Thursday, August 31, 2017

My Medical Knowledge Is Expanding

Writing from the waiting room at Lutheran Hospital in Ft Wayne is a little surreal. It's a massive place and I've gotten turned around twice in the short time I've been here. Lots of comfortable chairs, TVs, tables and chairs, free tea or coffee, everyone so solicitous.

We've been in plenty of clinics over the past few years in Argentina as we chased a diagnosis for "all that ailed me" but the biggest could fit in a small portion of this complex. Although I think the real reason it feels so weird isn't due to the size of the hospital, but because this time it's Ivan who's the patient. My healthy "Energizer Bunny" husband hasn't been himself all summer. We knew his liver enzymes were up, but not why until an appointment with a specialist revealed his liver is big and fatty (like most Americans).

That alone didn't seem to warrant his feeling so run down though. We chalked it up to stress, and all the craziness that was our life... Ivan made a quick trip to Argentina in May to take care of some things, the primary one being a root canal and temporary crown. We helped mom move into Assisted Living. We were in the midst of trying to buy a house and, when that fell through, quickly moved into an apartment.

Then the day after we moved, Ivan experienced such abdominal and chest pain that we thought he was having a heart attack and went to the ER. They wanted to keep him overnight and monitor him, but he balked. I swear he got that same mulish look I've seen on mother's face many times, so I wasn't surprised when he began negotiating with the doctor. In the end we stuck around long enough to get a second round of blood work. Did you know you can have a normal EKG during a cardiac event? But the blood doesn't lie, hence the follow-up blood work three hours after the first.

My husband has a very high tolerance for pain so it took not one, not two, not even three, but FOUR attacks and another trip to the ER before he took it seriously.

(This all took place in the two weeks between we moved and our planned trip to California.)

That second trip to the ER didn't come any closer to determining the source of the pain, but it did reveal a small, fully encapsulated tumor on his left kidney. That, in turn, led to a flurry of appointments with various specialists.

Which brings us to this moment in time. They are currently doing laparoscopic surgery to remove the tumor and some of the surrounding tissue.

While I write from the waiting room at Lutheran Hospital in Ft Wayne, sitting in one of the many comfortable chairs, eyes straying often to the pager, eager for it to light up so I can gather my bags and make my way to the room where Ivan will spend the night. Where I can hold the hand of my beloved and listen to him make even sillier jokes than usual in his drug induced state. Although what can be sillier than his pre-op response to "Do you have any kind of reaction to anesthesia?"when he said, "I go to sleep."?!

3 comments:

The Bug said...

Prayers for you & Ivan - and I'm very hopeful that the removal of the tumor will solve all of his pain issues!

rita said...

Wow! You've been blogging again, and dailt!!! I only today discovered that you are back. Just read your last two to Mike. All great content. Will try to catch up on the previous ones soon. Love you!

Mari said...

Praying for you and Ivan, and for good results from the surgery!