Tuesday, July 8, 2008
all's well that ends well
Well the living related renal transplant is Complete! On July 2, 2008 I went to the hospital. Mom had been admitted 6/30 for a heparin gtt, immune suppression rx and bowel prep, all of which she handled like a champ. I had pre-anesthesia testing on 6/30 which showed a low k (3.3), and trace hematuria (although only 0-2 rbc--i think it was myoglobinuria from the hard work of moving) so the tranplant nurse called 7/1 and threatened to cancel the whole thing. I had a major tantrum, and they agreed to repeat the labs on the morning of surgery. I ate bananas until I yacked (literally) and drank oj, and rested and drank about 4 liters of water to try to get rid of any myoglobin.
I got to UMMS a little after six on 7/2, and gave a urine sample and got an IV and blood work. I was still pretty uncertain about whether we would be having surgery or not. My senior surgery resident was my friend Jared from medical school, who'll be joining me at Hopkins for his fellowship next year. Coincidentally, Mom's senior resident was a surgery resident I knew from residency and fellowship. After almost two hours the student nurse anesthetist showed up with a syringe of versed and said we were a go with a k of 3.5. all i said was high-five for 3.5. I found out 3 days later that there was still trace blood in the urine, but I guess it didn't matter. I hugged by dad and stepmom and that's the last thing I remember until 6 pm in the pacu.
The nurse kept telling me to quit crying and my belly would hurt less. I wanted to see my mom, but they said no. Apparently she was still intubated, and pretty combative herself. I told the nurse Michele that she was a very mean person and to get OUT. I was nice to my tech, Toni, who was nice back. The charge nurse, Randy came over to yell at me and tell me Michele wasn't mean, but he was FOS. She was mean. Lots of people are teary as they come out of anesthesia, that doesn't mean you should be mean to them. Thankfully she was a rare exception to a generally kind group of doctors and nurses.
Anyway, I did finally get to see mom in the PACU before I went to the floor. She was still intubated, I guess because she was acidotic, but she was able to communicate. That night on the floor I stayed in bed. I had 3lpm NC and kept desatting to the 80s, I guess from sedation and mild OSA. At 6 am, my nurse came in and took out my foley, took of the nasal cannula and I walked (without assistance!!) to my mom's room. She was pretty chipper and quite pink from the 3 units of packed cells (her pre-op crit was 24, but they hadn't planned on txfusing her because they didn't want to expose her to more antigents). Matt stayed at her bedside all night long, and then heroically drove to Essex to feed Ally and let her out.
I was discharged on post-op day 2 in the care of my brother, Matt. He and I went on a trip to the grocery store, then home to my house on the bay. The next morning we picked up Dora from the kennel at Rocky Gorge, and I started to try to get back to normal. The first two nights my aunt Kathryn cooked fabulous dinners for me, and the third night my friend Alexa brought her two adorable kiddos and an excellent black bean lasagna. Now it's post op day 6, and I'm off the oxycodone, taking tylenol only, and thinking about driving to the hospital to see my mom. They said I could drive in a week, and technically the week is up today! We'll see, first I'm planning a test drive around my neighborhood.
Thanks so much to Dad, Matt, Chris, Kathryn, Heidi, Grandad, Cathy, Carol, Trisha, Teddy and Bill for visiting :) It was great to see all of you.
Thanks to ALL of the Zimmers/Franks/Fleishmans/Spencers/Leibels who sent Mom and I each our own beautiful arrangement in our favorite colors (the bouquet is the lovely white and purple arrangement above).
Thanks to my fellow fellows for the bouquet you sent me, I loved it!
Thanks to Kathryn and Heidi for the cheerful daisies and colorful houseplant for my new place, they're both great! Also, thanks for bringing dinners to me, they made my day.
Thanks to Alexa, Aiden and Sam for bringing a delicious dinner, and wonderful company. A special thanks to Aiden for the beautiful handmade potholders he brought--they're brightening up my kitchen already.