Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Slow Healing Continues

Guy with iPhone and ileostomy bag

Since Ed’s last medical/colon update 3 or so weeks ago, we have been riding once again the roller coaster a bit. You may remember we heard at that point the healing of the internal sutures had begun but would take longer than originally planned. Just six days later (on January 18), another visit and exam shocked our doctor that the sutures appeared to have closed up and healing was close to done. This exam was done with a special butt telescope-like instrument as well as by the old fashion digital feel. The doctor and we were all elated.

The doctor was so pleased that he scheduled a visit to the hospital for X-Ray exam and yet another CAT-Scan to confirm all might be ready to go ahead and do the next surgery in mid-Feb. During the next 10 days we got our hopes up, especially since Ed was really feeling well, walking at least an hour each day, going out some for dinner with friends, etc. He was (and is still) spending a huge portion of his day dealing with the ileostomy pouch or 'the bag,' but we were both getting psyched that Mr. Bag would soon be history; and so we laughed at its 'mind of its own' antics and waited for the tests.

You can guess the rest. When liquid under pressure was applied to the internal site while the X-rays were being done last Wednesday, the supposedly sealed site re-opened and the cavity beyond reappeared in the CAT-scan. Our doctor and we were sorely disappointed. He did not have much to say at that time other than 'probably at least two more months.'

In a late-night email the next day, the doctor indicated that he was still studying the pictures with his partner/colleague but that he also had an idea for a "Plan B." Monday he called with the recommendation that Ed come back on the 11th to the hospital for Visit #4 to the operation room, this time with him and his trusted colleague. He believes the site is on its way to healing and might in fact have healed on its own in another few weeks if the forced liquid had not broken the still-flimsy area. He now wants to go in and add a few, dissoluble (i.e., temporary) sutures that will close the opening and hopefully cause it quickly to seal up for good before the sutures go away. With that process, he should be able to tell by mid-March (again with X-Ray and CAT-Scan exams) if the healing is complete. Without this help, he is just not sure at this point if and when the healing would be done on its own, now that it has clearly opened up again.

So, we MIGHT be looking now at surgery around Passover time (mid-to-end-of-March). (That probably means we don't host our usual group of 20 this year.) But, I think we have also learned by now not to count the chicks too soon unless the fat lady is really singing. And even though he says we should still keep our August hiking and kayaking in Scandinavia on the calendar, I am also researching beaches in Hawaii.

Stay tuned for the next movement in this made-for-television soap opera about Ed’s colon.


Rob said...

If you decide on Hawaii beaches and find yourself on Kauai, please let us know. We would enjoy meeting you. I've been following your updates and send healing thoughts your way.

Aloha from Rob

Rob said...

Here's my email address in case you make it to Kauai: rob@beatofhawaii(dot)com

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