Monday, January 04, 2010

Update on All The Suckishness Herein

Mom's surgery is finally over, FIVE AND A HALF HOURS later. So much for that "easy, gentle, non-invasive" laparoscopy.

So, the upshot is, they did get the hernia repaired laparoscopically. Technically, what they did was to push the stomach back into the abdomen, through the hole in the diaphragm (forgive me if I'm off on my anatomy a bit, John,) and then kind of tacked the stomach around the esophagus to stop the acid reflux and to help keep the stomach in place. This last bit is fairly common, apparently, and is called a Nissen Fundoplication. It's not very common to have almost the entire stomach in the chest cavity, though, which is what was going on with Mom.

There was a problem, though, in that, when they were attempting to insert a guide wire-thing into her esophagus, they popped a hole in her LARYNX. So, they had to take out all their guides and scopes and instruments while the doctor consulted with another laparoscopic doctor and an ENT to decide if this was a big deal. Apparently, it should heal on its own, provided there isn't any infection, so they just sewed up the hole, put everything back in, and finished the operation; hence, FIVE AND A HALF HOUR surgery.

On a 78-year-old woman. Whose throat you, um, just punched a hole in? Wait, what?

Being as I had been in the waiting room for eight hours at that point, and all I could really think about is "Is she alive or not," I did not, at that time, really think this through. But, friends, as I'm typing, I'm suddenly sort of realizing that this shit shouldn't have gone down this way, no pun intended.

Or should I expect this? Is it not a big deal? I can't trust my judgment right now, as I have very little forebrain to spare.

You know, I think it would all be less horrible if it weren't so unadulteratedly SHITTY in Kansas City right now. Last week, when we were all here for Christmas, it snowed and snowed and snowed, to the point that we were all trapped in the house for days, and I realized I hated the crap with every bit of my heart and soul.

Well, since then, it has not gotten above freezing - so none of the old stuff has melted. It also snowed all day two days ago, making driving horrible. (I do thank all the gods and fates that my mother still has her snow tires put on every October, though. As much driving as I've been doing, I would have SO been in the ditch or crashed into another car, like, 20 times by now.)

But the worst part is that it is MOTHEREFFING COLD. Tomorrow morning, when I wake up to make this horrible slog back to the hospital on the old snow, because of which I will probably crash? It is going to be MINUS NINE DEGREES. Yes, friends. Minus. The high will be a balmy 14 degrees, which will all end on Wednesday, when they are expecting three to six MORE inches of snow, followed by an Arctic blast, during which the high temperature - the HIGH TEMPERATURE - is expected to be ZERO.

I honestly do not know why people live here. I mean, I get that I've become a soft Texan; I don't dispute that. But, seriously, doesn't this, empirically, without bias or prejudice, SUCK?

Sorry; I don't mean to bitch. I'm exhausted and miserable. She looked awful when I left the hospital; all drugged and puffy. (And, she had weird air bubbles all through her skin and in her eyelids from the laparoscopy, apparently because they blow a lot of air into you. It felt like there were Rice Krispies in her arm, or like bubble wrap under her skin that you could pop. Fascinating, and completely disgusting.)

I'm not much for prayin', but today, I kept thinking about what Anne Lamott said about the most fervent prayers, which tend to consist of simply "Please please please please please!" and "Thank you thank you thank you thank you!"

Man, I hope that the latter is where we are tomorrow. Whomever I'm talking to.


Sinda said...

I've been thinking about you & your mom - hope she's feeling better today. And hope you get warm, soon.

Karla said...

keep me updated, ok? I hope your mom is progressing ok afterwards, even if she probably will not want to talk for a while.

And I SO AGREE with your assessment of the SUCK that is winter in a place that has, you know, WINTER.

Norway, right now? Hovering around 0F. Will be that way for at least a week. We'll see after that. I am wearing my shoe spikes full time outside, and i don't care if I DO look dumb. I hate this winter with a fiery passion.

Bill Shirley said...

There are always the possibilities of unexpected consequences for any procedure. Unfortunately, you're mom got to experience that first hand.

Glad to hear she's feeling better, hope it continues.

As for the cold in KC, just remember if you get trapped outside Han Solo will save you: slice open his Tonton and stuff you inside.

Of course, you brought the cold down with you! I don't know when the last time it was below 25° here in Houston. In the teens the next two nights.