Well, yesterday was my big day to find out lots of information (and I was scared that I wasn’t going to find out any)! It started out really rough with them attempting to insert an IV…after 2 hours, 6 nurses, and 9 attempts with big needles (including one into my foot, if anyone ask say no, you may not put an IV into my foot, it will hurt like the dickens) they decided they didn’t need the IV that badly for the CT scan (or rather they just weren’t going to get it, no matter how badly they wanted one). I was just super dehydrated because the only thing that I have drank in the last 3+ weeks is little sips of water to take my pills. The food that I am taking in at night through my feeding tube is not water, and even after asking about this, I was told I was getting everything I need. Well, obviously I was not getting everything I needed to get an IV in, which is normally a difficult job, this made it impossible with my veins flat. They would think they would have one and then the vein would collapse on them.
Anyways, so they did my CT without the contrast that was supposed to be inserted through my IV, and apparently that is not so much of a problem, they read the CT scan just fine anyways. So we went to the consult with the resident, who we had to wait a good 45 minutes to talk to, I am sure it is not her fault, they are on killer schedules. Anyways, I was crying after she told me that the dead part of my pancreas is organizing, which means there is a rind developing around it, but she didn’t think it was organized enough to decide whether they should drain it. The inflammation had gone down as well, but she thought the best course of action was to wait another 2-3 weeks and get another CT scan and then assess again.
I couldn’t believe it. Not only wasn’t I getting any information, this was also my worst nightmare as far as work was concerned. I know that I am not well enough to return to my job at the present time, but I can’t take time off forever (and I don’t want to), and I knew I would have to take time off when I had the surgery. I was hoping that they would have the surgery soon so I could heal from both and then return to work ready to go with no future plans to be gone for extended periods of time. Mostly, having the surgery soon would give me the time to finish healing from the pancreatitis, time that I need desperately. I am doing better each day (although it seems like the slowest process ever, the difference is hardly noticeable each day, people who see me every couple of weeks notice the change for the better, so I know I am, slowly but surely). She left it with that she had to talk to the staff doctor and they would discuss when my feeding tube would come out and then they would look at my CT scan and decide what the course of action would be and she would call me with the news later that night.
She called later that night, and finally some news and some plans! Dr. Pearson (the staff doctor that I met during my stay in the hospital) said that he was really pleased with how my pancreas looked, it was his opinion that it needed to be drained (for awhile there was hope that my body would take care of the dead part by itself) and that the inflammation was down enough that he wanted to pass the case on to the surgeons. They agreed that the feeding tube should stay in until after the surgery because they didn’t want to lose the ground that we have worked so hard for (I totally agree with, but I am starting to hate my nose hose, and will look forward to the day it comes out), but I have been approved for a clear liquid diet. Which means I can start drinking water and when I go in for my surgery they will hopefully be able to insert an IV, because if they can’t, I know I’m not getting the surgery!
This is great news, exactly what I thought needed to happen to serve me the best in this recovery because by the time I am recovered from the surgery, I should also be recovered from the pancreatitis and ready (physically, more than ready in all other ways) to return to work. They just called and the appointment with the surgeon will be Monday the 15th, and then if the schedule the surgery within 1-2 weeks, and then my recovery time is 1-2 weeks, I should be better and back to school within 3-5 weeks.
So all this went exactly as I wanted, although now I am anxious about the surgery. I have never had surgery before (except dental work, wisdom teeth and baby teeth extracted while I was under) and it’s not like putting the feeding tube in went smoothly. They plan is to drain the dead part of my pancreas without actually opening me up, but since it was such a severe case, they might have to, which would increase the time that I need to heal. It is just anxiety that I will have to travel with, because I want to better and be able to be a mom again and return to work. It’s been so long that I’ve been myself, at 100%, I can’t even remember what it feels like. I look forward to the day that I can say I am 100%, and I know my family does as well since they have been carrying my burden, and that I can eat without the fear that I will end up in the ER with extreme pain.
It seems that everything about this has a very good side and a very scary side. I want the feeding tube out but I am terrified to eat on my own due to the extreme pain it might cause. I want the surgery, and soon, but I am just worried about the outcome. All I can do is hope for the best and ask for your continued thoughts and prayers that all will go well. I can’t believe how much time this has taken out of my life and my friends and families! Thank you for sticking with me and caring…5 weeks into it and counting!