Day + 681-682: Someone saved my life tonight…

…Someone saved my life tonight…

Nothing is ever as simple as planned, true of complex robotic surgery. Karen is ok. Again, Karen is ok, but…

At about 10:48 Karen started spitting up blood. We buzzed our ICU nurse, which rolled into motion an episode of ER. By 10:50 Karen’s room was crowed with the ICU team. Dr. Ryan L. had popped up on Karen’s hospital bed and was using a set of tongs with gauze (tonsil ball) to apply direct pressure to the tongue and back of the throat. He very calmly worked and directed the team. Used a flashlight, then scope to look for specific source of bleeding. A “level one” warning order went to the Operating Room. The nurses were busy transferring IVs and disconnecting monitors for transport. By 10:51 the on-call surgical team arrived. Then, literally seconds later, with Karen sitting upright in the bed with the doctor sitting opposite still applying pressure, they were rolled away to the OR.

(Nobody yelled cut. – recording times is what iPADs are for).

…Waiting again…

Around 11:00 first call came to the ICU that Karen’s primary doctor was there.
11:37 came the call that they had the bleeding under control.
12:15 The DR came and told me what they had encountered / done. Cauterized a couple of areas. Karen was coming back to the ICU shortly, they packed her mouth with gauze and because of that put in a breathing tube.
By 01:30 she was settled back into the ICU.
We already had the morning round and the packing gauze has been removed. Think of it like a magician pulling yards of streamers out of his sleeve.

It was the most important moment in our life – it was “Tuesday” (really Friday). …but you get bonus point if you understand the reference.

The unexpected is always there…nice to have a top notch team waiting in the wings.


Also, this is a reminder about this BLOG in general; for Karen and me, it serves as a reminder of what she is going thru, a roadmap for others on a similar journey (we recommend skipping this particular scenic stop if possible) and last, a way to communicate.

From Karen: The morning after. I was stunned at the havoc wreaked by my post op bleed last night. They told me the bleed is quite uncommon, occuring in less than 4% of patients. I’m grateful for the calm, rapid, and skilled response of my medical team.


  1. Mike Kienenberger

    I don’t know if it’s the “Tuesday” you’re thinking about, but “On Tuesday” by Men Without Hats certainly seems appropriate.

    Continuing to keep you both in our prayers.

    -Mike & Cindy

  2. Prayers are continuing. Thanksgiving also for her great care team. Prayers in thanks for you too Michael for being you. Linda

  3. Karen and Michael, you’ve jerked me out of the fairy tale of my own life – where it’s cosy and comfortable, I take most things for granted, and most of my fears are things of the past – into the reality of your life, where virtue and resolve are required and demonstrated every minute. Although you have each other, you must feel quite terribly alone, but I’m with you, and so is all of thinking and feeling mankind, and we hope that makes a difference for you.

  4. Good Morning, hoping it is a good morning for you Karen. Thanking God that the care came so quick. It must to have been terrible for you both. Michael for you to stand and watch what was going on and not know what the out come was going to be. Have been there and it is terrible.
    Thanking God that the team was able to get this taken care of in such a quick way.
    May today be a better day.
    God Bless you both, know you are in my prayers.
    Jan & the Mountainvue kitties

  5. I am so glad Karen is alright and that the team was able to react so quickly. Hugs and love go out to you both.

  6. Wow! Very scary! Glad everything went as smoothly as it did. You have a great team. Hope you do not have any more nights as this. May it be peaceful for the remainder of your stay. Hoping for a speedy recovery so you both can go home. Love you both.

  7. Hi, Mike. What a roller coaster day. Hang on. You are both in my thoughts. Please let me know if there is ANYTHING at all that I can do.

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