My appt. with Dr. Delcore did not go well, he remains steadfast (read: stubborn as a horse's ass) about me needing a nasal feeding tube and saying that my albumin (a form of protein that helps the body heal) is still too low. So I followed through with my plans to get a second opinion, as I wanted to look into getting away from KU Med center as my primary source of care anyway.
So I spent St. Patrick's Day at an appt. with Dr. Jeff Reese at St. Luke's in KC, MO. He is my new hero. He is awesome. He's originally from Pittsburg, is bald, wears glasses, and says "Yada yada yada" a lot. He totally has some George Costanza thing going on. Anyway, he's an expert in pancreatic and liver issues, and he's extremely positive that I am ready for surgery and we're going to get this show on the road! Heather went with me to both appointments, and was also struck by how positive this doctor was, compared with just about every other doc. I've had during the past 10 months. I had 3 pages of questions to ask Dr. Reese, and he was very patient and thorough. Much to my surprise, I found myself just going ahead and scheduling the surgery right then and there.
So, on this coming Thursday, March 23rd, I will undergo a "Roux-Y Hepatico Jejunostomy with insertion of J-tube and G-tube." The first part of that means that they will correct the strictures in the biliary tubes (the tubes running from my liver) by sewing them directly to my small intestines. The J-tube is a feeding tube that ends in the small intestine, and the G-tube, which is ultimately the preferred feeding tube, will end directly in the stomach. I guess this way they'll both be in place at once and can be used as needed for the next 6-8 weeks after the surgery. He thinks that once the biliary system is running correctly, my eating will improve dramatically and that the tubes will not be necessary for very long. This is great news.
The scary part is that the surgery is HUGE... they'll open up my 6 inch scar from the pancreatectomy, and then extend that incision even farther down, so I'll be gutted like a fish. He expects this whole procedure to take 3-4 hours on the operating table. I am scared, but this means at least that I am moving forward, and this could potentially be the last big thing I'll have to deal with in this long and painful illness. It would be awesome to be relatively healthy again by May.
He said that I'll spend the first 24 hours in the recovery room, and then I'll go to a regular room at the hospital for at least a week. He also said that I'll be at home recovering and feeling pretty icky for 3-4 weeks after that.
Now I am trying to round up my ducks and put them all in a row. I am going to open a savings acct. with ATM access next week so that people can pay my bills, and hopefully the big rummage sale will bring in some money to deposit in that account! Heather is just working her little butt off organizing this monster of a project, and we're both recruiting anyone and everyone to help with the sale, donate items, sell raffle tickets, and be there to shop on APRIL 1st!! Don't forget, it's at Odessa's restaurant parking lot (12th and Connecticut). Andy is in Las Vegas right now, but when he returns he's working with Stu at Stu's Midtown tavern about having a benefit fish fry/concert to raise money also. That would be soooo cool.
I am sad that Dr. Stuever is on vacation right now, as I am hesitant to go ahead with all of this with him out of town, but this is what we wanted, so I am doing it. It'll all be done with when he returns from Paris... what a nice vacation!!
If any goddesses are reading this, I need a special goddess pow wow on Monday night... I plan on going to the Brewery for a while to gather some good positive goddess energy prior to the surgery, hope that everyone can be there!
I also need to re-do my CONTACT list of people who want to be in the know when I come out of surgery, etc. so if you want to be on that list, email me your contact info and I'll be sure that Ginger has all of that. My parents are coming in on Wednesday to spend the night and take me in on Thursday morning... I imagine they'll be here for a few days until I am out of the woods, so to speak.
So it's 5 am and I my mind is just reeling with all of the stuff that I need to do before Wednesday, including cleaning my house up, washing sheets for the beds, opening that account, finishing up getting stuff donated for the Pancake Feed for The Arc, telling them at work that I am going to be out for the next 6 weeks, paying bills, worrying about money, taking Emily and her ass problem back to the vet, and seeing as many friends as possible before going in.
This should be an interesting week.