February 13th (Wednesday)… You are finally home. I can’t tell you how good that makes me feel… (well okay, I’ve told you a hundreds time in the last four hours, but who’s counting!) You went in the hospital seven weeks ago today…. Personally, I am much happier to title a page “Finally Home” as opposed to “Notes Week 7″. You seem to be maneuvering around pretty well. Soon, we will get everything we need in place to help you be on your own as you are building your strength back. Well, you need me right now, so I will finish updating this later…
WHOOPS………….. (see gall stones)
Thursday – February 14th: Well… back to the hospital you go. (So much for having red Jell-O for Valentine’s Day!) The morning started out fine. You got showered, then we took you out for your haircut. We came home, you napped for a bit, and I went out to pick up the rest of your medication. The home care nurse got to the house about 3pm. You said you were experiencing some pain in your chest. He asked if you had any other pain, and you said it was radiating to your back. He said you felt clammy, and believed you were having a heart attack….. Back to Emergency.
They ran all kinds of tests, drew all kinds of blood, and 6 hours later, decided it was NOT a heart attack. A general surgeon came in after they moved you back up to ICU. Everyone that had worked with you during your last stay there all said how glad they felt when they heard you had finally gone home. They also said…. next time you want to see them… JUST stop in and say “Hi”. The general surgeon said that you had gall stones. He scheduled a more conclusive test for tomorrow. In the meantime he has changed the pain medication as he said that morphine would not help a gall bladder problem. About 20 minutes after the first injection of the new pain killer, you were able to get more comfortable and get some rest.
Friday – February 15th: They ran the scan, and determined where the gall stones were. One is lodged between the liver and the gall bladder. They are going to try to remove it tomorrow by using a tube that goes down your throat. Normally they would just remove the gall bladder, but because of your recent surgery, they would not be able to do the unobtrusive surgery and would have to open you back up. If they can remove the stone, this may give you a couple of months before you would need to have the gall bladder removed. They are hoping it works, as this will give you more time to heal from the abdominal surgery.
They reconfirmed there was no heart damage, and everything else is staying normal…. Just stay relaxed… and calm…. I promised you everything will be okay.. and it will.
Saturday – February 16th: They did the scope procedure on you this morning… and they found NOTHING! It seems the stone moved itself last night at around 6pm (you told the nurse your pain was gone… ) I am not sure why they did not run the hydro scan again to see where the stone was before the procedure.. I usually second guess what they are doing but, sometimes you have to go with blind faith that they know what they are doing. They are going to move you out of ICU into a room on the surgical floor. This concerns me, because I am thinking they may want to remove the gall bladder after all.
As usual, the doctors are difficult to find on the weekends. They are going to run another hydro scan but I am not sure when. Maybe if it looks good, they will let you come back home. Right now, I just don’t know what to tell you. Sorry.
In the evening the pain started coming back. You were running a temperature… I will bet they will want to remove the gall bladder soon.
Sunday – February 17th: It is a lot nicer having you awake to hear what the doctors tell you when I am not around. They want to watch you today. The doctor will then review everything tomorrow and decide when to do the surgery. He wants to do the unobtrusive type, which means you can go home by Tuesday if they do it Monday. If they can not do it that way, it means you will be there at least until Friday… (I’ll be wishing for the easy way!)
Monday – February 18th: The doctors were in this morning. They have decided to go ahead with the surgery. So, sometime on Wednesday afternoon. They are going to try the easy surgery, but if when they get in there they decide that there is too much scaring from your abdominal surgery, they will just do it the old fashioned way. I know you are getting restless just laying around the hospital. They have not even been doing PT with you. I just don’t want to see you lose ground as you were doing so well last week. You are on a total liquid diet, and I know that has to be aggravating. Because they are waiting until Wednesday to to the surgery, I decided not to drive back up to work. I would just have been up there for another day and a half. If they are able to do the easy surgery, you will get out of hospital on Thursday. If not, you won’t be coming back home until Sunday or Monday….
Tuesday – February 19th: I talked with ALL the doctors today. You are a very high risk for the surgery tomorrow, because of the heart issues from your past and the recent damage. They have weighed all the options and still want to do the surgery tomorrow. They will attempt the Laparoscopy first. If this fails then they will do the Open Cholecystectomy. I know you are apprehensive. But they all agreed if you made it through all that you had so far, you are determined. They feel the risk is worth the try.
Wednesday – February 20th: Okay…. all said and done, after waiting until almost 6pm you finally went in for your surgery. You did fine. They were able to do the Laparoscopy type of surgery. The surgery went well. The doctor did say you had the ugliest gall bladder that he had ever seen. They are going to keep you for at least three more days because of the condition your gall bladder was in. He said it had to have been dead for days. It was gangrenous and virtually fell apart. So, they are afraid that the clips they put on the bile ducts will not hold. (can never be simple can it??) Right now you have a bag attached to your stomach that will catch all the excess fluids. Hopefully this can be removed before you come home. … Sleep well, see you in the morning.
Thursday – February 21st: You are still doing fine. You have a lot of pain and the doctor had to explain about the cauterizing the remainder of the gall bladder to the liver. So you have basically a big burn internally. They are keeping you on pain medication for a while because of the severity of the pain. Hopefully, if you remain stable you can come home by Sunday.
Click for more information on gall stones… What Are Gallstones and Gallbladder Disease-
Saturday – February 23rd: Went to the hospital about 9am. Talked to all your doctors. They took the bile drain off. They said you could go home. So………….
Ed is making so much progress!!!!!!!
Now, we need you to rest; take it easy, and don’t try to over do it. Monday, I have to set up a few follow up visits. Not sure how you will get there yet, but we will cross that bridge when we come to it.
An Update for Our Family and Friends…
Sunday – March (yes March!) 3rd: – Well, I feel pretty bad about not updating this sooner. Between work and everything, I have been a bit swamped. The follow-up visit with the surgeon who did the gall bladder surgery basically told Ed to have a nice life, and reminded him how lucky he was to have made it through the first surgery. Now we just have to follow up with the surgeon who did the abdominal surgery, the cardiologist, and his regular doctor.
Ed is still pretty weak, and tires easily, but in time this will pass. He manages to get around the house fairly well. Saturday we even ventured out to do some banking.
In the meantime, he takes short walks down our driveway to the easement out to the street. Then he rests, well unless he is working on the tax stuff… (YIPPEE!!!). He has even managed to get on line and check his email.
Once again I want to thank you all for your support and prayers. Your continued cards, emails, letters and all around well wishes helped us deal with this stressful time.
Saturday – March 16th: Just to keep you all posted, Ed is making very good progress. In the last two weeks he has been walking to the end of the driveway and out to the street. The other day he even went to the end of the block. I took him to a friends Birthday party. (did not stay long, but at least he was able to go!) We went to the accountant and did our taxes..(some outing, but hey, I stress again, at least he made it!)… Today we went and did some banking and grocery shopping. He grows a little stronger everyday. His voice is still raspy, but it too seems to be improving. He still gets frustrated for being so weak, but I am relishing his slow improvements. Considering all that he went through, he appears to me to be making wonderful progress.