Tuesday, June 1, 2010

Making Progress

Sunday evening the foley came out.  It is a wonderful thing to not have a tube tugging on your sensitive parts, especially with enormous edema (yes, enormous is the word to use here.  Even the male nurses were impressed.)  The downside is having to empty 400cc every two hours into a urinal.  Kidneys came back online in full force and slowly we're ridding the water weight.  Since then they've greatly cut my fluids as well, as my water intake by mouth has been more than sufficient.  Also, I'm losing less water via my stoma, which is fantastic compared to my previous surgeries, and having more through the kidneys.  I'm not sure if this absorption is due to the pain meds, but we'll figure that out as time progresses.  Let's hope this is how good an end ileostomy is compared to a temporary.

I finally started to eat solid food yesterday.  Mashed potatoes are a staple at every meal and some protein.  It's fantastic.  The people who complain about hospital food have never gone a week without eating or really don't know what they should be appreciating.  It's not five star, but it's much better than nothing and I know it's better than many other people get on a daily basis.  My appetite has been quite lacking though, which they say is a result of the infection:  It's going to take a while to get back to "normal" after being septic.  It's still lactose free and GI soft, but baby steps:  One reason I chose for an ileostomy was to go back to eating all the things I love.  This is a long-term gain and we'll get there.

Yesterday, they took out the JP drain that was in the right buttock and assumingly draining the surgical work done on the anus.  This, by far, was the greatest pain I have ever experienced.  The doctors explained this area was highly sensitive (go figure) and unfortunately, can cause severe pain.  Right they were.  I'm sure the people on the floor, and possibly outside, thought that someone was being murdered.  I'm not sure how long it continued, maybe a minute or so as they worked out the sutures and the actual tubing, but it felt like a lifetime.  I was thoroughly exhausted afterwards and didn't do a lick of work.  Thankfully, I had taken my pain meds just before we had our little adventure and I got to pass out shortly after.

I've been able to get out of bed easier today and even had cloth baths over the last two days.  My wife has been amazing through this process and dealing with not only my stench (hey, I've been bed ridden) but all the reworking, she seems completely unphased.  We've had some walks around the floor and I can slowly feel my strength returning.  It's no where near what it should be, but getting up and down is at least manageable on my own now, albeit slowly.

My bloodwork is showing progress across the board.  The infection seems to be under control as my white blood count continues to drop.  My liver numbers are stable, which is amazing considering being septic last week:  Oddly enough, after each of my surgeries, my liver numbers always returned to normal.  Maybe I need to adjust my diet?  This is something to be investigated.  Potassium and magnesium were a little low again, but on the rise and now with eating, expect to be normal today and no more drips: This is good, as they burn like hell when being infused into the arm.

All in all, I am trending in the right direction.  The docs are happy and there's a good chance I'll be able to leave either tomorrow or Thursday.  I haven't asked, so I'm waiting to hear.  No reason to rush out of here to only return.  Let's get it right the first time.

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