Thursday, July 22, 2010

Part 11 - Surgery

I am sitting in the hall on seventh floor.  Don is getting a new PICC line put in his right arm.  I explained what this was in previous blogs.  It is a sterile procedure so I have to leave the room. 

Don's spirits a low.  He is really apprehensive about this surgery and his mortality is hitting him.  The doctor was in a few minutes ago.  Dr. Paul is a wonderful bed-side Doc.  He assured Don while explaining the procedures of what was happening today.  "This is a fixable thing so don't worry."  He also offered him a "Valli" (Vallium) so that he could sleep and get some rest. Don feels very drained and exhausted.

The drain on his left side never did get clear and today it looks like pea soup.  They were hoping that it would be clear before surgery, but they can't wait any longer and will be dealing with it as they do the re-section.  We are hoping that they will be able to clean it out well and resect the bowel after removing the damaged bowel without having to put in a colostemy bag.  It would be ideal not to have to do surgery twice as they would have to go in and remove the colostemy in several months.  The reason for the colostemy bag is to "turn off" the plumbing so everything drains to the outside while the bowel heals.  Once everything is healthy then they can "turn on" the plumbing again, so to speak.

The PICC line will be for his TPN (also explained in an earlier blog).  This will provide the nurishment he needs while his bowel is recovering and "resting".

What is very encouraging is that Dr. Paul said that Dr. Cortz would be the surgeon that he and his family would use if they were in a similar circumstances.  We have been told by many that he is one of the best in the State.  That is comforting.

I am sorry that I haven't given an update sooner.  I left here on Tuesday afternoon and went home to Alamosa to get bills paid and pick up some extra things.  I came back yesterday with Greg and Denice.  Don had bought tickets to see "South Pacific" at the Denver Buel Theater of Performing Arts for my birthday.  It was really good...but the plot is lame.  I hadn't seen it before but was familiar with all the songs.  It felt weird to be there without Don (he insisted we go) and I was emotional when they sang "Some Enchanted Evening".  I wanted him there holding my hand enjoying the play with me.

He had a terribly rough day yesterday and last night.  They "bowel prep" the same way they do for a colonoscopy.  Those of you that have had that understand.  Doing that routine while very sick is like going through hell.  He became nauseated and vomited a lot.  The abdominal pain was extremely enhanced everytime he heaved.  This is what exhausted him so quickly and thoroughly. This really drained him of energy and he looks weak and white.  He now can't have any water or anything.  He has lost so much weight.  My guess he is in the 215 area now.  Not an ideal way to lose weight.

I will get another update posted as soon as Don is out of surgery and I know how it went.

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