Sunday, May 18, 2008

Knowledge is Power, Not in this Case

I am extremely happy to report that my Father did very well and is now at home.

He is in his early eighties, a physician and this was his first (and last we hope) major surgery in his lifetime. I won’t go into all the sordid details of the surgery but I will tell you he was released with 50 staples holding his mid to lower back together. I can also share that every person from orderly, food service personnel, nurses’ aides/ assistance, nurses, physical and occupational therapists, physicians’ assistants, nurse practitioners and his Surgeon treated him like royalty. We spent the better part of a week at Washington Hospital Center. As a person who also works in the health care community, I can report that I noticed most everyone that works there seems quite content with their job. Not an easy feat in any work environment. Now some might argue that my Father received preferential treatment since Brain Surgeon works there however there were countless personnel who had no idea who he was other than another patient in the facility. Hats off to the staff at WHC, my Father’s experience was a good one.

It is widely known that medical people make the worst patients. In my Father’s case, he was waiting for every negative outcome to occur instead of focusing on the positives. Considering all the possible post operative negatives that could have transpired, he was only subjected to a few. The main obstacle was his projectile vomiting episode late into the night following his surgery. Unfortunately for her, this took place on Brain Surgeons watch. She took the first night of bedside care of my Father. She had to work the next day she figured that would make the best sense. Needless to say, she got zero sleep that night and had to go to pull her normal 13 hour shift the next day.

My Father refused to use his narcotic delivery pump for fear that he would be hooked on morphine. Several times during my shifts with him I seriously gave thought to figuring out how to hook that pump into my arm. (I kid! Well, I did have the recurring thoughts...)During his immediate pre-op interview, he was asked what his allergies were? My Father listed them in the following order: lard, MSG, penicillin and sulfa drugs. I am very sure there was not going to be any sprinkling of MSG into the incision nor lard used to flush out an IV line. I guess he wanted cover all his bases. Even in his post-op haze, he was able to explain to anyone within an earshot of the evils of MSG and how any item in the clear liquid post-op diet included the dreaded ingredient. That on top of the projectile vomiting kept him from ingesting anything by mouth besides tea.

All that aside, he was up and walking around as was ordered and things are going very well. He is at home recuperating and so far his biggest complaints are constipation and incontinence. Both should calm down as the anesthesia metabolizes out of his body. My Mother is having more than a bit of anxiety as she is no longer the center of attention, but they will have to work that out. I love my Mother but we have created a monster. (Another post for another time.)

Thank you all for the well wishes, thoughts, prayers and e-mails. I know each and every one of them helped all of us.


qualcosa di bello said...

lard...aren't we all allergic to it??? but seriously, this is some good news...i am so glad for you & yours!!!

yes, medical types are often the worst patients (we know too darn much~~ & in training swear we have every single deadly disease process ever known to mankind).

may your dad's mending continue!

Chris said...

here via blogexplosion

Yeah, but that's because you (or more to the point, HE) were in a hospital North of the Mason-Dixon line. Down here in the South, we put lard on everything:)

Glad he's doing well!

The CEO said...

Well done! Keep up the good work. The existential fix is still in.

t2ed said...

They don't let you take that pump home do they? I'm just asking for a friend. Yeah, that's the ticket. A friend.

Glad all is well with Pop.

J.M. Tewkesbury said...

Wicked: Glad to hear your dad's doing well and on his way to what sounds like a full recovery. Hope your mother fares as well.

Karina said...

So glad to hear everything went well with dad (well, besides the projectile vomitting that is). :D

Anonymous said...

I'm Soooooooo glad it's over!!guess who????