Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Wednesday, The Day full of surprises

Then, the Beginning

Now Wednesday, April 30, 2008, brought more with it than was planned.

This is the day around which The Week revolves. It is a day no couple ever wants to have to face, that of cancer surgery for their partner. It is the first time since I have become bedridden that I guess you could say that I am glad of it because I can hide behind it, my nervousness, my want-to-do-something, and all my co-dependency traits, all those things that I've busied myself with all these years, today they just have to sit here, and do whatever can be done from here. Just this. Nothing except rattle my fingers on the keyboard. Nervous? I'm scared to death! Shaking so I'm surprised my fingers are finding the right keys. Well, actually, they aren't. The back space key is getting an unusual work out to make corrections. As good as Son Jim and Daughter Debbie have made me feel, I still feel the Dread of Dracula (ha, I have no idea what that means or where it comes from, it just sounds scary!). I would feel MUCH more comfortable if it were ME having the surgery, (well another organ of my body, though), than he going through this.

The Day begins! 5:30 a.m. For those who do not know, Jim sleeps on the couch in the living room where my bed is located because of my falling and coking during the night. Were I were to do either, he would not hear me upstairs. I was already awake when he got up from his lofty position, Callie snuggled in close to him the last I saw of them. I asked him if he was nervous. "Oh, yes," was his reply. Here you have a man nearing 69 years old, who spent 49 years in hospital administration, spent only two nights of his lifetime in a hospital, and those were for tests. He says it is this unknown (being put to sleep) that scares him more than the cancer within him. The fact of having the prostate contain the cancer completely
gives him more peace about that part of the whole picture, at least at this point in time. Guess you might say it gives him a little temporary *storage* room for it, releasing more time and space for these other worries.

With the danger of my being put to sleep associated with the myasthenia(anesthesia and myasthenia are not friends), I never got the chance, or maybe allowed myself to be too consciously afraid when the actual time for me to go to surgery came for me, however, I did not have the months and months prior to mine to add up like Jim has had. That first postponement was the worst for him in my opinion, in SO many ways. The first was the drop of his face that I saw on his face as he walked back to our morning spot, the change in his voice, the slump in his shoulders. I was not going to be given a general, and intubated, but with myasthenia, even locals are warriors with us. Spending the morning worrying about when I was scheduled to go was more on my mind than the risks I was about to undertake. hahaha It must not have been buried too deeply if that was the first thing I asked the nurses who came to get me. It was about did they know I had MG, and they told me the anesthesiologist would be asking me a lot of questions as soon as I got down there. And, that she was. Funny, it reminds me of a movie or TV show where they are rushing down the hall with the patient on the gurney (remember Dr. Hammond was looking for me), and a nurse or doctor is running alongside asking questions, writing, trying to keep up. Everyone was behind me; I couldn't tell who was talking to me. I asked who was talking, and she popped her head around so I could see. So, she had most of her questions by the time we got to the surgical suite, reassuring me she was aware of my anesthesia myasthenia unfriendliness, and that I would be okay. Only a matter of minutes elapsed before I was snoozing, and in her hands. That is the way, not the rushing, just the OR busy-ness hop-to-it-ness I was hoping it would be for him, too.

He and Mark were on their way, with Jim and Donnie leaving shorty afterward, all arriving at the hospital about the same time. It seems funny to me now to think of it being his name being called in the big waiting room instead of mine. Fiddle sticks, it all seems strange to me. It's not supposed to be him being sick, not supposed to be him being the one. It is, though. Here he is after they called him back to get him ready for his special day.

Now they have put his IV in, and he is ready to go back to Holding

Post-op, and the best way to give you the results, is in Jim's own words.

"Well, to begin with, I still have my prostate. The surgeon cut 3 holes in my tummy (one of them looks like a second belly button) and inserted the laparoscopic cameras. He saw something that he doesn't know what it is, i.e., a mass, an infected area, etc. The other doctors didn't know what it was either. He stopped the surgery at that point because he said that if he had gone any further, he could not have stopped. And, if it was some kind of infection, he could spread it and cause a lot of problems. They showed it to Pathology - they didn't know what it was, but didn't think it was anything cancerous - they are testing it. I will have a CT scan, and see the doctor in about a week. Hopefully, by then they will have figured out what it is and how to treat it. Then he will know about re-scheduling my prostate surgery."

Back from surgery, and the nurse is taking the IV out
Waiting to go home

Just about ready to go home, showing his wound
He, Jim, and Donnie go home to Mississippi, where he will be very well taken care of for several days, just however many he decides is best on his staying there.

All is over for the day, and things settle in for the night, as least to my knowledge.

So for, Wednesday, that has left things still unsettled, knowing even less than we knew at the beginning of the day . . .

for Granddaddy

Striving for a world without Myasthenia Gravis

1 comment:

Robyn said...


I was doing a search on Dr. Latif and found your blog. You've been through a LOT!

My 18 year old son and I (age 47) both have an appointment with Dr. Latif this Friday. I hear good things about him, so I am eager, but I'm also afraid. I hope and pray he will be the doctor we need, the one who will listen, and treat us with wisdom and compassion. Hashimoto's is draining the life out of us.

My husband, who has diabetes, has an appt. with him on Monday.

We need to find a new primary care doctor, too. You got any recommendation?

God bless you,
Robyn, in Memphis