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 www.pubmed.com 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.