The latest…

Monday my day was all about waiting.

Dr. Swanstrom, the doctor who would be doing the endoscopic repair attempt, already had four 3-hour surgeries scheduled. I was the work-in patient. I had to wait.

At 1:35 pm the nurse came in and told me they wanted me in endoscopy at 2pm.

Wow! That was relatively quick!

The nurse disconnected me from my IV, I peed, updated Facebook, and when the transportation lady got there about 10 minutes later. John gave a kiss, and sent me on my way.

If you’ve never had an endoscopy – it’s pretty much a non-event. They hook you up to an IV, they put you on oxygen, they connect a blood pressure cuff and pulse oximeter. Then they have you lay on your left side, they give you happy meds and you go to sleep. It seems like no time goes by then you wake up. That’s it. It’s over.

So that’s pretty much how it went down for me.

Only, when I woke up I remember hearing Dr. Swanstrom saying to someone on the phone, “Two weeks? Two weeks is completely unacceptable!” Then he came over to talk to me. “I found the leak, there’s a fistula, too. Unfortunately I don’t have the right equipment to repair it right now. I’m having to locate it. I’ll call in some favors.” And he squeezed my shoulder and left to his next surgery.

He’s a nice guy that Dr. Swanstrom. If you want to be really impressed, go to and search for papers by LL Swanstrom. Dude.

So, they took me back to my room – and being that I was mostly still out of it from the anesthesia I slept the rest of the evening and night.

When I woke up this morning I had a visit from the new Fellow that is working with Dr. Zelko and Dr. Swanstrom – his name is Dr. Ballard. I like him. Good guy. Honest. Willing to listen. Willing to learn if you have a question he doesn’t have the answer for. He walked in and asked, “Do you know anything?”

I recounted what I remembered from endoscopy.

He said, “Yeah, last I heard it might take a week to get the equipment. We’re talking about getting you on TPN. If it takes a while we may discharge you home until we’re ready. Oh, and no more Jolly Ranchers.”

We talked details, and he promised to get back to me.

Did I mention before that my PICC line isn’t a PICC line anymore? It had managed to inch out enough that it was no longer placed correctly, so they pulled it out to about where the shoulder is, and it was then officially a Midline. (I’m learning so much!)

They can’t give you TPN unless you have a PICC.

That would mean taking out the Midline from my left arm and putting a new PICC in my right arm.

Brace yourself – you’re not going to believe these words are going to be coming out of my mouth (err… fingers).

I kinda missed my PICC.

With the PICC they don’t have to stick you for blood draws. They use your 2nd lumen on the PICC to draw your blood.

With the PICC you don’t feel the meds going through the vein. I tend to have pain with some of the fluids that go in – but with the PICC not.

And well, you get used to it.

And if you’ve been NPO since Friday and will be for the foreseeable future – if you have a PICC they can give you TPN.

Okay – I can admit it. I needed a PICC.

In remarkably short order Dr. Ballard returned with a smile. He said, “I don’t know how he did it, but you’re set for Thursday. Dr. Swanstrom will do your repair Thursday. We’ve ordered TPN. They’ll come and give you a new PICC line, and remove the Midline.”

And that was that.

I got my shower, got all spiffed up – ha! And then the IV nurse came – a very nice, very conscientious, very attention to detail kinda guy. I was really impressed by his precision. And he was kind and compassionate on my big ole panty waist soul. He got everything together, he and his partner got the new PICC placed, and then I had to wait for the portable x-ray dude to come to make sure the placement was correct. It was perfect. J

And that was pretty much my morning this morning, except I had a very nice visit from Lee and Helen and shortly thereafter my fabulous husband.

I’ve had visits from various doctors and specialists today, too. All are highly impressed that Dr. Swanstrom is going to be doing this super high tech, groovy, relatively new repair on me. No one is really sure what the protocol is on how long I’ll be NPO, or how long I’ll be in the hospital, stuff like that. But you know what? That’s okay.

It’s been a good day. I’m encouraged. But I will admit that the new PICC arm is sore – more than passingly. Like, I’m gonna gladly accept some pain meds when they ask tonight.

Oh, and, as mentioned, I start TPN – apparently it’s at 9pm – that’s like any minute. At this point in time I can tell I’m getting kinda spacey because it’s been so long since I’ve had nutrition, so I know it’s a good thing.

Once again – in awe over the way God takes care of me.


7 Comments Add yours

  1. Liz says:


    I’m curious, is this all due to your revision that Dr. B. did? If so, how does insurance handle complications from an uncovered surgery? I’ve always wondered about that and it is one of the reasons I’ve never gone out of country for plastics.

    I pray that all goes well with you tomorrow. You will definitely be in my prayers.

    Liz Parker

    1. dinamcb says:

      Hey Liz,

      Actually – it’s from taking too much ibuprofen after my ankle reconstruction this Spring – my own stupid fault. So insurance covers it just like everything else.

      With PS, getting coverage for complications would be tenuous at best, one would think. I’ll have to ask some of the gals that I know who have had theirs done at various different locales and see what their experiences have been.

      Thanks for the prayers!



      1. Liz says:

        Holy cow! I had no idea something this bad could happen from too much ibuprofen.

        Gentle hugs to you today as I know you are in or are going into surgery today. May God guide the hands of the surgeon for a complete repair and quick recovery.


      2. dinamcb says:

        Hey Liz,

        I know! Right? I have learned so much through this huge ordeal.

        Yes, we can take ibuprofen – but SPARINGLY. I’ve been banned for life by my doctors, unfortunately. Sigh… I’m gonna miss it. It can be so very effective.

        Thank you so much for your prayers – they are precious! I am so thankful for a successful procedure!

  2. Maureen says:

    Well, poop!!! I sure hope you got some decent pain meds. This waiting is the worst isn’t it? It’s good that you’re getting the new picc line though. I loved mine too. But I didn’t like having to take it home though. Keep up your wonderful spirits dear friend.

    Warmest hugs,
    P.S. Thanks for saying you’ll help Julie out. xoxo

    1. dinamcb says:

      Maureen, the great news is that my pain is nearly non-existent now. It’s been baby stepping down every day since I’ve been here. It’s a little wild how much better it is. I love not having the shoulder pain!



    2. dinamcb says:


      Julie – as always – is a delight, and I’m so glad I can float some ideas for her to consider.

      You won’t believe the amazing stuff I’ve been through with the PICC since this post – I just updated earlier on the trials and travails of the PICC. Good Lord in heaven above – how could I posssibly have made it through without You at my side?!

      Oh gosh, I’m so blessed. Thanks so much for praying, friend!



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