Today’s the day!

Last evening my nurse, Trish, came bustling into my room and said, “I just heard! You have a time! 6pm Thursday with Dr. Swanstrom!”

Woo Hoo!

So – today – I wait a little bit more.

I’m okay with waiting.

The more I learn, the more grateful I am to be Dr. Swanstrom’s patient, and frankly – I consider it an honor to wait.

The wait has been good for my body, too.

I’ve been on TPN for about 36 hours now and it’s a good thing. My body definitely needed the nutrition.

I am resting and getting stronger each day.

My pain is getting better every single day. Being NPO and having the continued IV antibiotics has been a very good thing. When I came in to the hospital last Friday my pain was constantly at an 8/9 level. Today – maybe 2. Better is good!

My new PICC line is working great. And my arm is healing up from the placement, so I don’t hurt so much. (And it’s way easier to type!) Yay!

My managing docs have been great about checking my lab levels – and quickly correcting anything that isn’t as it should be.

We did have a kind of interesting incident the other night. I should probably preface this by a little explanation. This is the time of year when there are big turnovers with the “newer” docs. If you’re a doc interested in a particular discipline, procedure, subspecialty, or being mentored by a specific doctor or surgeon, then there are residencies and fellowships that you can go through to help give you the specialized training that you are interested in pursuing. For instance, our brilliant niece Dr. Dawn is pursuing general surgery, and she has just begun her 5 year residency in General Surgery. Each specialty has its own protocols. Some are a couple of years, some are 8 or 9 years. So this past week has been the big turnover week. Doctors who have completed programs here and are starting new ones elsewhere have gone. And some new docs who are starting new residencies have arrived. That’s my Dr. Ballard – he arrived on the weekend. And lest you think all of these docs are about 12 years old or something – no… Most of the new docs I’ve met this week are more like 30+ – and more on the plus side. It’s because they are here to learn specifically from Dr. Swanstrom – and not just anyone gets to do that.

So… met Dr. Ballard on the weekend. Like I mentioned previously – nice guy. I like him. Very approachable, kind, knowledgeable, but willing to say he doesn’t know everything and is happy to find an answer for you. He’s kinda low man on the totem pole – cause he’s new. He is probably working 18 hour days – doing all of the grunt work. It’s just the way it works. He does rounds, he orders stuff, he answers questions, he scrubs in on surgeries and procedures, he does pretty much everything he gets told to do. And he stays so nice. Makes me kinda proud of him, and I barely know him! And as he’s had time he’s gone back in my chart – looking at my history – you know, ancient history kind of stuff, to learn more about my case. That’s nice! But, you gotta remember, some of that is pre-DS, and thus – no longer an issue. Other things were issues when I was a far younger woman, and are no longer issues any longer. I love that “resolved” stamp next to items!

One of the things in my history is that from the time I was 17 until I was 23 I had five instances of DVT (deep vein thrombosis – aka blood clot) in my legs. Not cool. Not fun. And kinda weird to have as a young woman – although, I was morbidly obese and had varicose veins. Consequently, something that catches medical professionals attention when they review my history. And because of it – I’m a pro at giving myself LMW heparin injections after surgeries! J (And honestly, why I’m such a stickler about making sure to get up and walk hourly – pretty much always.)

Tuesday late afternoon Dr. Ballard sees my history of DVTs on my chart, and orders Lovenox injections for me. About an hour or so later the nurse came in with the injection and said she was going to give it to me. I looked at her wide eyed and said, “For me?!”

She nodded and said, “Yes. You do have heightened risk for blood clots, so it was ordered.” She paused, “Do you want to refuse it?”

“Well, it’s not so much that I want to refuse it – I want to know if anyone has run a recent Protime and INR on me. I malabsorb fat stored vitamins and my Protime and INR tend to be on the high side – and since I’ve been sick I haven’t had my vitamins nearly frequently enough. Before I accept a shot – which is fine if I need it – I want to make sure I need it!”

She thought that was reasonable and asked, “Do you want me to call the doctor and talk to him about it?”

I said “Yes, please.” Oh, I should have added new docs also field all of the annoying calls from nosy, busy-body patients, too! (That would be me, just in case you missed it!)

So, a few minutes later the nurse came back and said, “He thinks it’s a good idea to check those, so we’re going to draw those labs.” See, this is why a PICC line is good. No stick to get the blood – just draw from the second lumen! She did the draw, and mentioned that she’d not been able to find a level since June, so she personally thought it was a good idea.

Probably not more than an hour and a half later word came back. My Protime and INR were off the charts high. (Not an uncommon side effect of all that I’ve been through.) The word was: No Lovenox shot.

Now here’s the key part. Dr. Ballard was in at the crack of dawn the next morning to do rounds. Some docs would be TOTALLY hacked off that you’d second guessed them. This doc came in, shook my hand and said, “Nice call. Very well done. I really appreciate you advocating for yourself.” Yep. He’s another doc to keep an eye on – he’s gonna be awesome. Wasn’t the last time one of my docs stopped by that day to mention they were proud of me for being clued in about me.

I like it when my docs like it that I care about what’s going on with me!!!

Okay. So, that’s pretty much the news.

On the state of my nervousness in regard to my future front…

People keep asking me, “Are you nervous?” Because you understand what’s involved here, right? If the endoscopic repair is not successful, well, it could very well mean a MONGO open abdominal surgery – involving possible removal and replacement of my sheet of mesh. Even my surgeons agree – avoiding that is worth every effort we can throw toward it!

Answer: “No. I’m not nervous.” I have a very real, very deep peace. Yes, even if the repair isn’t successful. Know what? I’m God’s child. He loves me better and more than ANYONE. He alone knows my future. He alone knows my heart – every fear, every hope, every dream, every insecurity, every longing, every failing, every nasty or petty thought I think, all of the unlovely things that are a part of who I am – if I’m really honest; and yet… He still loves me. What could be more precious or real than that?

I have nothing to fear.

Even if there’s pain or suffering or sucky stuff in my future. No matter the outcome HE will be there with me through it – and because of that I have peace.

And I gotta tell you – it’s priceless.

My song for today…

Blessed be Your Name
by Matt Redmond, from Sacred Revolution – Songs from ONEDAY03, Passion Worship Band

Blessed Be Your Name
In the land that is plentiful
Where Your streams of abundance flow
Blessed be Your name

Blessed Be Your name
When I’m found in the desert place
Though I walk through the wilderness
Blessed Be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be Your name
When the sun’s shining down on me
When the world’s ‘all as it should be’
Blessed be Your name

Blessed be Your name
On the road marked with suffering
Though there’s pain in the offering
Blessed be Your name

Every blessing You pour out
I’ll turn back to praise
When the darkness closes in, Lord
Still I will say

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your name
Blessed be the name of the Lord
Blessed be Your glorious name

You give and take away
You give and take away
My heart will choose to say
Lord, blessed be Your name

… And you know what? God is God – and I am NOT (thank you Jesus!) What a relief!

I’ll update again when I’m able! Keep me in your prayers! God hears the prayers of His people! (James 5:13-16)

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2 Comments Add yours

  1. Maureen says:

    You’re going to do just fine dear one. Blessed be His name.

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