Last week my father underwent a procedure to implant a port into his abdomen. This port will allow him to begin dialysis treatment at home. I took time off work to be at the hospital because even though he claimed it wasn’t a big deal, with his already wreaked condition every procedure is a big deal.
According to the surgeon everything was a success, he even finished early. When my dad’s girlfriend and I went back to see him the discharge nurse was praising how well he was doing and as soon as some paperwork was finished we could take him home.
We had a visit from the nurse that will be assisting us with the dialysis training. He gave care instructions and follow up times. We were good to go. Then the discharge nurse lifted my dad’s sheet to begin removing the monitors. We noticed there was blood and so he began making calls. First another nurse came, and then a Physician’s Assistant, we were told to wait in the hall. Then we saw the anesthesiologist and the surgeon go into his room.
I tried to gage what was happening by their expressions and tone. These people were very well trained as I got nothing. The surgeon eventually came out and said that there was some “leakage” but they were getting it under control. We were sent back out to the lobby to wait. An hour later we were escorted back and were told that they had packed him with about 3 inches of thick gauze and a pressure garment that would hold off the bleeding. The nurse said that if any blood is seen to get him to the ER, but not to worry as that was highly unlikely.
Later that evening my dad called and said he needed to get to the ER. My dad now requires a wheelchair as he cannot walk on the incline of their drive way, but his girlfriend cannot maneuver the wheelchair over the threshold to get him to the car. They rely on us or a service agency they have to call at least 48 hours in advance. My dad refused to call 911 because he “felt ok.” I was already ready for bed but my boyfriend was still dressed so he went to my dad’s and helped him get to the ER. I got dressed and followed soon after.
At the ER we were told they may have to “go back in” as the on call doctor thought the bleeding was from a muscle that was not clotting. They were going to try different methods first to stop the bleeding but we were worried he would end up back under the knife. Eventually, we were told they would not do surgery but he needed to be admitted.
He ended up staying 3 nights and required a blood transfusion. Needless to say, we did not have a relaxing weekend. I’m mentally and physically very tired but I have this pesky life I have to live and that requires income and responsibilities. When there are genuine stressors happening, it is difficult to practice good self-care. Its even worse when under relax circumstances good self-care is minimal at best. I’m referring to a healthy exercise regime, eating well and regular sleep patterns. I’m the queen of sucking at good self-care (if there ever was such a title.) So this week I’m hanging on by a thread and hoping to survive the work week. Fingers crossed we get no more emergency calls.