Thursday, October 14, 2010

Did I mention the Frankenbelly?

So as I pointed out yesterday, we've been working on some home improvement projects that have been dragging pretty badly.
This is partly a result of the Frankenbelly.
See, about two months ago we rented a huge dumpster.  A really huge dumpster. The plan was to pull out all the creepy stuff from the garage and basement and load it up in the dumpster with haste so as to not obsess over each bit of moth eaten or mildew retaining sentiment we came upon.  It started quite promisingly, but then spouse thought he had dislocated a rib.  He was in horrid pain after the first few days of moving stuff around and the pain kept getting worse.
Well, one night it was unbearable and he was having trouble breathing. Deciding that chest pain and shortness of breath was a bad combination in a forty something dude with high blood pressure, we went, late at night, to the emergency room.  Many many exhausting hours, much dilaudid, an EKG, CT, X-Ray, bloodwork and Ultrasound later, the culprit turned out to be his gallbladder.
Also, look for my "surviving the ER with a baby" post tomorrow.
How is YOUR pain?

I did enjoy getting to watch the ultrasound and finding that I could identify some organs much more easily than I had expected, but I could also tell it was pretty bad by the way his gallbladder looked like a cross-section relief of a bag of polyhedrals, mostly D-20s.
The ER doctor referred spouse directly to the surgeon on call who couldn't see him til the following Tuesday. He basically survived the weekend on percocet and laying still.  Surgery was scheduled for Wednesday, and the laproscopic version turned out to be a big bag of FAIL.  Apparently his gangrenous and scarred gallbladder had adhered to things it shouldn't have and he had to have the big nasty open cholecystectomy.
So, 40 staples and a 10" scar later, his neat and clean outpatient surgery has turned into a multi-day inpatient stay.  Then a week later it was back to the ER with horrible chest pain and shortness of breath.
This time?  Bile leak into the chest cavity. You don't want that.  Another small surgery to place a drain and it was time to go home. For a day.
Why just a day? Back to the ER with even more unbearable chest pain and shortness of breath.  (He also got a lot of oxygen in the hospital with each stay because that's what happens when you've got 20+ oz of bile pressing against your lungs.)  What?  more bile leak issues?  Isn't there a drain?  Oops. the drain was completely clogged. Drat.  So, drain flushed, and sent home again.
About a week later he was scheduled for an ERCP to place a stent to stop the leak.  That will come out in about another week.  Of course, the stent placement led to pancreatitis, which led to weakness, which led to him turning blue and hypoxic.  But he seems pretty stable these days.  It will be 9 weeks of medical drama when that stent comes out, and we're optimistic that they won't have to put a new stent in and that he won't get pancreatitis again.  You know, because I'm an optimistic fool like that, but here's to hoping.

So now he has a scarred up Frankenbelly, and it's making it a little hard to get much done that involves heavy lifting and more than one person.  But we're still going at it.  Wish us luck!

3 reflections:

Tori said...

Geez Slee! When it rains it pours for you guys! Hope spouse feels better soon and stops having to be cut open. That has got to suck.

Bobbi Janay said...


mommygeekology said...

holy crap woman, that is a terrible series of events! i had emergency gallbladder surgery last year but it was incredibly simple. I am thinking I really lucked out! hope hubby feels better soon and you get that dumpster finished!