So I found my 3rd and 4th shoe to drop since my last post. Monday the 19th, they put my dad in the hospital to relieve some fluid from his lungs so he can breathe. He has emphysema, diabetes, neuropathy and congestive heart failure. So a hospital trip is not all that unusual for a man with his illness' however it was 3 days prior to my surgery and I was concerned. I was thinking of post poning but my mom cried and asked me not to because I had fought so hard and I needed the surgery so I didn't end up in my dad's shoes 25 years from now. So I kept my surgery day even though I really wanted my mom's help, I knew I would be ok on my own and with what assistance I could get from my sister in law and kids, besides from everything I have read there was a pretty quick turn around after surgery.
Surgery day was scheduled for Jan 22 at 12 noon. My daughter and I meet up with my sister in law and we go in, put on the gown, get hooked up to the IV and now we wait. Get a phone call that my doctor was running late, surgery is post poned to 1:00. We wait some more. I had not had anything to eat since 9 pm the night before (and even then it was clear liquids) so I was starting to really feel hungry about 12:30 and feeling a little anxious and agitated. They wheel me back and once the mask went over my face, I don't remember anything else until I wake up in recovery. So some of my time frames will be from what I have been told by others. So I came out of surgery about 4:30, they got me a room and sent my family to my room to wait for me. I remember the nurse telling me to take deep breaths and I can hear her talking on the phone saying things like . Blood pressure dropping, oxygen levels are 75, draining 150 cc's in 10 minutes. All I know is I am saying I am in pain, please give me something! My family says at 8:00 they become concerned because I haven't been wheeled up yet so they go to inquire and a few minutes later a nurse rushes them down stairs to sign some papers for me to have a second surgery because I am bleeding internally and my vitals are crashing. I thought for sure I was going to die. All I remember is Ashley holding my hand and me not wanting to let go, the man saying we have to go before she flat lines and telling Karen I was scared to please pray. Oh, the pain was horrific. When they moved me from the bed to the table I just hollered and moaned and groaned, it was awful. So I get out of 2nd surgery and come to find out, one of the original port sites where they went in nicked a blood vessel on its way out and it began to hemorrhage. I was placed in an ICU room about 1:00am. I had to receive 8 pints of blood over the next several days in ICU and was moved to a regular room on Sunday afternoon, January 25. I should have been home by now! They did my first leak test I think sometime on Friday and I remember the pain of moving from the bed to the table was again awful and the chalky barium swallow made me sick. I threw up. They tried another leak test Saturday morning. I survived this one but not without the pain and naseua, just no throwing up. So now I get to start eating clear liquids. Spent the next several days in a regular room and came home on Thursday Jan 29, one week from my surgery date. I was sent home with oxygen because they felt I might still have some fluid built up around my lungs and once I start moving around, it will relieve it self plus I lost so much blood they think I just might need a little bit of time to rebuild my red blood cell count, iron and oxygen stamina. I tell you, being tied to this oxygen machine is torture. I hope I never ever pick up another cigarette again in my life and if I think about it I hope God has etched this memory in my brain so it remains fresh and I remember that a cigarette is not worth exchanging it for an oxygen machine later in life.
My dad is still in the hospital and is having his ups and downs. I managed to get up there yesterday to see him and mom. Mom and I sat in the sanctuary together and talked for a little bit and cried a little bit after such an overwhelming week.
Each day it gets better. Right now my biggest struggle is getting in my fluids everyday. I will be posting example menus in another post but I never thought I would say I had a hard time getting 20 oz in a day and that is food and water combined. I am supposed to be getting in at least 32 oz of fluid and at least 30 grams of protein a day. It ain't happening! I am going to GNC tomorrow to try to get some supplements to help me out with the protein part so I can concentrate on fluids so I can start getting my max in. This will surely aid in recovery. So it is still raining in my neck of the woods but the clouds are rolling out and I see a rainbow in the horizon.