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The Fifty Percent Solution

August 6th, 2009

One more non-writing entry, Dear Readers, for those kind souls of you who have been following Don’s medical saga, which we hope will soon be coming to a satisfactory resolution.

Not as soon as hoped, however. Still, things could be a lot worse, and have been, so I can’t complain too much. We went to the hospital at 8:15 this morning, and after the usual rigamarole, Don was taken in to the radiology procedure room, where the plan was to shoot some dye into his nephrostomy tubes, and if it went through, then they would remove the tubes altogether. Long story short, left side worked like a charm, so that tube was removed. However, right ureter apparently has developed some scar tissue at the incision site, and has narrowed, so the urine does get through, but slowly. Therefore, they called Zippy the Urologist, who told them to put a stint down the right ureter, which they did. The idea is that the stint may stretch out the narrow place over time. But they did leave an external tube in the right side until they make sure that the stint won’t cause him any trouble.

I expected the procedure to last about half an hour, but it took some three hours, mostly because when they decided to put in the stint, they had to sedate him, and they make you stay in recovery for a while after you’ve been sedated. I was sitting in the waiting room when a six-foot-tall doctor with wavy blond hair and piercing blue eyes came out (where do they get these guys? Is a rating of 10 on the hunkiness scale now a requirement for getting into medical school?) and told me what was going on. He explained that one can function with these internal stints for a long long time, and not even know they’re there. He also said that if everything goes well, the external tube can come out in just a few days. Of course, I wasn’t expecting any of this, so even though it’s not a horrible big deal, when I saw this doctor I didn’t know coming toward me, I immediately went into adrenaline overdrive, just as a knee-jerk reaction, and spent the half-hour after Dr. Gorgeous left trying to get my breathing back to normal.

They came and got me just before noon, and I spent the next hour with Don in the recovery room. He was perfectly content and feeling good, of course. One of the tubes is out, and progress is made on the other, and that’s dang well good enough for him, at the moment. I think the happy juice they gave him didn’t hurt, either. We left at about one o’clock, got some lunch, went to the library to check out some DVDs (a couple of installments of “Foyle’s War”), and got home around three. He’s now sacked out on the couch having a nap, and I plan to join him shortly.

He’s scheduled to have what we expected would be his final check-it-all-out visit with the urologist on the 13th. Dr. Gorgeous told us that if we wanted, however, we could call the doc and see if Don could get in earlier and get the go-ahead to remove the tube. Don told me later that he’d just as soon wait until the regularly scheduled appointment and have a nice quiet week. I think he’s had enough of hospitals for the moment.

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