Sunday, November 22, 2009

fresh on my mind...

I'm home for just a little while and thought i'd journal this while it is fresh in my mind, although nothing in my head is very clear right now.

Friday morning J was about to take a shower and got a terrible stabbing pain in his right lower back, he was doubled over in pain. It subsided a bit and with some tylenol, he went about his day, so did I. I later got a phone call that he was going home but was probably goin to swing by the urgent care and see what the deal was, we both thought that maybe he was having kidney stones. They took xrays, thought it might be stones but suggested he get a CT scan for a clearer view.

The CT scan revealed a 'bloody mass' in his stomach and they sent us immediately to the ER. They did another CT scan that revealed the same and said it appeared to be a leaking or ruptured aneuryism on the artery that leads to his right kidney. They transferred us to a Parkland County Hospital - level 1 trauma center (after the first hospital they tried said there were no available beds for him there). Once again, they ran more tests and throughout the night he was asked, 'how did you hurt yourself, did you fall, did you get hit, did you bump into something, history of stones? kidney issues? other symptoms?' to which his answer was 'no - just this back pain this morning'.

The Vascular specialist team came in reviewed the information and determined that it was an extremely dangerous ruptured aneurisym, also extremely rare especially on someone young and healthy like J, which is why I assume everyone seemed so confused by the situation. Then the plan... they needed to get in there to fix it and that required removal of the kidney. They could not get to the rupture and focus on fixing it and saving his life without removing the kidney and since his other kidney was healthy that was what they were focusing on.

He had the emergency surgery early yesterday morning, it took about 5 hours and they said he did very well, but it was a very serious situation. The aneurisym was about the size of a ping pong ball and had attached to a big vein that should have been the diameter of half a pencil but was bigger than a large hot dog. They took it all out, with the kidney.

The doctor who did his surgery came to talk to us after they finished and told us that this situation is so rare that many Renal doctors only see one or two IF ANY of these cases in their whole careers! Our surgeon just so happened to have trained at a program that specialized in this very rare situation. Amazing that we ended up at this hospital, only after the first one they called turned us down because they had no empty beds, and the doctor that just so happens to be on call (at midnight) has been trained on this very rare case!

I can only be grateful to God for putting us exactly where we needed to be and in the hands of the most capable people because those doctors clearly said that this could have killed J. A pain in his back and no other symptoms and he could have died - I still can't really process it because the whole thing feels like such a bad dream to me, almost like it's not happening, even though I know it is.

Today was a better day, his pain is more under control with his meds. He's been able to sit in a chair for a bit today. ICU is tough on him because it's so loud and bright and there is a lot of activity in there, so he's not really getting any quality rest. Luckily he should get moved to a room in the morning sometime. He will be in the hospital at least 3-5 days.

We have received so many kind prayers, words, encouragement, offers of food, help, babysitting and any kind of help we need. The outpouring of love, friendship and caring from all of our friends and family is so overwhelming and genuinely appreciated more than I could ever put into words. I am humbled.

I am so tired, so i'll sign off now, but will try my best to regularly update.

1 comment:

  1. Oh my goodness, Liz! That sounds so scary! It sounds like J is in very good hands at the hospital. I hope they move him into a quieter room very soon. Thank you for writing this blog post and updating us on his recovery. Just know we are thinking of you and your family and praying for a speedy recovery. I know once J comes home, he will also be in very good hands with such a wonderful wife.