It’s about three thousand bucks for a shot of morphine

(a reprint from my worst birthday ever in 2009)

“Where’s the appendix,” I asked.  MrsDoF pointed to the lower right abdomen.  It was about 2 in the afternoon w were at the bike shop.  The pain was in the lower left.

Well that leaves three things.  DEscending colon could be having spasms.  Could be a kidney stone.  Could be that old twice-re-done hernia operation, with its polyester mesh and titanium staples.  Every once in a while that ‘pulls’ and I have a few hours of bad.

I asked the bike shop owner to look after my bike and MrsDoF rode home to get her car. (She has a new helmet!  I am very happy about that.)

very, very carefully I climbed into the car, and MrsDoF seemed to find every pothole on the way home.  It’s been a bad afternoon and evening.  I’ve ruled out kidney stonenl; no blood in urine.  (normally it’s the color of cranberry juice when I pass one.

I lay on the bed shivering under a pile fo blankets.  My pain circuits are screwed up, they go to 11.  B efore long it was like a system-wide nociceptor load test. 

OK, when it’s a kidney stone, we go to the ER, they take one look at my urinekl and it’s IV mprphine time oer last time dilaudid.  I go in and say; I don’t know what it is but GIVE ME MORPHINE RIGHT NOW GODDAMMIT And I spend the next few ghours in detox for drug seekinge.  And still send me bill when they finally figure it out

Not how I wanted to spen dmy birthday.

1:28 am sunday I am loathe to awaken MrsDoF but off to hospital we go.  I thought it was getting better but not. Whatever ti is, anin’t pa\ssing.

Diane commented later:

The ER people called in a surgeon at 3am.  During the description of what needed doing, the word colostomy (temporary) was mentioned.
However, there was little drainage from inside, so she just stitched up the bowel opening the old-fashioned way, and pushing antibiotics.

DOF is sleeping it off in a nice private hospital room with a great view.
Morphine drip is his friend.

No visitors other than family today, later we shall see.
He hasn’t even mentioned computer or phone at all.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

And later…

The surgeon suspects that Geo’s regular use of aspirin and/or ibuprofen to hold back the pain of his fibromyalgia and the bicycle accident from years ago is what bored a hole through the intestinal wall.

She says the hole was smaller than anticipated, there was very little leaking into the abdominal cavity, so cleaning out with antibiotics and sewing the hole closed worked out okay so far.

There is always a worry for infection and peritonitis in that body part, so antibiotics and several other medicines in an IV cocktail is what’s happening right now.

This evening he was able to stand with assistance beside the bed for a minute, which really helps with circulation, and breathing.

The medical crew on the Surgical Wing seems to be well-trained and willing to work together.

So many phone calls that my cell phone battery is out, only the second time I have done so since I got it.

I was already Unavailable for any Sub job, seeing that the second Monday of the month is the women’s meeting at church.  It looks like I’m busy elsewhere.

Two hours and a couple cat naps in a bedside chair are catching up with me, so I gotta get to bed.

More later, as I learn about it too….

~~love and Huggs, Diane

And later…

When I arrived at his hospital room, Geo was telling the nurse how to pin a certain button thingy to his gown.  Says it is a matter of his own comfort.  After she left, he told me to put up all the bedrails so he could brace a foot against them while moving.
When she returned with her item, she said she has to put one side rail down.  If all rails are up, then state code says the patient is restrained, which needs to have a doctor’s order.

If a guy can mutter and cuss even more than usual when there is a tube in his nose, I’m sure it was quite evident just then.

I learned that earlier this morning, he had stood with assistance beside the bed again.

Then the surgeon came in to change the dressing.  All looks well.  He took a picture of the ridge, maybe you will get to see it later.
She says he is doing fantastic, what with standing and ice chips intake.
One day at a time, no promise about time for going home.  When he is ready, they will parade him past all the other folks who don’t want to get up and get moving.

After a couple visitors (my church minister and his boss) he got a bath while I waited out in the lounge.  I really do like letting other folks do the jobs they get paid to work at.  He says they also walked in the hall all the way to the Exit sign, dragging along the instruments and tubes.

He is dozing now and then, yet trading quips with all comers.

And we came up with an idea for him to read all these get well wishes.  Even if I would take in his laptop, we were told there is no internet access.  There is a computer in the Waiting Area on the second floor, but his room is floor 6West, so I am not gonna bother.

I just got done printing this current comment thread, and the one SEB put up.

Right after I watch JEOPARDY! I’ll be courier.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

Three days on since abdominal surgery.

The bandage got changed again, with a bit of oozing around the drain tube.  It looks like there is a clear film hand grenade hanging on his hip.
What holds the incision together looks like a zipper since the bits of metal are spaced so evenly.

A different kind of antibiotic attached to the drip; he was told to hit the morphine button a little more often.  Yes, more often.  Apparently, he’s not using as many drugs as expected after such a big occurrence.
He says it is because there are pressure cuffs on his calf muscles to prevent blood clots, and they also help with the fibromyalgia.

Best of all, the N/G tube removed, by an even hand and a steady pace.  It seemed to keep on coming even after I thought the end is near.
Almost a meter long, oh my.

The doctor says Nothing to eat or drink.  Even spit out the melted ice chips for awhile.

What we’re hoping for is bowel sounds.
A big man-size fart or even a girly squeek

We went for a walk around the circuit and passed the nurse’s station

He wants to reply to the printed comments.
He cannot get his fingers to meet the keys to be able to put a message on the jump key from my purse.
He will not dictate notes to me.

We greatly appreciate all the good wishes.

Geo was sleeping soundly when I left at 4pm.
No tube tape on his face is big improvement.

I’ll go back over awhile this evening.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

May 13, 2009 at 17:31 | #59


Medical update for Geo
He is walking the hallway circle 4 times in one shift.  A nurse told him how far that would be, but I’ve forgotten.
Pushing the pole with all the stuff hanging gave my wrist a workout.

The belly bandage got changed after his ahem -shower-!
Yessirree, he had a shower in his own little bathroom with a nifty wand which lets him rinse all the parts without having to do acrobatics.  There was a Tech (why did the title get changed from Certified Nursing Assistant aka CNA?) there to listen by the door while she also changed the laundry for the bed.

I got to go sit in the lounge watching some tv court drama with another lady doing the same kind of waiting.
76 channels on the cable, and all shows are duds

The surgeon came in, calling Geo her model patient.  She wrote orders for a different kind of fluid in the IV drip.
She says the catheter can come out tomorrow morning at 6am.
This is a colleague courtesy.
the first 8 hours after the catheter is removed, there is much watching of the system and output, and any problems must be referred to a urinary specialist
if the cath got pulled at Noon,
for trouble the staff is calling somebody in at 9pm

especially with his previous history of stones and other problems
it would be better to keep business hours

Visitors and cards are welcome.
Ya wanna know the address, zip me an email
or send it by here and I will hand deliver printouts

He’s loving our makeshift system of correspondence.

~~love and Huggs, Diane

May 14, 2009 at 20:54 | #63


Okay, lemme see if I can type

Um Geo’s update
he asked the doc for “some kind of nourishment”
but not until more rumblings in his tummy
she assures him
he can live with what’s happening awhile yet

the catheter came out, then a written note with a cuss word p*ss*ng was taped to the door of the bathroom for my benefit and the staff was greatly amused
I have orders to keep it so he can reference it when he writes his own blog post

he is using a jug and measuring his own output
keeping careful notes on a tablet retrieved from his backpack
he says it’s not proper to write on the chart sheet on the wall

that seems to be a magic backpack
more and more stuff comes out of it and is spread all over horizontal surfaces of the room

I’ve been given a list of items to bring from the house
we might have to rent a van to carry it all again

we walked together a few times around the hall circuit

he’s walking on his own in the room, pushing around the IV pole, getting ticked off at beeps and tubes
in fact, when something by his ankle got twisted, he lifted his left leg, propped his foot on the seat of a chair, then adjusted the offending part

the bandage is off the stitches
except for a little one around the drain’s tube
and I hear that he showed it to a visitor
he’s making preps for a slideshow later

there is a nice stack of cards already
he fingers them, tries to get his eyes to focus
concentration level not exactly high level
drugs and hunger are not mentally stimulating activities

I went out today for a couple errands, and then to the regular meeting of my Yarn Group
all my buddies have similar stories to tell
the bedside vigil is familiar to many

gonna go—cat between me and screen

~~love and Huggs, Diane

May 15, 2009 at 20:52 | #68


singsong from the Pre-K room stuck in my head:
Today is Friday Friday All Daaay Long !

Geo is up moving around, pretty much at will
but tires easily, maybe from having to push the contraption with machines and tubes

he walked two laps around the hall circuit while I was watching JEOPARDY! in his room with cable which on a rainy day is much better than the antenna and digital converter box we have at home

the IV started in his right hand in the ER gave the meds until Thursday night, then something happened to cause it to be pulled, then another started in his left hand

the doctor says we are in a holding pattern
keep doing what has been happening
waiting for rumblings abdominal all the way through
It seems even George cannot hurry Mother Nature

he had several visitors today, and glad to see ‘em

I took in a little basket to hold the cards so the housekeeping guy only has one thing to move and dust around

son Lucas sent an e-mail saying he would like to be picked up sometime Saturday, now that Finals are done at the U of I/ Urbana

so Chris and I are getting the space ready where he will sleep
laundry machines chugging away

Geo was sleeping when I left, but there was still an hour left of Visitors Welcome, so he might have had a straggler come by

Meanwhile, the furry beasts want attention!
worse than kids in some ways

~~love and Huggs, Diane

May 16, 2009 at 22:34 | #79


Saturday, usually our breakfast date,
so I missed my favorite pancakes

Geo is up and moving around readily
while he and I were walking the hall circuit, as we rounded a corner he asked what I had for breakfast

just as we passed the nurse’s station, I answered that I stayed home and cooked oatmeal on the stove and added brown sugar and dates

someone behind the counter, I think it was his doctor, said something about talking about food while he is not allowed to have any

he answered that it doesn’t bother him,
and I said well—he asked!

we figured out it has been a whole week since he has eaten anything
still in a holding pattern, waiting

I left a little before 3pm to fetch son Lucas from Urbana
then we arrived back at the hospital a little before 6pm

they chatted awhile, then I said I needed some supper, so we called Chris about where we would meet

after, Lucas wanted to go back to see his dad
they walked and talked for a couple hall circlings

right now, Lucas is over at Chris’s place,
saying HI to their cat Scratchy

and I am going to bed

it tires me out more to drive an hour over and come back
than to sit with yarn and hook in my hands

~~love and Huggs, Diane

May 17, 2009 at 19:11 | #85


Thank you everyone I treasure your good wishes and humor.  It is hard to write I keep losing focus either drugs or starvation.  Tonight a bit of clearn liquids, heavenly.  So it must be the drugs i am ver loopy. 

I had a funny conversation with a lovely nurse who came in and said”Good evening mister Wiman, have you passed gas today?”  I said wouldn’t it be strange if other businesses grreted their customers that way; “Hello, welcome to Sears, have you passed gas today?”  She laughed and said that’s just how it is in surgical recovery. I think she may have used the word surreal too.

I will try to put up a new post tonight sometime. Thanks again.

June 1, 2009 at 04:43 | #96


Update June 1

George has been re-admitted to the hospital.
He has some pain in his left side and was thinking it was the ol’ acid reflux problem.
We went to the Walk-In Care clinic on Sunday evening before sundown.
the doc sent him to where there would be a CAT scan machine available = at the Emergency Room

The place was ahoppen.  We walked through the door shortly after 7pm, was given a cubicle at 7:50pm.

X-Ray, blood work from the lab, CAT scan

At Midnight, the surgeon on call from the office was called, and decided to come in at 1:30am.
It seems a small infection of the peritonium (the lining of the abdomen, outside the intestines) reasonably contained to a small area has reared its ugly head.

George was admitted to the Surgery floor, seeing the same nurses but from a room on the other side of the hall, different view from the window.

He is on 2 kinds of antibiotics, and the expectation is this will be enough.
Hopefully, no other surgery will happen, but next couple days will tell.

We will figure out how to carry on updates because Lucas has guest for front page status.

Thanks for all your support :)

POSTSCRIPT: Going back through these posts was strange, copying text from my old blog files (which are no longer on the web) to post here. There were comments from dear friends and relatives, some no longer with us. It is 2023 and I never fully recovered from this surgery.

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Older technology guy with photography and history background