Topic: Update on My Dad's surgery
An update in story form!
My Dad, a mild mannered 78 year old by day, and a superhero! (at least in my eyes)
The tumor, a nasty piece of work. Cholangiocarcinoma, klatskin tumor we'll call....Leroy. Bad, bad Leroy
The hospital, UCSD Hillcrest
The surgeon, Dr. Hemming. We'll call him the Magician
Our Superhero went under the knife on Wednesday, Feb 3rd. The surgery lasted somewhere between 5-7 hours. The Magician removed the entire right lobe of the liver, the bile ducts, and the gall bladder. As for the rest of the stuff around there (the intestines and bowels), the Magician inspected,detected, resected and reconnected them all, leaving no part untouched. Lymph nodes were removed, samples taken. As for Leroy.....HE'S OUTTA THERE! Our Magician believes Leroy and any of his clingy friends are gone with clean margins. Still waiting for all of the lab results. Our Superhero did NOT need any blood transfusions OR the ventilator (both were expected)
The Superhero made it into the surgical ICU around 7:30 that night. He had a neck IV with a couple of valves, and both arms had IVs. Heart monitor and cath installed and working. He also has an L shaped incision running from the right side of his body towards the belly button, then up to mid chest. There are two drains right above the hip area on the right side. Yikes...
Around 2:30 am they brought a new patient into our Superhero's room. A real nasty dude who had been in a knife fight at Donovan prison. He was missing part of an ear and had many stab wounds. He also came with 4 guards. These guards chained said nasty dude to his bed, and proceeded to chat ALL NIGHT LONG. Our Superhero, fresh out of a grueling surgery, got zero sleep.
The next day sees the exit of the prisoner and his guards. The superhero is in a lot of pain and very tired. We're hopeful for a good night, as he has the room to himself. 2 am comes around, and they bring a 94 year old lady onto the room. She comes equipped with many Drs , who discuss her case. They give her meds, then invite her entire family in the room. After a bit of talking, they UNPLUG her life support!!! The family grieves, the Drs talk, and then all file out leaving our Superhero with the now deceased lady. She is removed shortly, but our Superhero gets no sleep once again.
The next day we beg and beg, and the Superhero gets moved to another, hopefully QUIETER ward. He's put into a very small room....barely enough room for the 2 patients and all their medical paraphenalia. Guess what? The other guy has a large family, and ALL of them stuff into the room! More than 8 people, and they are running into the Superhero's bed, giving him no privacy or rest. Most leave around 9 pm, and we are hopeful for peace. Unfortunately, the wife of the other guy decides to spend the night. Here comes 2 am, and both husband and wife have night terrors. Screaming out "Hurricane..watch out!" and other such nonsense. A daughter returns around 3 am, yelling at her parents that they don't have the money for them to be there. Our superhero demands to be removed from the room. He finally gets a room to himself, and a little sleep.
The next day seems brighter. Our Superhero loses the neck IV and the cath. Still much pain, but lovely pain meds. That afternoon, he gets a roommate. A man who claims his address is "Usually between 12th and 15th streets". He responds yes to questions about drinking and drug use. He has a horrible cough and is covered in lesions. He also farts...a LOT. Like every 3 minutes! Sheeeeesh....
The next day our Superhero finally gets moved to the 11th floor, the transplant ward. PRIVATE ROOM!!!! Nursing staff who understand what he's been through! Unfortunately he has picked up an infection (Gee, you think the Farter had anything to do with that??) Anyone entering his room has to be gloved and gowned. Our superhero is also having problems keeping IVs. His veins are on strike. I think he had no less than 8 IVs started and infiltrated in a 5 hour period.
So this is where we are at. Our Superhero is still recovering. He's walking around a little. Feeling more like himself every day. Still in pain, but manageable. We are hearing murmuring about the Superhero's return home in a few days!! Our main problem right now is nutrition. The past month has seen the Superhero IN a hospital more than out, and almost always on a NPO..nothing by mouth. Now it's eat eat eat and grow that shrunken stomach! I think he's lost around 30 pounds this month alone, and he was skinny to begin with.
Thanks to ALL of you once again for the great support and advice. I will certainly be paying it forward