Thursday, June 17, 2010

What Happened?

John here...

We have created this blog to update everyone who loves our Susan. As you can imagine, it is very tough to keep everyone up to date. Please check the blog often for updates and leave comments below. I will share all of your comments of well wishes with Susan as soon as I am able. My apologies for not returning the many voice mails still waiting to be answered, but time is precious and I need to be with Susan.

Here is what happened in a nutshell - pasted from an email sent on June 16.

After about ten days of "waiting for it to pass" and waiting for the antibiotic to work, we got Susan to Sibley hospital here in D.C. She was admitted Tuesday. Today she had emergency abdominal surgery. I'm writing this because my state of shock won't let me talk about it.

CT scan showed nothing. (The artificial hip stuff got in the way.) IV antibiotics didn't zap the bugs immediately. Thank God for good pain medications. She slept the whole night last night. Her breathing became labored. Her abdomen became distended; everyone thought this was the diverticulitis and drugs fighting. Not so. A chest Xray was done this AM. The doc saw something he didn't like. A "leak" showed up and triggered the set up of emergency surgery. About 2:10 the procedure was started. Some time around 5, the doc explained the situation.

This is what I understand. There was indeed a perforation of the colon up near the small intestine in what they call the secum. The colon was distended there, which put too much stress on the wall. So nasty stuff was sloshing around her other organs..... They looked further and found a tumor blocking the colon near the rectum. It was biopsied immediately Results probably Monday. The growth had adhered itself to her left pelvic bone, which meant the doc couldn't snip out the affected section of the colon and excise the whole tumor. He clamped off the colon above the tumor. On either side of the clamp he installed a colostomy tube. The lower one will act as a drain for the plugged part of the colon. The upper one will evacuate the feces she processes. He considers these temporary for now.

The hospital is fighting the infection, which is life threatening. When the biopsy report comes on Monday, the next steps will be planned.

Susan's sister Mary and bro in law Bob are enroute now. They will arrive tomorrow AM. My daughter Rebecca and spouse Frank are coming down leaving about 12:00 midnight. Becca has more than 10 years of dealing with hospitals. She will be a great advocate and support to me.

For those who know, my grand children, Alice and Ben, were on their flight to D.C. when this episode started today. David and Jeanne Argoff and the kid's dad Cory worked with the airline to redirect them at Atlanta back to Dallas. They get the gold star of the day. Share this with people you think need to know.

Enuf already. I need some food and to get back to the hospital to ensure that the ICU nurse clearly understands her overnight duties.

Calling or texting my cell is OK, but I would prefer you leave comments here. If you can't reach me, you can always try my daughter, Rebecca (908) 447-8126. Don 't bother with Susan's; it's turned off. I'll try to keep people updated.

All my love,

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