So, I’m out of Hospital after my surgery (sort of - details to follow):
Unfortunately, the operation was not completed. What happened was I went under the knife Friday morning as planned - they cut me open in five places across my belly (picture the points of a flattened pentagram with the head right at the base of the sternum, the two base-points just above and to either side of my navel, and the two arm-points on each side of my torso just under my ribs) - each cut about 1 cm / 0.5 inches long. From there the procedure is to retract (that is, pull aside) the liver so as to get access to the stomach, with the intention of cutting and stapling off 80% of the stomach and then pulling the “excess” out through the cut under my right ribs.
It was here that things went south - as they retracted my liver they discover two lesions on the liver (and one on the oesophagus). While I wasn’t the least bit worried (when I was told about these) because I know that liver-lesions, etc, are a possible side-effect of my PKD (Polycystic Kidney Disease) the Docs had never worked on a PKD-patient before, so fearing the worst (Cancer) they grabbed some biopsies and backed out of the operation.
The Australian Medical System is one of the very best in the world (relatively cheap, efficient, safe, thorough, and generally all-round just plain ‘good’), but as it is Government run there have been very, very few PKD patients who have been able to convince the “powers-that-be” to approve a Gastric Sleeve on the public purse; I’m the first that my kidney specialist has heard of and he basically said to me “good luck” when I told him I planned to organise all this. Oh sure, if you’re willing to pay for it yourself then they’ll do it for you just fine, but it runs to about $20k and I just don’t have that much. So I’ve spent the last 18 months seeking approvals and talking to various medical specialists and basically just getting everyone’s “sign-off” so that I could end up flat on my back on Friday morning with my right arm full of needles and tubes and my gut on display to the whole world (OK, to all the doctors and nurses, etc, in the theatre - same thing ). I think now that I’ve shown it can actually be organised my kidney doc has a half dozen more people in a similar situation to me that he’s going to run through the “obstacle course”.
So that’s were we were - an op about 80% done suddenly abandoned while the biopsies went to the lab. Being a Friday they weren’t looked at straight away and so I sat around all Friday afternoon, Saturday and then Sunday while I waited for the weekend to be over (and healing up, or course). Monday late morning they came back to me to say that the biopsies had been negative / benign (as I knew they would) and so there was nothing for me to worry about - but they had to reschedule the Gastric Sleeve for a later date - and they couldn’t tell me when. So all day Monday in the ward (with some very cute nurses, I must say) and finally yesterday mid-morning (Tuesday) that came back and said that - tentatively - they were rescheduling me for Friday March 8th and that I could go home.
I got home late yesterday afternoon (its about 450 km / 280 miles from the hospital to home at the moment) and now I’m waiting for a confirmation as to the new date of my surgery. In the meantime my five cuts are healing nicely, and while I can’t lift more than about 10 kg / 20 pounds, I feel pretty good (if a little frustrated) - although I tire-out pretty quick - a combination of the failing kidneys and healing up from the op.
So thanks to all the well-wishes and friends here on the Boards. I’ll let everyone know when I go in again.