Friday, March 03, 2006

Not Dead

Not dead yet. Port was installed. Ow... On vicodin. Lovely wife so helpful. Surgery was supposed to start at 2 PM. I had to go without food and water from midnight prior. Had eaten at 10 though and gone to bed at 11. When we got to the hospital they put me in a bed and started an IV for fluid. Some guy who was supposed to have angioplasty wound up needing a bypass instead. So my surgery did not start until 8:15 PM. For a long time it was like a vacation -- lying in bed all day. But then again I was hungry. I asked the first nurse if there was any food value in the IV and she said it was saline and electrolytes. They said they wouldn't knock me out, and would just use local instead, because they have a policy not to knock out people with ALS. So I asked the second nurse if I could drink an Ensure, since I was going to stay conscious during the procedure. She asked the anesthesiologist, who said no. Then she said that the IV contained sugars. That reassured me for about an hour, but then I had my supportive wife read the ingredient list on the bag. No sugars. We asked the nurse about it and she checked with the pharmacist and lo and behold -- no sugars. She said that for years she'd been telling people that the saline IV had sugar in it. Then she put me on a 5-percent dextrose IV, which didn't help a bit. Fifty or 80 percent might have helped. They gave me two grams of IV ceftriaxone (brand name Rochepin) in the hospital. They wheeled me into surgery, and they did knock me out, anyway. Or I fell asleep, which is unlikely. I woke up afterwards. My incredible wife took me home and put me in bed.

I brought a picture of my kids (a really GREAT picture), and gave this speech to the surgeon and the anesthesiologist, when each visited: "I know this is a low-risk procedure and I'll be fine," [flash the picture], "but here is the reason that you need to be extra careful and diligent, so that no harm comes to Daddy."

Because my left shoulder is sore from the port install, I'm not doing the grip test on that side yet. Right grip is 68 pounds (60, 68, 62). I also did not give maximum effort on the right side because it makes the left side clench a bit too, and that hurts a tad.
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