Tuesday, June 22, 2021

Tomorrow Is Another Day

 Tomorrow (Wednesday) is my scheduled right leg vascular surgery day. That's as opposed to my emergency surgery on my left leg back in June of 2019. Maybe. Should be okay. Probably.

The uncertainty arises from medical issues Terry is having. Last Wednesday, she was moving some boxes in the attic. Heavy boxes. Then on Thursday she was collecting the garbage (cat litter mostly) that was quite heavy, twisted the wrong way and felt something go in her lower back with pain radiating down her right leg. She couldn't walk. I finally got her to go to the primary care clinic in Mansfield on Thursday afternoon. They sent her to  get x-rays at Troy. She called the pain management doctor on Friday but he said it was only 2-1/2 months since she last got a spinal and the insurance probably wouldn't cover it--but he'd try to talk them into it.

Then all was silent on Saturday while Terry suffered. Then Sunday morning I took her over to the ER in Troy. They gave her a shot and some valium. Neither really worked for long. Monday the pain doc got her a steroid prescription and the promise of a shot on Tuesday the 29th (a day or so after the steroid pack is finished). 

So Terry's not sure she could drive me to the hospital, hang around during surgery, see me afterwords, or do anything at all come tomorrow. And she's going to need someone to drive her too and from the pain doc's office on the 29th. Arrangements have been made to get me to the hospital, but what happens in the days after that vis-a-vis Terry's coming to visit, or pick me up, or see me moved to a rehab facility (as they did after the previous left leg by-pass), or getting her to the pain doc's is up in the air.

One day at a time. Step by step.

Interesting times.

Thursday, June 10, 2021

...Try, Try Again.

 Today was the make-up day for my meeting with the vascular team over at Robert Packer Hospital.  As I mentioned in my last post, Dr. B cancelled at the very last minute last week so things got pushed to this morning. I arrived 15 minutes before my appointed time and then had to wait about 25 minutes to get seen by the nurse. This is unusual as the folks at Guthrie in general are usually spot on time--or have a damn good excuse for being late. I think today it was just volume as my appointment was for 11 am which i at the end of the morning crowd.

My vitals and other information were taken and then we got to see Dr. B and his Nurse Practitioner. The first thing Dr. B did was ask Terry all about her cruise to Puget Sound. (During the discussion he seemed to have forgot that he had scared me into staying home and sending Terry's sis as her plus-one. That was a decision that panned out when I had to visit the emergency room the day Terry left for the airport because of severe pain above my left knee.) 

W eventually got around to talking about first my previously operated upon left leg--and Dr. B checked the pulse all up and down that by-pass thoroughly. Then we started to talk about the right leg. It was his opinion--and I concur--that a by-pass around the two large aneurysms would be better than waiting for an emergency to occur that could cost me the right leg...especially, he hinted, since the left leg was still in doubt. should BOTH go, I would have no leg to stand on. (I know, I know. My bad.)

I was sent down the hall to have the right leg's veins and arteries examined and mapped via ultrasound. Dr. B and I then discussed the when: June 23rd at 6:00 am.

The it was off to pre-admissions for an ECG, blood test, a meeting with the anesthesiologist, and a thorough pre-op procedure discussion: What meds I need to stop and when, what foods and liquids I will be permitted prior The Day, and what soap to use when showering the night before and then the morning before surgery. All the good stuff I missed out on the last time when I walked into the Troy ER with a dark, dark blue foot and one doctor pronounced, "It's dead!" and then at the Robert-Packer ER with a "Rush!" order pinned to my pant leg.

We didn't get back to the parking lot until after 1:30 pm. We did get to have a fine meal over at The Grille. We also stopped at Bryan's Meats on the way home to pick up some nice steaks, American and Canadian bacon, breakfast sausages, and some award winning hot dogs. (The nurse said to eat plenty of protein because it helps in rapid healing!) So the day wasn't a total loss.

Monday, June 07, 2021

If At First....

 Last Thursday I was supposed to meet with my vascular surgeon over at Robert Packer Hospital. We were to discuss the three (3) aneurysms I have behind my right knee. These compliment the two he had to by-pass in my left leg two years ago. The 2019 surgery was done on an emergency basis when I suddenly found no blood flowing to my left foot on Sunday morning. He and I agreed that not waiting until that happened again would be a "Good Thing."

Unfortunately, that meeting never happened. For some reason he was not going to be in the office on Thursday. Terry and I had just gotten into the truck to drive over, stopping at the end of the driveway to drop off our garbage, when I got a phone call from his scheduler informing me that Dr. B would not be in the office. She knew what our discussion was to be about and asked if I still wanted to come in to talk to the Physician's Assistant or if I would rather wait until next Thursday? Considering the gravity of the subject--and what I have been through since the last surgery, namely a serious infection and four (4) angioplasties-- I chose to wait a week to meet with Dr. B. It's not like I have a full schedule or anything.

Talk about timing, though! Another two minutes and I would have been on the road heading to the hospital. Sure, I would have still been able to answer the phone (Thank God for Bluetooth!) and would have turned around, but still....