Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Spring Break with Surgical Precision

Well, here we are, Spring Break, one of the joys of being a teacher!

The plan for this week was to relax a little bit and then spend several days camping at Lake Texoma...plans change!

Dena has been having chest and side/back pains for several weeks and after seeing the doctor, it was determined that she had gallstones. The only way to fix the gallstones is to remove the gallbladder. She met with a surgeon last week and they scheduled the surgery to remove it for today. This was not how we wanted to spend our Spring Break, but if it makes her feel better then it is worth it!

We checked in at Baylor Regional Hospital of Plano at noon today and her surgery was scheduled for 2:30 pm. The check-in process was not the most pleasant experience! Even though they called us yesterday to let  us know what to expect today, they failed to mention that we would be required to pay for at least 40% of the surgery today. When we checked in, they asked for the money and we were certainly surprised; no money, no surgery...THANK GOD for credit cards!!! I'm not sure when this type of expectation became standard practice for hospitals, but apparently it is very common, we just haven't dealt with anything like this before.

The surgery for removing a gallbladder is done laparoscopically. They don't make a large incision, they make several small ones and use a camera to see what is going on and small tools to perform the surgery. The procedure itself only took about 45 minutes. Dena did great through the surgery and everything went well. The doctor said that her gallbladder was basically useless because of the gallstones and that she would feel like a new person once she was recovered from the surgery. The hardest part of this procedure is dealing with all of the air that they pumped into her chest cavity to be able to use the laparoscope. Getting rid of the gases over the next week or so will cause some pain and discomfort, but she has dealt with it before and she will be fine.

While Dena was in the day surgery area waiting for surgery and while she was in surgery, I got to wrangle a stir-crazy 18 month old. We took toys and videos for the computer, but all he wanted to do was roam the halls. He didn't get a morning nap so he was very tired and this made things worse. Thankfully, there was a very nice man working in the waiting room and he found an empty consultation room with a couch where we could turn down the lights and let him nap. After about an hour of napping, he was ready to go again. He was actually pretty good, about as good as you could expect a toddler to be in that type of situation, but it is not something that I want to try again for a while! It was also helped by the fact that Dena's mother was there with me and then our pastor came too.

They started her surgery at about 3:30 and we were in the car leaving the hospital by 6:00. It is amazing that technology has advanced so much that Dena can have a part of an internal organ removed and go home from the hospital 3 hours later. She was nauseous and very tired after surgery, but she should feel better tomorrow. We made a couple of stops on the way home for some food and some pain medication. Bert and Barbara made a great salad for her and after dinner, she and Tucker were ready for bed. She will need to take it easy for several days, but should be ready for work next week. They actually said that the more she does this week, the easier it would be to get rid of the air in her chest and she would feel better faster.

So, as far as our camping plans go, we will see how she feels tomorrow and if she is up to it, we will head to the lake with the camper on Thursday. I think that she will be fine and she can relax at the lake like she can here. But if she isn't up to it, we will just spend some quality time here at the house.

The other BIG news that we have is that we have a team to participate in the 1st Annual HEART WALK in Corinth, TX! A national heart group, It's My Heart, is teaming up with Lake Dallas High School to put on the event. Our team, called Team HEART BUDZ, will be walking for Tucker and our buddy Ethan. We need people to walk with us and would love for you to join our team, you can do so by clicking here and selecting "Join Our Team"! The weather should be great and you are supporting a GREAT cause, so please come out and show your love for Tucker. If you can't come, but would still like to help, you can make a donation to our team by clicking here! Every dollar helps us reach our team goal of $500. Please honor Tucker by walking or donating and help us help other CHD families!

Thanks for reading the blog, leave us a comment to let us know that you were here!


1 comment:

  1. So glad the surgery went smoothly! Hopefully she'll be up and back to normal in no time. Have fun and be safe traveling this week! And we'll see you on the 2nd!!