Ok, sorry for the delay, I've been busy enjoying my mom and the Christmas ambiance she is spreading across our household. Pics later, but quite honestly there is nothing like twinkly lights on an overcast weekend and now it's raining...YES I love this season.
Anyway, let's see where did we leave off, oh yes I needed to have a CT scan and then see Super Surgeon Dude on Thursday.
I ended up having to have the CT scan here where we live due to insurance issues (oh yes, love the insurance company.) Since the radiologist and technicians here have never dealt with a k-poucher, one of Super Surgeon Dude's colleagues called and walked them through exactly what needed to happen. Even though I knew this had taken place, I knew that I would still be educating these people when I got there because this CT involved injecting a solution through my catheter into my pouch -- not something I was just going to let happen without a LOT of supervision.
The hubs was great and even though it was only a two-hour notice, he came to take me to the appointment. I fought this at first but as usual it was definitely the best decision for me not to drive myself. I had to intubate and hook up my good old leg bag before I went and wow it's amazing how quickly you forget the things you didn't like. It took me a while to remember what my leg bag system was, but I got it.
After we got to the hospital and got all checked in, I found out that not only was a solution going to be injected into my KP, I also had to drink the nasty barium beverage and I was also going to get the IV contrast as well. Now I've done the other two things separately but never all at once, fun times. After many CT scans over the last three years that required "contrast" as they call it, I've devised quite the system for getting the nasty drink down. It works pretty well, five sips, breathe, breathe, break and then repeat.
I didn't realize it, but the hubs secretely timed me on getting the nasty down and it took me 15 minutes, which I was a little dissapointed by until the nurse came out at the half hour mark just to see how things were going and was surprised that I had been done for 15 min. Yes, that's right I'm a professional Barium contrast drinker. It's a talent, don't be jealous.
After an explanation of what a k-pouch is and specific instruction about what was going to happen (I was doing the explaining to the radiologist and technician) we finally got all the images we needed and they burned me a disc to take to my appointment. I will say that they were so willing to listen to me and let me do the guiding and I really appreciated that. I think we all learned something that day and well you can't beat that.
After the CT experience I was so tired and sore, so we headed home to get ready for the drive down to SD in the morning. On Thursday morning we got to Super Surgeon Dude's office and as usual his staff was so friendly and we got right in, the doctor even called us back himself.
He had taken a look at my CT results, mentioned that they were beautiful images (this made me laugh, I don't know why,) and said that I had not ONE but TWO abscesses hanging out in there. He said to me, "Well now I know this is not what either one of us expected or wanted, but we'll keep trying to take care of it."
Again, I chuckled at this, I had once again perplexed another top-notch doctor -- not with what the problem actually is but why it's happening and why it's not going away as easily as he's used to. This does not happen to his patients. He was very intrigued on where the puss was coming from and when I told him I could see it, he just started poking around with a Q-tip and then a long, thin metal instrument. Now this did NOT feel good and thank heavens for my hubby's hand to squeeze, if I only I had taken that pain pill just a little sooner than when we arrived in the waiting room, drat. He got some more blood and puss out and said that it's good they are draining and that I would go on another antibiotic and come back in two weeks to see how things are going.
I was so relieved that he actually saw something in there though and that we can focus on treating them and getting rid of the puss and pain. I know that's weird, but it's so frustrating when you know something is wrong but it can't be figured out. Also, he took a look directly in KP (although the puss is coming from my stoma, it's not coming out of the valve that leads to KP, which we knew but is still really important and good to point out.) He said the pouch looks great, YIPEEE.
He also told us that he's all but retired from surgery, WHAT. We knew he was going to retire, but hearing it from his mouth really impacted us. All the fighting with the insurance and skeptical people was more than worth it. He IS the best we've ever seen -- skill and beside manner combined. And although I'm sure his colleagues are great, after all we went through I'm so glad he was the ONE who performed my surgery and I know KP is working great because of him. So good thing we didn't wait for our insurance to switch over in January, Tiny But Mighty wins the final battle.
So where are we now, well the gas is SO much better, thank god. We are at 4.5 hours between intubating, and I've even emptied twice in public in the last week -- great for my confidence, but again another laugh. Because I stand and face the toilet when I empty, I wonder if the people in the other stalls are wondering what in the world I'm doing in there!!! I'll move up to 5 hours tomorrow. Only two more weeks and I'll be at 6, yes!
I started the antibiotics on Friday and am hoping that in the next day or so things will really start to improve. Once this is kicked for good, I KNOW I'll be 100% on the upward swing. I go back to Super Surgeon Dude on Thursday, December 17. Until then, the hubs and I will snuggle up and enjoy our holiday cheer.