Wednesday, 1 July 2015

Happy Canada Day! (Post-Surgery Post)

Happy Canada Day to all my fellow Canadians! 

I'm back home after my 8-day stint in the hospital following the laprascopic partial nephrectomy on my left kidney! The preferred methodology of removing the renal cell carcinoma that was present was a success, though I developed a few complications that followed the operation that prolonged the time spent in the hospital more than anticipated. But as of yesterday afternoon, I've been back in my own home and beginning the hopefully not long process of recovery and restoring my health to the state it was in before surgery.

For posterity sake, I'll provide an overview of all the things my body went through:

The Sunday prior to surgery I was on a liquid diet (so hungry) and had to do a bunch of pre-surgery prep. During the wee hours of the 22nd, our good friend Todd dropped the Missus and I off at Victoria General Hospital for my 6am admitting. A couple hours later I was off to surgery. The goal (factor depending) was for my surgeons to perform a partial nephrectomy via laprascopic surgery.

Hours later I awoke in the recovery room (partially cognitive, as I recall asking the nurse watching me my blood type: B+; I surprisingly didn't know that before then.) and mentioning that the fluid in my drain looked like tomato soup. xP

Soon I was transferred to my bed on the 7th floor Uruology ward and was told the post-op results of the procedure: it was as successful as intended, the tumour was removed with a minor complication; the vein above it had to be partially removed and reconstructed during the enucleation of the tumour.

I was surprised how uncomfortable this laprascopic procedure was compared to the previous one I had, though I'm sure no two laprascopic surgeries are going to be the same and this time I was left with half of an unhappy organ; my abdomen was swollen from trauma and bloated from the residual carbon dioxide they inflate your belly with during keyhole surgery.

Not exactly what occurred, but a close enough representation.
But it turns out my discomfort wasn't entirely unjustified: A day or so later whilst I was recovering, I had to take a chest X-ray that confirmed I had developed pneumonia in my lungs (explaining the shortness of breath); and an Angiograph/Interventional Radiology to locate and insert a pair of Stents into one of the operated upon kidney's arteries that was bleeding into my ureter.

I soon ended up with a fever which made for some awful nightmares and several horribly sweaty sleeps during those nights; I broke that fever Sunday night I believe, as Monday was the first day I was back to feeling 'normal': fever gone, breath improving, pain diminished. I was ready to be discharged.

Unfortunately at the time doctors felt my blood O2 levels were still too low, and on a hunch had me scheduled for a CT Scan of my chest to see if I had developed a possible blood clot. The test didn't end up happening till late evening, well after my supper had arrived; I was finally getting my appetite back and I couldn't eat it because I had to keep a clear stomach prior to the scan! Anyway the test came back negative. No blood clots!

People who know me well, know that once I start getting uppity and vocal about staying in the hospital longer than I feel I need to, I must be feeling better. I have tremendous patience for all this medical stuff, but once I feel healthy enough to leave I want to go! Mind you this whole thing had already had gone from a 2-4 day stay to over a week, so I was getting quite antsy at this point.

Unplugged from everything (drain, catheter, IV drip, and eventually O2 support) the only thing prolonging my stay was my still low O2 levels and the antibiotics they were administering for my pneumonia. I expressed my frustrations to wonderful nursing student who bent the ear of a couple doctors to discharge me. After a quick phone call with my specialist I was released with a prescription for the rest of my course of antibiotics!

Yesterday afternoon my good buddy Ash picked me up from the hospital and brought me home. I can't say how good it feels to be back; I still have some time to recover fully, but being comfortable with my best girl is vital to retaining my health.

Enjoy your Canada Day everyone!

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