Sunday, June 6, 2010

John's been in the Hospital most of the past month

Gall Bladder Surgery, Pancreatitis Surgery -- Hmmm, what'll be next??

So John's in the hospital again. Locally this time. He's been there, oh, I can't remember how long, because I've lost track of time.

I do remember he had the Gall Bladder surgery on May 5th. That was a rough surgery for him, because he has immune system problems. His antibodies never returned after his bone marrow transplant. So it wasn't same day surgery. John had to stay inpatient for awhile.

The surgeon put a Jackson Pratt Drain in John during the surgery. A JP Drain drains excess fluid from the body after surgery. Here's a photo of a JP Drain.

A JP Drain consists of a tube, as well as a bulb for collecting fluid after a surgery. The end of the tube is sewn inside the patient's body during the surgery. The other end of the tube extends way outside the patient's body, and culminates in a rubber bulb in which bodily fluid collects. These bulbs are said to resemble hand grenades. They are capped to create suction (to pull out body fluid that looks like blood to me, but I don't really know what it is!), as to prevent the bloody looking fluid from being trapped inside the body.

Another reason the bulbs are capped are so that people like John and I can empty them and measure how much body fluid they contain, LOL. Let me explain. Oh, and we also had to continuously keep the area of the drain and the wound sterile and bandaged at all times. This was very difficult because the area around the John's JP drain frequently leaked. I don't know if it was supposed to, but John's did!

Daily I had to measure how much blood filled the hand grenade thingy (capped rubber bulb)that was attached to this long rubber tube stitched to John's belly, peering out of a gaping wound. I had to do this by carefully uncapping the bulb and dumping the bodily fluids into a measuring container. John and I would take turns doing this, and laugh, actually.

We laughed because we had to put measurements on an official "Nurses' Chart", as well as comments. We had to sign our "Nurse's Names" at the top of the chart, as well as our "Nurse's Initials," and initial each time we made a comment, so that everyone would know which "nurse" had taken care of John! What we were doing was somewhat complicated, and the reason we were laughing so hard was because we weren't nurses, yet we had to fill out this complicated Nurses' Chart.

So one day into this little project, as we were filling out our paperwork, I looked up to the top of the chart that we were required to fill out per the hospital, and were to bring to to John's appointment in about a week and give to Dr. Martin, and impulsivity overtook me. I began to mark up the official chart the hospital had given me! The one we had been so meticulous on thus far. I didn't care that it was going back to Dr. Martin!

Above Nurse's Names I wrote the word Faux. After all, we were Faux Nurses, LOL. I continued to mark up the chart, and John and I just kept on laughing. Anything for a laugh for John and me. We needed it by this time.

And John started to mend.

Little did we know that in a few days he would be sick again.

But I'll post about that tomorrow or the next day. I'm oh so tired from going to the hospital constantly -- eight times in the past two months, if you count the totally necessary emergency room visits.

Just suffice it to say John suddenly began to have very serious pain, off and on, and then very high fevers. We had to go to Hershey Medical Center (Hershey Hospital) and John was hospitalized there. There they discovered pneumonia in two places in his lungs but couldn't figure out what was really making him sick. Then suddenly John's fever lowered and he was discharged.

So home we went. And of course his very high fevers returned, and he had extremely severe pain. And into the local hospital he went again. Where he had another surgery, and where he remains even now. But I'll tell you that story more in depth in a day or two.

Stay tuned for --

The Stone That Got Away!
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