I have to admit – I’ve felt a little bit like a forgotten shirt-tail relative.
I mean I’ve been here at the hospital since the 3rd of September, right? And every single day a whole slew of residents, fellows, physicians, and surgeons – even my endocrinologist – have been to see me – well, a mix of some of those every day.
Okay – yeah, I saw a couple of residents yesterday – but they’re new, and they honestly don’t know me from Adam, and did more question asking rather than answering. I was feeling so much better. I KNEW I really ought to go home.
I worked hard all day yesterday to increase my oral intake – got lots of soup in me, fruit juice, and tea. My output was exactly where I needed to be to be released from the constant IV fluids. My nutritional status is still not great, but since I’m eating – about five or six little meals a day – all cream of soup type stuff – is helping quite a bit. I’ve got a little more umph.
Last evening I was feeling rather forgotten – no one – not one of my doctors for this whole leak/fistula/abscess thing came by. I knew a couple of them were in surgery, at least. My endocrinologist did stop by and was going to order copies of all of my most recent labs to determine if I needed any infusions while I’m in house. But no one to say, “See, I’m doing better! Send me home!” to.
I was sitting in my room early evening when all of a sudden the power went out – in the whole hospital! John was actually on his way to see me and just coming in the door as it went dark. He had to climb the six floors of stairs to get to me, poor guy! It was kind of strange sitting in a dark hospital room – all of the normal power-generated sounds gone, and the smell of actual fresh air, rather than conditioned air. It took a couple of hours, but the power eventually came back on.
I had a decent night’s sleep last night, actually. But at one point in time when I got up to go potty I realized I recognized a familiar sensation: tenderness at the upper left quadrant – right where my abscess has been.
So let’s’ go back a bit. Remember I mentioned before that I had an Upper GI on Tuesday afternoon to see if the stent was placed appropriately and if they saw any active leak? Well, as I was sitting waiting on them to make sure they had all of the views they needed; I got a peek at the screen that had all of my views. I saw one in particular that I pointed out to the tech and said, “That’s the leak – isn’t it? It’s still active isn’t it?” And she said, “The radiologist will read it and get back to your doctor about it.”
I wondered about it – I mean, I’ve seen enough leak tests now – had ’em myself, been able to sit in on many a patient’s leak test in Spain, and seen lots and lots of x-rays. That had to be contrast dye in there – or it wouldn’t have shown up so well. Right?
Well, yesterday everyone was so optimistic – no nausea, no vomiting, tolerating liquids well. There was a general sense of jubilation. I was glad – but, well, cautiously optimistic. That’s part of the reason that I really wanted to see either Dr. Zelko or Dr. Swanstrom after they’d had EYES on film, not just the radiologist’s report – you know? But they didn’t come.
Then the twinge during the night. I actually had a thought this morning when I was out walking and realizing that the tenderness was growing into an actual low level pain (thankfully no shoulder pain yet) that I just wouldn’t tell anyone – maybe they’d let me go home.
How stupid is that?
So, Dr. Zelko came by this morning. He actually took the day “off” to work on figuring out what the right course of action to take is. He’s trying to catch up with Dr. Swanstrom and the Infectious Diseases doctors to help formulate a plan. But in essence, here’s what he said:
- The leak is still active. The plasma didn’t hold, the stent didn’t cover it, and it’s still there. It’s not a “free” leak – so to speak – i.e., not just tons of stuff pours into the abdominal cavity, but some stuff does.
- The stent is helping to correct a bit of narrowing in my stomach that was likely causing too much pressure at areas that were trying to heal.
- All of the cultures from the tap that they did previously do prove out that I’m on the right antibiotics. That’s good news.
- He’s not surprised about the upper left quadrant pain being back.
We talked about potential options – with the understanding that at this particular moment no one knows what will happen. Maybe I’ll go home on IV antibiotics for a little while. Maybe they’ll re-try the plasma, stent replacement, thing. Could be an outpatient thing. Or not. There are other options to be considered. All viable and probable before ever going to the big bad ugly possibility of an open surgery. I so like that about Dr. Zelko.
That’s the scoop.
Not the news we’d hoped for.
But that’s okay – I feel better just being informed and knowing that there ARE options, you know?
More as I know it.