and to avoid an extra move, the decision was made to go directly to a hospice. She would be held at Riverview until there was an opening for her.

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