Tuesday, March 4, 2008
Pray for S*it...
So after coming home from the hospital, three days later, we had to rush my dad to the ER at our local hospital. All night my dad was experiencing an increase of pain in his abdominal area, with some intermittent diarrhea and vomiting. We were very worried. When we arrived at 4am, the ER staff took my dad's vitals and ran multiple tests, to gather as much info as they could, since this was not the hospital my dad received his transplant. After six hours of waiting, anxiousness, frustration, multiple conversations with a very unhelpful nursing staff, we finally got the results to a CAT scan. My father had a blood clot (hematoma) on his kidney. But they were perplexed at how much pain my dad was experiencing. They finally gave him some pain meds and then they contacted our hospital. After two hours, we were told that my dad would be transported to his hospital (NY Presbyterian) within 24 hours. 24 hours? they were not sure due to a lack of available hospital beds at NY Presb. At 8pm, the transport finally came. We arrived to NY Presb about 930pm and got into a room. Since it was the evening we had to wait til morning to get more concrete results, but we did find out that there was no risk of transplant rejection thus far. What a relief. So after 24 hours of hospital food, coffee, chairs to not-sleep in, walking the hallways, etc ( for those of you that can relate), the most accurate assessment was given to us. Basically my dad's Large Intestine had stopped working. He was not able to make a bowel movement since his diarrhea the night we rushed him to the hospital. So it was enema time. In the next two days, my dad received two enema's for two days, with both days resulting in the enema liquid coming back out without chunks. It's funny, at one point I was trying to teach my dad the "Wipless" technique, but apparently this was a far more serious situation than your average plug up. Well, by the third day, the doctors said that they would need to open up my dad and see exactly what was going on the intestine, so the next day they scheduled the procedure. A side not...the difference between procedure and surgery confuses me. I know verbiage is huge in crisis situations like the hospital, but one is going under the knife regardless. Ok, so my mom and I went home and got a good nights rest to get ready for the procedure the following day.
Well, my dad went to the OR at about 830am. We were told that the procedure would only take 1 to 1.5 hours at most. So when 12noon passed and we didn't get a call from the the OR, my mom and I were getting nervous. I called the Surgical Intensive Care Unit's front desk and they did NOT receive my dad. After waiting for 10 more minutes, they did confirm that he was still in the OR. Still in the OR?!?!?! With two more phone calls to the SICU's front desk and more questions, we were left withe the same answers, still in the OR. At 2pm my dad's doctor came out and apologized that it took so long to get someone to speak to us. There were more complications during the procedure and that is why it took so long. First thing, he said was dad was doing fine but he's on the ventilator and heavily sedated. The first problem was the incision. When the doctor was cutting into my dad, the skin was as hard as rock. It was so hard that he had to re-cut further up from the stomach area to see what the problem was. Apparently, 4 years ago when my dad underwent dialysis, for the first time, he had chosen Peritoneal Dialysis which uses the stomach membrane to act as a natural filter in cleaning the blood. This requires an open access from my dad's stomach area for a tube from the dialysis machine. Well, he had an infection there and so the doctors assume that the infection was never completely dealt with and so it crystallized the skin in the area. Not life-threatening but more work for the doctors. Once they did open my dad, a couple of hours later, they saw that his Big Intestine had multiple partial blockages, multiple areas of where the lining had fused together and one area, about 6 inches in length, that was completely blocked. There was so much feces that even his Small Intestine had been filled almost to his stomach. Big Mess. Well, that's what took the other four hours in cutting, re-attaching, sewing up, separating, etc. My dad was in the SICU for three days and last night, he arrived to Step-Down. He's doing much better but he is so sick of being in bed. This morning, he passed his first bowel movement!!!!! Some of you know me in how excited I can get about healthy, clean, wipe-less bowel movements, but the joy of my dad's bowel movement is 100x better! It's truly a blessing to have a bowel movement so soon. The doctors said that in the worst case scenario, the intestines can take up to two weeks in responding the surgery.
Please continue to pray for us and that my dad continues to pass his "junk." It's a funny prayer request, but a much needed one. I'm around for a little while longer so contact me. Also pray for our family, it's been very tiring and getting rest is not the easiest thing to do. Love you all.