Know many people who have had two stints fail within three months and end up having by pass surgery? MRSA contracted after a surgery, showing up negative after three months of IV antibiotics, only to end up with reoccurrence a year later in such a masked, deadly, septic way that it took three weeks and near death to diagnosis? That once it was found it required a removal of an artificial femoral graft in an eight plus hour surgery? Not to mention the whole misdiagnosis that more than likely left him a paraplegic. I could keep going with past history but you get the gist.
In typical Murphy logic, Thursday he had a “routine” surgery for dialysis patients. They go into the forearm do some rewiring of the veins and arteries and build an A V Fistula. When this matures, it will be the access for dialysis. A temporary port is also inserted in his chest. When I went to see him in the recovery room he complained of numbness and tingling in his thumb and first two fingers. The surgeon said this was more than likely due to the local anesthetic that was put in his arm in addition to the general he was under. It will wear off in a few hours like when you go to the dentist.
When I arrived at the hospital Friday, my husband was still down at dialysis. I knew when he was returning to his room before I saw him. I knew because I heard him howling uncontrollably in pain from down the hall. Now he has been through a lot, and I know he has a high tolerance for pain. There was definitely something wrong. The surgeon was called, and to his credit actually came up to check with another patient waiting for him on the OR table. He said he’d have to go back in to check that there was no blockage or clot. My husband was again prepped for surgery and scheduled next. It turned out that due to my husband’s vascular disease that he was not getting enough blood flow to his hand. The surgeon did some “tweaking” of the fistula and my husband felt immediate relief in recovery.
Now our dilemma is his arms are his legs. With the fistula and incision needing time to recover, how does he transfer? The surgeon believes two or three days and he should be able to put pressure on it without pain. They will have physical and occupational therapy work with him to try and find alternate ways for him to move about. Then he will be able to come home.
Throughout all this: the frightening morning that took us to the ER, the diagnosis of end stage renal failure, the need for dialysis and the surgery, he stays positive. Every time he gets knocked down, he dusts himself off and gets ready to face the next challenge. I am in awe of the strength and bravery he always has. It’s not an act; he’s not putting on a brave face for me. It is who he is.
My husband, my hero.
- Hospital Stay or Hotel California? (caregiving.com)
- Advocating Can Be a Dirty Job or I Went Kaboom (caregiving.com)
- “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love.” (caregiving.com)
- In Six Words, While You Wait, What’s the Doctor Doing? (caregiving.com)
- Still Grateful with a Touch of Combat Fatigue (caregiving.com)
- Podcast: Table Talk with G-J (caregiving.com)
- Mom’s Losing Her Independence (caregiving.com)