What? Have ten days passed since my last entry? I’ll tell you, it’s been quite the couple of weeks, and I don’t mean that in a good way. We had a reasonable week at home with the new ileostomy. Home health nurses, physical therapist, one exciting event after another. We had good days and not as good days. Preparing meals, cleaning up, acting as his personal nurse/valet, and doing more loads of wash than is reasonable makes the day very short. Every once in a while life conspires to give me the merest taste of what our foremothers went through every day. They were way tougher than I am, that’s for sure!
Then we had a bit of a complication. Don had a scheduled appointment with the surgeon Thurs morning at 11:00, but two hours beforehand he sprung a leak from his incision and oozed watery blood all over everything. At least it wasn’t two hours after! He had a little hole in his belly with a hematoma underneath (some blood, I gather) The doc wanted to do a bunch of tests to make sure nothing is leaking into areas it shouldn’t and also to make sure he had no infection going on. So long story short, Don was back in the hospital for a few days. We went right from the doc’s office to the hospital, where after several hours of being admitted and tested and poked (you know the drill), they took a bunch of blood for testing, started a bunch of antibiotics and saline, made him drink a contrast stuff,and took him up for a CAT scan.
Seems he had a minor infection at his incision site, and some subcutaneous fluid in his belly. So they put him on intravenous antibiotics, and Saturday morning he had a procedure to have a little of the fluid drawn out with a needle. They drew off a lot of fluid and stuck a temporary drain in his side (one more thing hanging off him).
They sent the fluid to the lab and were “trying to grow things in it, the surgeon told us later. The surgeon also said the drain doctor told him that the fluid looked like just old blood to him.
But then late that afternoon his IV site started dripping like it was coming loose from his arm – he left a trail of a few blood drops on the hall floor. We called the nurse just as he noticed that the back of his ileostomy bag was wet – leaking from a poor seal. So three nurses came in and all worked on him at once to take off the bag, clean and prep his skin, put on another bag, check all his drains and dressings, fix his IV, as he laid there on the bed like a landed salmon and I sat in a chair in the corner and tried not to draw attention to myself.
This morning they removed the drain from his procedure, packed his wound with gauze, resealed the ileostomy bag, made arrangements for more home nursing, and by late this afternoon, told us we could go. I just brought Don home tonight at about 6:30. He has an open wound in his belly that is about an inch by an inch and a half, and deep enough I can put my finger in it up to the first joint. Which I will be doing, because guess who gets to clean it and repack it tomorrow morning? (Yes, I did get training. Though I’m not ready for my RN yet and am not feeling full of confidence) Home health nurses are coming out tomorrow to attach a ‘wound vac’ to it, which is literally a little vacuum to suck out any drainage and help it heal from the inside out. They sent us home with a few supplies. Observe:
If there is anything else that could happen to him I don’t even want to know. He’s immensely glad to be home.
We’ll be going back to the surgeon’s office in a week.
It’s a process.