In Honor of My Husband, Ron

Saturday, October 4, 2008

Post Surgery Days

Wednesday, October 1. When we got in to see Ron today, he looked better than expected. He is on a PCA pump set to deliver 1 mg. of Morphine every 10 minutes, and he uses it regularly. The surgeon came in and deflated the cuff on his trach and asked him to count to 10. His voice was very raspy, but it was there. He said that Ron would do this several times a day and that would help wean him off of the trach. He does have to be suctioned because he coughs up thick secretions. The surgeon is hoping to be able to remove the trach on Friday. Ron may be able to leave the SICU tomorrow. The doctor said again that the cancer was a lot larger than they thought. Ron said that his mouth doesn't hurt, it just feels strange. Still the only pain is from the leg.

Thursday, October 2. When I came in today Ron was sitting up in a chair with a smile on his face. He is now able to eat some ice chips. The pain is much the same, though. He is to get out of bed 3 times a day, without putting any weight on his left leg. Later that afternoon, he did start running a fever on and off. He is not leaving SICU today.

Friday, October 3. This morning, Ron still had a fever. He is now taking Tylenol tablets by mouth. They sent a culture of his trach secretions to check for infection. The right side of his neck looks very swollen today. The fever is what worries me, but he is on Vancomycin, a very strong antibiotic. He also got a transfusion this morning, as his blood count was low. The doctor stressed the importance of him getting out of bed to prevent lung complications. I had a frustrating exchange with the surgeon today. I know he is one of the best in his field, but he doesn't encourage conversation. I started to ask him about the cancer and I said, "I know you said that the cancer extended back to the tonsil, " when he interrupted me and said "It was IN the tonsil." So I said, "So you removed the tonsils then?" He looked at me like I was crazy and said, "No, he would be in here for another week if we removed them. He wouldn't be able to swallow at all." ?? I was left puzzled, but he really makes me feel like I should not question anything. I am assuming that he did in fact remove the right tonsil as the cancer was in it. At least I sure hope so! It was decided that the trach would be left in since his neck has so much swelling. Later that afternoon, Ron was transferred to a regular room.

Saturday, October 4. Good news! The fever has stopped. Ron looks much better today. The swelling is down and he just looks like he feels better. He is still using the PCA regularly though. I do worry how he will get along when it is removed. The doctor was in today and removed his central line, so that is one less tube and drain to worry about. Speech therapy came in and put a Passy-Muir Valve on his trach so he can talk for about an hour at a time. He sounded great. It was nice to hear his voice again. It is harder for him to breathe while it is on, so it tires him out. I will be so glad when that trach is removed. He started coughing at one point and blew the valve across the room! Thankfully, a nurse was in the room so she cleaned it off and replaced it. One problem today is that he is not getting up to a chair since he was transferred. The surgeon left orders for him to be up but the plastic surgeon has to agree, and he has not seen Ron since he was transferred. It is maddening! They could certainly get him up to a chair without him having to put any weight on his left leg. If this isn't resolved by tomorrow, I'm going to have to pitch a fit. I worry that he will end up with pneumonia because he isn't moving enough. He is sleeping much better since the move though, which was much needed. Hospitals in general are not very conducive to rest and recuperation. It will be so good to get him home! I am now thinking that if he can get rid of the trach on Monday, I doubt they would discharge him that day too. I hope they do, but I am kind of thinking it will be Tuesday. Tonight my oldest daughter decided to cook a "Thanksgiving" dinner on Tuesday, and I said that at least Ron should be up to mashed potatoes and gravy by then. And we are so thankful to have him with us! I will finish his hospital days in the next blog.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

My uncle have done his by pass surgery these days. Doctor said that he might face some side effects due to surgery.