Kidney Surgery — Saturday Night, Sep 27th

A Gut Voch to all.

Shabbos was the best day yet. Debbi walked about a mile and a half. She got separated from her IV drip and is only using the medications she was taking prior to coming in for kidney surgery. Still, there are periods of intense pain but she is trying to deal with this as best as she can without resorting to stronger narcotics.

By and large, Debbi describes the pain (when not handled well by the meds) as if a spear was jabbed in her back where the epidural was administered and the spear continues through her body and emerges from the 10″ scar running from her navel around to her right side. If that pain is not “sufficient enough” she still has severe pain in her shoulder, exacerbated by trying to use her left arm to ease herself into and out of the hospital bed which is basically anchored along the wall to her right when she is reclining. Most likely she tried to pull her legs up onto the bed by holding fast with her left arm onto the side panels that keep patients from falling out and the tension in her arm turned into more shoulder pain.

There is still a strong possibility that she will be released tomorrow morning but we wont know for sure until morning rounds. We do want to be careful because at home, Debbi will have much more time where she is alone and I do not want her to get ideas in her head like… “Oh, I will just run next door to Jubilee market and pick up some food for Rosh Hashana.” We will have a week of coverage from visiting nurses but I do have to spend some time on the computer tomorrow and try to get a full day of work in on Monday prior to the holiday. So, this will translate into some alone time. I hope she uses it to rest.

Most likely she will have short visits from friends but she is still going to need substantial periods of rest. After all, she is slated to be back here at Sloan for the shoulder surgery on Oct 7th.

Since I have not blogged since Thursday, I must tell you that we have had several visits from Dr. Russo and Dr. Sokol and they repeatedly expressed that they are very pleased with Debbi’s progress. Additionally, Dr. Michael Zelefsky visited and added impressions of the positive reports by Debbi’s team. Michael assured Debbi that compared to the kidney surgery, the shoulder surgery should be much easier and that she will be in good hands with Dr. Healey, the head of Orthopaedics here at MSKCC, who has been doing these kind of surgeries for years.

We still have an issue with the exact dosage and frequency of Debbi’s medication but at least she can be lucid, carry on a conversation, and clearly enumerate and detail her problems with the lack of attention of some of the nursing staff. Just as in earlier blogs, she can also let me know, quite clearly, when I have not adjusted her pillows, bed linens, drinking cups, food, phone, etc. correctly so I am confident that she is making progress on many fronts.

Lets see what happens in the morning. Either we will be released Sunday or Monday or we stay through Rosh Hashana and possibly straight into shoulder surgery. We shall see.

Love to all.

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