Three Weeks and Counting!

Remember, I went into surgery to have my whole entire colon removed on December 17th 2007? As I stated before I was suppose to be out five days after surgery. Well, three weeks later I was still in Temple Hospital. The doctors had to send me downstairs to the department called “Interventional Radiology.” In this department, they put in a port line called at PICC. This way when they tried to send me home, they would be able to send me with IV fluids and TPN. Remember, TPN is the Total Parental Nutrition. This was used so that no food would go through my gut, though I would still get all the nutrients I needed.

The doctors at Temple decided that I would be better off going home. I didn’t know that it wouldn’t be long until I was back for an extended stay! The doctors were sending me home with “one to one replacement.” This meant, the amount of fluids that I displaced out of my body would be replaced by the same amount of IV fluid. The reason for this was so that I did not get dehydrated. I also was going to be sent home with numerous bags of TPN. I was not allowed to eat anything until my stomach “slowed down.”

Temple Home Health Services was arranging to come to my house. I had to fill out numerous pieces of papers before I was sent home. A nurse was sent to my house to teach me how to set up the IV bags and such. The IV bags were connected to a portable machine that regulated how quickly or slowly I got the fluids through my TPN line.

I actually started to get some hope back. I thought to myself, “Wow, I’m going home.” So what if it was three weeks later! I had no idea that it would be short lived. For the first couple of days that I was home, I had trouble getting used to the PICC line. I couldn’t figure out how to set the computer so the IV and the TPN bags would drip at the correct rate. I remember the nurse had to come out a few times to show and remind me how to do it.

Being home was short lived. A few days after leaving the hospital, I returned to work at Abington Friends. A total of five days I was home when the nightmare started again. I returned home one day after work and started to have the chills. I spiked a 103.0 F fever within three hours, and headed back to Temple Hospital. My blood work came back with a White Cell Count of twenty-nine which is very high.

The doctors decided to keep me as they detected an infection in my blood stream from a bacteria growth on my PICC line. So I had numerous things going on. First, my ostomy bag was putting out way to much output, resulting in TPN and IV fluids constantly. I was not able to eat solid food, and I was back in the hospital with another bacteria infection. The long hall was ahead of me, a hall that would turn darker and darker as the days would go on...

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