Total Pageviews

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

And Then...

Yesterday, I got up at 4:00 a.m. I say "got up" as that's when I physically got out of bed. I had been awake since 3:00 a.m. I had gone to bed at midnight. So that's how little sleep I had gotten. Mostly, I laid in the bed thinking...

On Monday, I had a long discussion with the vascular surgeon, who told me that he had never seen a polyp the size of the polyp on Bob's gallbladder. The thing, he said, was nearly 2 inches long. Shaped like a walnut. There was a big chance that such an enormous polyp would be cancerous, and even if it wasn't now cancerous, it certainly had the potential become malignant and needed to be taken out. He did tell me that gallbladder cancer was "extremely rare", however, when it occurred it was "usually fatal". We also discussed the warfarin situation, and he told me he would switch Bob over to a heparin drip which would keep Bob's blood thin until the surgery and be restarted after surgery. This way, there would only be a 4 hour window that Bob would be unprotected. We talked too about the difference between doing the surgery with a scope or opening Bob up. The scope would be easier, but might not be impossible because of old scar tissue on Bob's stomach. Opening him up would take longer and have more risk factors. Before commencing with the surgery, he would be running some tests.

Monday night, I had left the hospital at 9:30 p.m. when they began preparing to take Bob down for a CAT scan. I left right after a discussion with a curly blonde haired doctor with a heavy foreign accent and an unpronounceable name. The vascular surgeon had ordered the CAT plus a bunch of blood work plus another test called something or other, which sounded like "hyper-supersonic-scan" and this scan, the nurse had explained to me, was a sort of hi-tech super-ultrasound and would look at all of Bob's internal organs. The doctor, the nurse said, were searching for anything that might complicate the surgery. They were looking to see if any bile ducts or arteries near the gallbladder were occluded. They were looking for other "masses" on any nearby organs. They were also reading for "chemical levels" coming from each of Bob's organs. In order to do this test, they had to discontinue all Bob's narcotic pain medications for eight hours.

And this is why I was talking to the unpronounceable named doctor with a heavy foreign accent and curly blonde hair. Because I did not want them to take Bob off his pain medication. Especially cold turkey. Especially for eight hours. I mean, Bob has some heavy duty pain meds, i.e.: Fentynal and oxycodone. And knocking those off, just like that, were going to cause some serious drug withdrawal.

Dr. Curly Blonde Hair,  however, assured me that they could give Bob morphine, on a drip, and that would keep his pain in check plus stop any withdrawal from happening. That's when I left the hospital, went home and laid in bed--my mind churning about things like masses on nearby organs (cancer!) and occluded arteries (stroke!). These thoughts interrupted with feverent prayers for Bob's healing. Funny how I revert back to my Catholic upbringing in times of crisis.

So back to yesterday, which was Tuesday, I arrived around 6:00 a.m. to find Bob, drenched in sweat, screaming in pain and trying like heck to pee. When Bob saw me enter the room, he glared at me and pointed an accusing finger as if I were the cause of all this distress. I immediately asked the nurse, "where's the morphine drip?" And was told that another doctor nixed the morphine and Bob had been stripped of his Fentynal patches and oxycodone at 2:00 a.m. He was scheduled for the hyper-sonic-thingy test at 7:30 a.m. and she assured me, she had Fentynal patches on standby and would put them on immediately when he arrived back in the room.

It was a long wait for 7:30 a.m. With Bob screaming and trying to pee. When Bob returned, he was in even worse shape. His whole hospital gown was soaked with sweat, as was his hair. He was red-faced and trembling and shaking. His legs kicking out, arms flopping. And still trying like heck to pee. I grabbed the nurse but the Fentynal patches were nowhere to be found. She checked the computer and found the order was not due to be filled until noon. I asked if they could cath Bob so he could pee, but she needed a "doctor's order" for that. So that sent me on a mad and fruitless dash in search of a doctor. Who finally arrived around 10:30 and finally ordered patches and morphine, which arrived around 11:00 a.m. And, at my request, the doctor put in an order for a foley catheter, which was inserted into Bob around noon. And he immediately peed 1400 mls of urine. No kidding.

With pain meds and peeing, Bob fell asleep. Nothing much happened, except Bob got moved to a different room on the surgery wing. Then, I got, first, word that the CAT scan showed Bob's lower lung lobes were collasped and an antibiotic was being ordered. Later, word came down that the hyper-sonic-thingy test results were normal. Then, word that the vascular surgeon was ordering another ultrasound.

At around 6:30 p.m., the vascular doctor arrived with test results in hand. He showed me the results of the new ultrasound that he had run on Bob's gallbladder. The results read, in part, :

one unremarkable 3 mm polyp... no sign of abnormality... no inflammation... 
plus several tiny barely visible polyps, the type normally seen in a patient of this age....


And he said, Well. Either the first ultrasound was read by a complete idiot who maybe mistook a shadow for a gigantic polyp. Or the thing magically disappeared within 5 days.

Bottom line: No need for surgery. No more cancer scare. Bob does has lung pleurisy. This, I'm told, will easily clear up with an antibiotic.

Big sigh of relief here. Jeepers. What they put us through.

And a big thank you to all of you for your comments, support, prayers, white healing light, and good intentions and karma.  That doctor did say, the giant polyp may have magically disappeared.... hmmm...

Of course, it could just have been an idiot misreading an ultrasound.

I am off to the hospital. Not sure when they will discharge Bob. Right now, he is getting an IV antibiotic.


Anonymous said...

Thank you for the up date, miracles happen but also idiots make mistakes :) hope you can get some rest. Send our love to Bob.

Rebecca Dutton said...

If you wrote this in a movie script no one would believe it. Will think of you and Bob when I meditate today.

Anonymous said...

I will continue to pray for both of you. I'd like to believe it was through prayers the lump disappeared, long as it's gone, it's a relief. However, then what was the cause of Bob's pain in the gallbladder region that began this ordeal?

I do hope that Bob isn't experiencing any more pain, and both of you can get some good sleep.

Hugs & prayers, Dan

J.L. Murphey said...

Great news for answered prayer! I have a similar story about my daughter here.

Don't forget to praise and thank Him.

Anonymous said...

Is all of this happening at the same hospital where Bob had his October 2010 surgery? I would think after they had notice of the lawsuit, they would double and triple check everything, including the initial reading of the x-ray that showed the big polyp.

Thank goodness he doesn't need additional surgery. Hang in there.

Grace Carpenter said...

But wait, the results say "3 cm polyp"--isn't that the same size as a walnut?

Anonymous said...

That is Great news!! Hope the pain gets better for Bob. You get some much need rest. Have been praying for you both. And yes,wouldn't that "3 cm polyp,be the size of a walnut?? You take care. Love you Neta

kdstentzel said...

Good lord, I was sweating just reading about what happened. Poor Bob, Doctors have a way of changing their minds and being unavailable for important stuff - like pain management. Glad that he won't need surgery though - that must be a huge relief for both of you.

Kels and Mike

Diane said...

Oh, ha ha! I made a typo and put "3 cm" instead of "3 mm". That's what happens when I'm frazzled and in a hurry. I edited it, so now it's right.

Update: Bob is home tonight.

Diane said...

Oh, and Dan, the pain was/is caused by the lung inflammation... at least that's what the doctor said. He said it should get better after being on antibiotics for a few days.

Barb Polan said...

Miracles DO happen! Not always, but sometimes. When I was 25, I was diagnosed - no question about it - with ovarian cancer. In surgery, it turned out to be a benign endometrioma. After, my oncologist sat on the edge of my bed and apologized for what I had been through and said that, given the chance to go back and do it again, the diagnosis would be the same - I HAD had a grapefruit-sized tumor on my ovary, he said.

I thank God for Bob's miracle!

Anonymous said...

Knew Bob and his family (mostly Bob) many moons ago. In fact, he was an attendant in our wedding (my first wedding…lol) and I attended a couple of his nuptials. Anyway, I stumbled across your blog. I find your posts very hard to read but can’t stop reading them….you know what I mean? This is not the Bob I knew which is probably why they are so hard to read. What has transpired in your life truly makes me think more often than I care to say:

a) Anyone’s life as we know it can be drastically changed in one short day.

b) This, or something similar, could happen to ME.

c) What would I do?

Keep on writing sista. I’m following ya.

P.S. Does Bob remember (or his he capable of communicating) people or events from the past?

Diane said...

Anonymous: Let me know who you are (either here or through my profile) and I will ask him if he remembers.

Anonymous said...

Sent you an email.