Monday, July 27, 2009

Long Overdue...

Well, Sean certainly has done a fine job keeping you updated on the medical stuff so far. Here is today's news.

Three of my Jackson Pratt drains were removed today. I won't say it was fun, but it is a relief to have them gone. The doctor who took them out is so sweet, but he tricked me a little. He pulled the first one, which was only about 4 inches long and completely painless. Then he said "That wasn't bad, was it?" I said "No" and he proceeded to pull drain #2 which was about 12 inches long and really rather painful. He apologized, but there was a lot of deep breathing and pressing the button on the pain pump before I was ready for drain #3 to be pulled.

Last night was OK. I spiked a fever (101.5 deg F) after having my port accessed yesterday so they were concerned about an infection (highly unlikely due to their super-duper sterile medical practices here, ha!). The doctor ordered a stat blood culture at 9 pm. The phlebotomist showed up at 1 am and I woke up as she was tying the tourniquet around my left forearm. She said "You've only got one usable vein here and it's this big one on the underside of your wrist. It's really deep and rubbery, so this is going to hurt a lot." A this point, I became wide awake and reached over and took off the tourniquet and said "No thanks. I have to have blood drawn in the morning and I'm not sacrificing my last vein to you." So she stormed out of the room declaring "Well, I'm the only one here tonight so it's me or nobody." I proceeded to go back to sleep.

At 4 am I was woken by the surgical resident on-call and asked why I had refused the blood culture. I told her that I'm like a human pincushion here. I get shots, blood draws, blood sugar tests, etc. all day long and I grin and bear it. Ask anyone. But if some incompetent (I didn't say this to her) phlebotomist says I only have one usable vein (which is crap) and that she's going to hurt me, I'm not going for it. A nurse can draw my blood instead. So the resident says she'll inform my surgical team of my decision. I later find out this is the same on-call resident who told Sean it was OK that I had thrown up all my bowel prep solution the night before my surgery. Which by the way, was very NOT OK according to Dr. Sugarbaker.

So today I claimed victory. I discussed it with my surgical team on morning rounds and they said since my fever was gone, I didn't need the blood culture. And they said my future daily blood draws can come from my port line when my TPN line is changed. Yay! Yes Carolyn, it pays to be snarky.

And yesterday's night shift nurse and today's day shift nurse? Fantastic! And today's night shift nurse is named Juliet so how can I go wrong? Now we're just waiting for the pathology results, which should be back soon. We're hoping for clean margins across the board, which would mean no cancer evident in the edges of the tissue they removed. We've come this far, I know good news is ahead. Stay with us and pray with us.


Leslie said...

Okay, can i just say if i ever have to go to the hospital for something... I WANT YOU WITH ME!! In case an incompentent nurse needs her #@& kicked!! haha. You go girl. Keep them in line. Will pray for good path results. Hope you have a good night.

Jennifer said...

Wow.... You already made it to the Blimpies and the front entrance. Your the bomb!

Have you read A Conisseur's Guide to WHC 2N Wing? If not, here are some of the highlights.

Have you tried a little slice of sunshine in the interior garden? Chairs may need to be moved to capture this shimmering treat but is well worth it.

You might also get you husband to do a little recon and scratch up the big weird chair that reclines all the way to wash your hair for you.

JP removal is really just used as a friendly reminder of why the US doesn't condone torture.

The book also notes that bowel sounds are equal in delight to the laughter of young children or the fluttering of angel's wings while in the WHC 2N.

Jennifer in CA

Anonymous said...

Staying and praying.

Ragan said...

I share your faith that there are good results coming. You've come so far and I know you will be successful. As always, our thoughts and prayers are with you and your family.

PS Never TMI. I did a happy dance to hear you had rumblings.

Cathy said...

Way to take control of your care! We're praying for excellent path results! - Cathy

Anonymous said...

Staying and praying.

Stacey Tovino said...

Hang in there, you're sooooo close!

Evelyn said...

Way to go! We're all here with you, Kim's East Coast Evert family. Have been following your every post and are hoping for all the best with the path results. all our love to all of you, Lyn and Richard