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Three score and ten or more

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Just One Dang Thing After Another

I have written in here about Janet's Aortic dissection (an aneurysm reaching from the heart to the kidneys ) and the difficulty we have had finding a surgeon who felt competent to do the surgery necessary to heal this.  We have canceled a cruise, meant to celebrate our golden wedding anniversary as well as other things which we prepaid.  In a very real sense we have cancelled many of our life activities trying to get this taken care of.  Right now, our wonderful cardiologist (not sarcastic, he IS wonderful) is just keeping Janet's blood pressure low and we are watching whatever is going on.

What I haven't written about  is that one of the vascular surgeons, in looking at Janet's CT scans noticed some lesions on the liver, so we went to a gastroenterologist to find out about this.  She arranged an MRI of the liver in which they discovered some kind of mass in the liver.  She was concerned about the fact that Jan has lost over 90 pounds since we started this stuff and wanted to check all items, so last week, she ordered a colonoscopy  as well as a similar exam for the upper GI, (I can't remember the long name) and Janet suffered through the preparation for these (which need not be discussed in polite society) and she made us an appointment at the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville, Florida to have and examination and biopsy of the liver.  In between those examinations we scheduled a trip to Camas, Washington to have Christmas with our son and daughter in law and our four grandchildren.  We have been out there several times but never for Christmas.

Last Sunday, the choir of which I am a member (I have already discussed my frustration at losing the skill I once had as a choral singer) joined with the local children's choir, the Youth Choir (Vox Novem by name) The University Choir and another University  choir for a Christmas Concert (all told, about 180 some singers and a brass section).  It was to be a last local activity, since our plane would leave for Portland Oregon the following afternoon at 3:30 P.M.

We finished our first number and were standing on the stage with two other choirs waiting for one of the groups to finish the second number in front of the curtain when the house manager came up behind me and touched my leg.  She indicated that I should come back stage, which I did, and she whispered something to me which as a deaf old coot in good standing couldn't understand at all.  After she followed me into another room she informed me that Janet had fallen in the aisle of the theatre and wanted me to come.  It seems that Janet, my son, and two friends were coming down the aisle stairs in the auditorium and she had been bumped by a student hurrying in the opposite direction,  She had fallen down some stairs and broken her knee.  By the time I got to the lobby the EMT's had already rushed her to the emergency room.

The knee on which she had fallen was the prosthesis from when she had knee replacement, so she had not actually broken her knee, but had shattered her femur above the prosthesis (titanium knee).  They did emergency surgery that evening and installed something called (I am not kidding) a fixator.  It is a bar that they attach above and below the knee, and with it they can move the bone fragments into their proper positions.  Monday I canceled our flight to Washington and spent the day with Janet watching her as she took pain killers and counted the minutes until our plane left without us.  Tuesday they operated again to fasten all the parts together with plates and screws.  Then tomorrow she will go to another hospital in Savannah for ten days of therapy.  I did manage to make arrangements for the suitcase full of presents that we had planned to take on the plane, and we are beginning to wonder if we should ever plan to do anything again. 

Because of her heart and her aorta and her liver they had so many doctors in her room prior to the surgery that it looked like they were planning surgery by committee, but they tested and x rayed and  did heart tests and agreed she could stand the surgery, and she did well. 

I just don't want any more excitement for awhile.  As I said in the title it is getting to be just one dang thing after another.  The only compensation is that, with my diminishing skills as a singer, the director could probably smile that no-one made a late or early entrance (though he was pretty short on bass voices.)  We still have to make our appointment on January 13 at the Mayo Clinic, and till then I will be holding my breath a little.


At 12:36 PM, Blogger Norma said...

My heart just sunk when I read this. I am just so sorry . . . I have no words. You both are in our prayers.

At 10:16 PM, Blogger Three Score and Ten or more said...

Norma, I didn't mention the other dang thing. I posted before about taking my son's dog to surgery. We took her back for her two weeks checkup and her white count was still out of sight, so they re-examined her and she has lukemia, so it doesn't look like she'll be with us much longer.

At 8:32 AM, Blogger Patrick Joubert Conlon said...

I am sorry to hear about Janet's latest misfortune, Richard - and about the dog too.


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