Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Surgery Fun Tomorrow

Well, I've been home for exactly a week today, and I officially go back into the hospital tomorrow. Not for a tune up though (still on at-home daptomyacin for the blood infection and merrem for the lungs). This time it's for surgery.

Yep, fingers crossed, we're finally going to get rid of the rest of that blasted port.

Basically, I've been running low to mid-grade fevers since I got home, and while we're pretty sure part of that was from the lungs (which had to be off all anti-pseudomonals for a few days due to bad kidney functions after the polymyxin), we still think part of it is from that lingering port/blood issue. But having gone in twice prior and failed to remove the catheter -- once in his office with lidocaine and once in the OR with lido and "twilight" sedation -- because the darn thing is fused to my vein in the armpit/shoulder area, the surgeon is going to take a more aggressive approach this time.

The plan is to go in through my armpit (sidenote: not sure if this means through the actual "pit" itself, or if it really means a bit higher -- better shave just in case!) and clamp off the offending vein on either side of the scar tissue. Then he'll be able to cut in there with a tiny incision, dislodge the catheter, and then hopefully pull it out no problem (the port itself is already gone) and sew up the vein.

Yeah, you read right: sew up the vein. Vascular surgery is amazing.

Anyway, because I'm thin enough for the surgery to be rather close to the surface (thanks, CF!) and because I have crappy lungs (um, thanks again, CF?), we're going to do this whole thing under "twilight" sedation once again. So I won't be asleep, just very, very loopy. And normally that means that I would be able to just go home when it was all over, but my CF doc wants me in the hospital for one night just in case. I'm not making any protests there.

One night to (hopefully) set this whole thing in order and get rid of the mystery fevers of 2 months and counting once and for all sounds pretty damn good to me, thanks very much.

Not particularly excited about the whole process, obviously, but I feel blessed to have such a competent team, and I'm super happy about not having to risk the breathing tube at this point in my CF life. Avoiding the vent is key right now and I've been promised that if my O2 drops below expected levels they'll do a type of blowback O2 (where they literally blow it into your mouth with a machine) and try basically everything else before they do a tube. But I've had conscious sedation plenty of times and never needed more than my nasal cannula, so I'm just going to stay focused on that. It also apparently says all over my surgical instructions "no general!" and "no intubation!" -- or so the nurse told me on the phone.

Hopefully I'll be able to update tomorrow from Columbia and let you all know that things went smoothly and that the little bugger is finally OUT! Everyone seems confidant, and I trust this surgeon a lot, so I'm anticipating a good outcome for sure.

Thoughts, prayers, intentions, and good vibes are always welcome in the meantime, though!


  1. Piper, I'm sending lots of positive vibes and {{{hugs}}} for a lickedy split successful surgery! ~Juliet

  2. prayers and good vibes for everything to go smoothly! I'm finally having my aneurysm surgery tomorrow myself (vascularly, no skull-cuttage required) so hopefully we'll both have gloriously uneventful vascular events! :o)

  3. Hang in there Cyster! Praying for you!

  4. Piper you definitely have my prayers, and good vibes. I hope everything goes well today and you are home soon recovering nicely. Thinking of you!!! :)

  5. Praying for your surgery. I hope you recover and bounce back quickly.

  6. ... wow. All I can say is I'm crossing everything for you! And that the bugger of the catheter can find a new home... in a nice clean sterile hospital bin. Xx

  7. Praying for you Piper!! ((hugs)) Ginger