“…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).
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.