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A passel of up(and down) dates - Musings of Unayok — LiveJournal

2008 Nov 07

12:50A passel of up(and down) dates 

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The last couple of days have been rocky. But again at the end of this period, I'm looking very very slightly upwards as I think things are stabilizing somewhat.

After last week's fun with many different specialities (several cardiologists, visits to X-RAY, CT Scan, and two different ultrasound procedure areas (one for DVT and one for some pictures of my heart), I expected things to maybe level out a bit. Especially after they adjusted my stomach tube a bit (it was cauing a little bit of discomfort) and got me on a slightly changed pain relief regimen by adding some anti-inflamatories, which helped immensely with my back muscles and even my diaphragm.

However, the team was a little concerned with some firmness in my abdomen that did not seem to be fading to them. So Tuesday involved two different trips down to the CT scan area. The one was for a more specific abdomen scan. From that they decided to put in two drains. "CT-assisted drainage" is quite an amazing thing. Guided by the slice x-rays of Computed Tomography, they were able to lay the precise path to the area to drain. This is important when dealing the abdomen. They pulled a seemingly amazing amount of gunk out, and attached bags, one of which has drained quite a bit more out. They've both slowed considerably now (but more on that later).

Now, by this time, I've been in the hospital almost a week and have received almost zero nutrient input. Saline solution with potassium or magnesium really doesn't count. As a result, I was running down pretty quickly, and this was hardly a positive thing. It seems likely that I'll be around here a bit longer.

Tuesday night/Wednesday morning marked a low point; not for the reason of things getting actually worse, but just running down and not making a lot of positive movement. On Wednesday, they installed a PICC line in place of previous IV. This has allowed me to receive actual nutrients which has improved my mood, energy and mental acuity a smidge. I expect there's still a little bit to go on this. Another positive for Wednesday was the removal of the NG tube. Psychologically very much a weight off my mind but with an added responsibility of really watching my fluid intake. No solid food in sight. Still another positive was assumption of an aggressive anti-biotic regime. Each of them has a little side effect, but they're actually quite tolerable.

Last night (Wednesday) after some discussions with the anesthesiologist, I began to use the PCA more. Still less than many people, but a fair bit more than I had been. With the other pain regimen (mostly anti-inflammatory) helping things out a bit more and the antibiotics I actually managed a few hours of okay sleep last night.

Nutrition over night helped lift the cloud from my mind a bit as well. And, as I'm almost certainly going to be here yet another week, I'm making inquiries. A buddy is looking for an old GPS-compatible cell phone with usb cable for me, and if that can be found (or something similar can be worked up), I'll plonk down the outrageous fees to get an online data plan for my number so I might get some net connectivity. No promises, but it's either that, mindless TV, focusing on books I can't quite wrap my head around, or drugging my self down a lot. :)

I'm getting tired (yet again) so I'll sign off here. I think there may be some direction now. Slow progress with no change in my diet or behavior until Monday, then another CT to see if the drainage has worked and there's been some proper healing of where ever the leak started. If so, then it's a slow climb to release. If not, an additional operation may be warranted.

Thanks for all the thoughts and messages. Not having reliable comms is frustrating, but I have appreciated all your concern. I'm not out yet, but possibly soon enough.

P.S. I now know (from a discreet distance) what "Code White" means.


[User Picture]
Date:2008 Nov 07 - 18:17 (UTC)
Good to hear about your progress. And this post sounds like you :-)

PS, since you haven't been online much you won't have seen this, if you get a chance, here's a Halloween pic for your entertainment:


(It's of the two Jack Harknesses smooching at the Famous Dead Persons Ball; I'm the one in the hat. Looking forward to some smooches from you in the future, btw :-)
Date:2008 Nov 08 - 00:31 (UTC)
Keep at it, my friend... I know it seems excrutiatingly slow progress, but let the body do its thing. It's a remarkable machine. Good that you're getting nutrients again. Nutrients make the healing machine work.

Since I'm sure you're not checking F-list, I'll let you know that I got the written job offer today and accepted it. I'm moving to Houston, but it's a very good gig. May the good luck spread!
[User Picture]
Date:2008 Nov 08 - 01:44 (UTC)
Yowza, I'm glad I escaped the hospital in just a day. The hour and a half with the walker in the corridor as the sun rose was long... but nice in a hospital-y way. 15 unknown people handling me semi-intimately was a bit stressful, but everyone was entirely polite. Good to hear you're getting a bit of nutrition... every bit of that makes a difference.

And I'll echo the idea that your body knows what to do. Give it some trust and patience.

Yea for progress. I'm finding internet much easier than books still. Good luck with that too.
[User Picture]
Date:2008 Nov 08 - 03:26 (UTC)
Take care of yourself... *hugs ya*
[User Picture]
Date:2008 Nov 08 - 05:38 (UTC)
I'm very glad to hear they're making progress, and that you're on the mend. Feel better soon! *hugs*
[User Picture]
Date:2008 Nov 11 - 03:18 (UTC)

I'm just catching up now with your progress. I am glad to see you have been progressing, albeit with a lot of pain involved.

Incidentally, my hospital uses code grey instead.