It’s me – Dina.
Yeah, I know – it’s been a while.
I’ve been…. Gosh, how does one sum up all that I’ve been through in the past – well, more than a month.
Sick? Yep – been there, done that.
Recovering… there were days when I wondered if that were possible.
But yeah, recovering is probably the best choice of words here.
So let me recap… or as Innigo Montoya might say, “I sum up!”
I went in for surgery on the 2nd of February – had to be at the hospital at 7:00 am. Surgery was supposed to start at 9pm – but it rarely happens when scheduled, and such was the case that day. I actually ended up heading to surgery right about noon. We’d originally been told that surgery would be between 4 and 5 hours in length. In reality, it was closer to 8 hours. And what a surgery!
The spleen had to go.
The mesh had to go.
The stomach had to go.
Part of the diaphragm had to go.
Part of the pancreas had to go.
Lots and lots of clean-up around the liver.
And bazillions of adhesions to lyse everywhere.
My intestinal configuration had to change – basically, my alimentary, bilipancreatic, and common limbs arre now all 100 cm in length.
I lost quite a bit of blood and had to get two units while I was in surgery.
I have very vague memories of the night after surgery. I was pretty sick. I remember taking inventory of my abdomen when the nurses were checking everything – I came out with a JP drain on the right side and on the left side a J-tube attached to a drain bag that was attached to my leg. There are vague memories of nurses telling me to breathe deeply, telling me to push the button on the PCA for morphine release into the IV, vitals being taken very frequently.
On the 3rd and the 4th I pushed myself to get up and walk. It was SO hard! I was so weak! There were concerns about some of my vitals. My pulse went from my normal 50 to 60 something up to the 130 and 140 level. My blood pressure was higher than normal for me. And my labs kept coming back NOT good – my hematocrit and hemoglobin were rock bottom.
I was given three units of blood – but my levels continued to drop – and my vitals remained sucky.
I kept pushing – trying to make myself walk. On Friday early morning as I was walking Dr. Halpin was at the nurses station and looked up at me as she was reading my chart. She came over, looked me in the eye and said, “We’re going to take you back into surgery. You’re not doing well – we’ve got to make sure there’s not a bleed or hematoma going on in there.”
So at 2pm that afternoon I went back to surgery.
Come to find out there was no bleed… no hematoma… they did get a chest x-ray as I was getting ready to leave recovery (I remember clearly the “owie!” I yelled when they lifted me to put the x-ray panel underneath me!).
I had a pretty rough night. My temperature kept going up – I’d get up, walk, and then my temp would resolve. The nurses and I started keeping track of the details. It didn’t take us too long to figure out that my big problem was my lungs. It was kind of weird because my sats were good – and I wasn’t having the classic symptoms – but everything I got up and walked the temp would resolve – and that was a clear confirmation.
Okay… so I’m bushed. So that’s all for now. More later!