Monday, August 24, 2009

Seans Lung Surgery

We arrived at the hospital at 8:00 a.m. for Seans surgery. Once there Sean was taken to Pre Op where they inserted an IV, did an ekg, chest scan and shaved the site for the surgery. We were under the impression his surgery would begin at 10:30 am. They also inserted an epidural in his upper back to help with surgery pain, gave him a foley catheter, inserted a tube that monitored blood pressure and checked all of his vitals and blood sugar. His surgery however did not start until 1:30 p.m. which was kinda ridiculous considering the times we were given. We were also under the impression the pre op was to last 2 hours, the surgery 2 hours and the post op to also last 2 hours which also was not the case. Once he was in surgery we were given a pager and shown to the surgical waiting room. The surgery instead ended up lasting almost four hours and we were pacing around the hospital towards the end. Around 4:00 p.m. we were called to the desk in the waiting room and the pager had not went off. This made me nervous considering the last time he was in for his biopsy we were alerted he was finished and in recovery by the pager. The doctor showed us to the surgical conference room and sat down with us. He told us that Sean was fine which I honestly almost passed out waiting to know just that much information. He said however that he could not remove the mass in Seans chest at this time. He explained that they had used a videoscope after cutting into Seans side to get a better view of the mass. They discovered that the mass was close around some blood vessels and near his chest wall. The doctor said that he did not want to cut the vessels and to do so would require a possible rib removal neither Sean had gave them consent to do. He said that if he has removed the mass at this time there was a possibility of leaving cancer behind and he did not think that was fair to Sean which I agreed. He also said more or less they were not prepared to do a major surgery and were only expecting the lobe removal. Therefore he closed Sean back up and intended to consult the tumor board before moving forward with the surgery. He did however take a piece of the mass in order to do a biopsy which will tell them more. He said that he was going to consult the tumor board Wedsenday and was going to suggest chemotherapy and radiation in an attempt to shrink the mass so they can go back and do the surgery completely without the need to remove the rib. We were stunned by this information and literally sat and cried for some time, It was not so much because of the failed surgery but that Sean was going to have to go through more treatment so quickly. After two hours we were able to go and see Sean. I did not care for his recovery nurse as she was not acknowledging his pain after the surgery. He kept saying it hurts and she literally was ignoring him when he did. I asked her if he could have a different type of medication or method of pain relief because it was obvious he was in pain considerably. She gave him a direct dose of Dilaudid which is like morphine and it made him drowsy but helped alot with the soreness in his side. She bothered me because while the doctor was explaining the outcome of the surgery to Sean the nurse was talking over him and speaking to Sean while the doctor was. Sean had little time to digest what the doctor said before he was moved from post op to his room on the Cardiology floor. When we were able to go into Seans room he was still in a decent amount of pain. He was placed on a liquid diet and was barely awake. At one point he pulled me to him and asked me what I thought about all of this as if I were going to get in the car and drive like a bat out of hell away. I told him that noone said our battle would be easy and I was prepared to go through every moment of it with him, he laid his head back and passed out for a few hours afterwards. He came to on and off but was pretty out of it most of the evening. They removed the blood pressure monitoring tube and cleaned him up a bit. He still had everything including a new chest tube that was draining fluid from his lungs. They had to do a blood transfusion as after his surgery his hemoglobin was low. I asked why this was and was told it is normal sometimes for patients to expirence this after surgery. Sean did good throughout the night and Saturday morning he was still on a liquid diet. He was able to eat solids that evening but still was somewhat out of it. The doctor did stop the suction on his chest tube and let it drain on its own. Sunday they decided to remove the catheter and epidural. Sean was also encouraged to get up and sit in the chair or go to the rest room. He was still on the solid diet and taken fluids without a problem. As of Monday morning the only thing Sean has had in him is the oxygen in his nose and the IV needle. They removed the chest tube this morning and the IV bag by the middle of the day. Sean was encouraged to walk back and forth down the hallway, sit in the chair and cough when possible to help clear his lungs. They also have been having him do breathing treatments every few hours and his pain he says is very mild. The only thing they have been monitoring is his blood oxygen level which was low but has stayed around 96 most of the day which is good. They were giving him insulin because his blood sugar was high Friday and Saturday but has finally righted itself. He is doing good but we are still unsure when he will be able to come home at the moment. Maybe tommorow at the latest Wedsenday. I took a picture of him the other day and posted it also above.

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