Monday, December 21, 2009

Winter Solstice Update

Happy Winter Solstice, Everyone:
Our latest news flash is that Ed returned home late Saturday afternoon, pumped anew with antibiotics and complete with a new tube that will hopefully keep any abscess from once again building up and preventing healing. Upon returning, he is trying now to stay upright and vertical much more in order to allow gravity to promote ongoing draining. He is now coming downstairs for all meals, for example.

His main, current issue is that, in his words, it feels all the time like he is sitting on a bed of sharp pebbles (with some of them going up his bottom). He is finding it difficult to find a spot where he can be comfortable for long. We have a feeling this is just going to be the state of affairs for most of the next couple or so weeks while this tube for draining (and its accompanying stitches holding it in place) remains in place. But, the tube is the key to healing, it seems; so I guess, no pain, no gain.

Our door is open again for visitors, for any one still in town and not consumed by the holidays. But even for those who are busy now, he will still be here all during January-April and would love to see folks along the way.

Our big hope is that nothing more happens in the next ten days. Our Doctor is leaving for what I am sure is a much-deserved holiday. While he has left instructions to the on-call surgeons of the Emergency Room what to do if the roller coaster reverses its direction, we are hoping that we are on the flat-to-rising portion of the ride for the foreseeable future.

For those of you who have already celebrated Hanukkah, enjoy the movies and Chinese food on Friday and seeing friends at the cinema that you have not seen since High Holy Days.

For those of you celebrating Christmas, please have the merriest, warmest, most loving holiday ever with all your friends and family (and watch the sugar highs).

For those of you celebrating Kwanza, may the candles' lights inspire you and yours as you celebrate the values that make your family special and strong.

For those of you celebrating none of the above, find some quiet spot and reflect on the close of a decade that many of us are happy to see pass and vision a new decade where no Bush is elected to any office, anywhere.

With continued thanks for all your support, messages, and caring,

Thursday, December 17, 2009

Mid-Dec update

So, we were in the middle of having latkes every night (potato, apple, rice/cheese, ricotta, tuna, turkey-sausage/potato, etc.); and then while we should have been lighting the 6th candle, we were sitting once again in hospital admissions, operating room recovery, and the hospital room. And I was so psyched to welcome friends over tonight and tomorrow night for yet a half dozen more latkes varieties!

Yes, the abscess is back with its vengeance. Ed started having periods of really feeling bad about Sunday and into Monday. Every day was a real roller coaster. The abscess was evidently building up (making him weak and listless), then releasing itself (providing big-time, bottom pain) and then allowing a period of feeling really well until the build-up occurred again. I knew where this was leading and was in contact with the surgeon. Ed was already scheduled for a REUA yesterday (I now know that means 'Rectal Exam Under Anasthesia' -- which seems weird since he no longer has a rectum). The doctor already had planned to re-insert a drainage tube to the internal suture site (where the pocket of abscess is occurring and is keeping the suture from closing up and healing as it should). He then told us on Tuesday night via our email conversation that he would probably also keep him in the hospital for more intravenous antibiotics.

So, yesterday we arrived at 2:15 p.m. Operation room at 6:30 or so. Post-op around 7:20. Into room at 11 p.m. (They were very busy, and we were unexpected, so to speak.) Every where we went (admissions, pre-op, post-op, 4th floor rooms), we were greeted like old friends. We know them; they know us. Three times in 4 weeks, you get to know folk. They're nice people, the best actually; but neither Ed nor I (nor they) really wanted to become best friends in this manner.

Today, he will have another CAT scan (also third in a month ... I am ignoring this week's research showings on CAT scans). Our doctor patiently and thoroughly explained to me yesterday why he needs to know all he can about this cavity's location and size where the abscess is bubbling from. He is going to use the next couple of days to watch it, think about it, and decide if the new tube he put in will be sufficient to keep it drained well enough to allow the necessary healing to occur. If not, he may have to get to it from another angle.

Ed has tubes in him again but not quite as many as before. And while he is still on pain meds, the frequency and intensity is not as much as before. It seems he will be in the hospital until Saturday at least. I am beginning my 12-14 hours stints in the room again. ( I was actually beginning to miss the pretty good cafeteria food.) We are in yet again on the same hospital floor. Our goal is NOT to get to be the first to occupy every room on that floor in the shortest time possible, by the way.

Ed can use some cheering up, as you can imagine. Please feel free to send him an email. Once home, he loves visits and calls. These past 10 days have been wonderful for him. Folks have come by on scheduled visits, 2-3 a day. Someone has brought him lunch every day that I was working (which fortunately was once again most days ... thank you, dear clients). We even had started watching Netflix movies again since his pain had begun to subside more.

So, this is a journey. Many, many, many (including a number of you) have gone down much worst. And, April will arrive and will bring rainbows, emerging normality, and health (G-d willing).

Thanks for your interest, prayers, notes, cards, songs, incense burnings, drummings, incantations, cookies, and smiles.
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