Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Home After Surgery

Karen's doing well. She came home late last night and is recuperating. The kids were visibly glad to see her and we spent a restful day at home today after what seems like the longest week of our lives.

Between one thing and another, running back and forth to the hospital and cajoling the kids back to sleep each night, I have had neither the time nor the inclination to update this blog but with Karen home it's time to give a little update.

Karen's stay in hospital was not without incident. The day after her surgery, her epidural stopped working. By the time I got to her room that morning she had already been an hour without pain medication and could barely speak. Another hour passed with me becoming more and more irate whilst the nurses frantically looked for an IV pump. I finally hit the right nerve (no pun intended) with the nurse manager and a pump was found. It took the rest of the day to get Karen's pain under control.

Mild fever, low blood counts, shallow breathing kept my nerves on edge.

There were a few other incidents which essentially all stemmed from in-experienced residents all waltzing into Karen's room, treating her like a science experiment without fully reading her chart.

I have to say we were very disappointed overall with the level of intelligence and care displayed by the nurses and residents at LIJ. Thank God for Dr Ravikumar who was diligent in his post-op follow up. He ended up over-riding or supplementing almost every instruction given for K's post-op care. I won't go into the details but it was Karen's determination that finally got her released last night.

An oral form of morphine is controlling her pain now and she's improving every day. We have scheduled a follow up with our oncologist, Dr. Moriarty, next week. The current plan which he'll likely confirm is to proceed with chemo for two months followed by hepatic artery infusion (chemo directly into K's liver) followed by more systemic chemo. A second surgery will be needed to remove the right lobe of the liver.

I will conclude with thanks to all for the loving support which somehow continues to flow into the Shanahan household.


Don said...

Hey Shanahan Family

Sorry to hear of the stress & strains of Karen’s hospital stay. I’m glad she’s home.

Hope you find all life’s comforting distractions for Christmas.

Hold Fast & Joy to the World

Don MacLeod

Dobers said...

I'm sorry to hear about the bad experience, but I'm really glad Karen came through and is home. Your family is constantly in our thoughts.

The Dobeks

Amie said...

So glad that Karen is at last convalescing at home! As a nurse, I am so angry for you!! I am sorry that not everyone is up to par! Hope you're able to find joy in your holiday preparations!! Love and prayers to your family from ours :)
Amie, Don, and boys

Gilbert said...

Best wishes to Karen and the family; you're in our thoughts and prayers.

- Gilbert Ines

kmc said...

Thinking of you very much...

I pray Karen's post-op recovery has continued ok, and the chemo is manageable. Ugh.

There is still one resident (likely now a doctor) I look for in the PICU at CHOP. If I ever find him, I have a few things to say now that I'm not 24 hours post diagnosis. A few unprintable things.

I am so sorry the hospital stuff was the way it was. It shouldn't be that way, I'm so sorry.

must answer the mommymommymommy call,
Kristin & the Camiolo crew