Today was a pretty big day. Anthony had his outpatient surgery for his new catheter for peritoneal dialysis, which he will soon begin performing at home. This means he won't have to go sit at the dialysis clinic 3 days a week for 4 hours at a time. It's freeing, really. And after being there with him for a while today after the surgery, I'm glad he's getting out of there! Those people look like they're packing for a trip! They've got pillows, blankets, sleeping bags (really!), and everyone has a giant bag of stuff. Not to mention he's the youngest kid on the block! And some of them are really old and kinda stinky. I'm totally OK with him not going back in there...
Anyway, the surgery was successful and only took about 45 minutes. He's got a stitch in his belly button, an incision where they actually inserted the catheter and performed the operation, and an exit for the tubing from his peritoneal cavity. All that being said, he's got this funny looking tubing that's almost 2 feet long kinda dangling out from near his belly button. Kinda strange. After the procedure we went straight to the dialysis center to begin training. This was not a huge success.
Really...they want someone who was just totally unconscious and under general anesthesia to listen, watch, learn, and understand a totally new procedure that they can't relate to anything they've ever known?! GET real! He could barely hold his eyes open, he said it felt like his arms and legs weighed 50 pounds each. Not to mention he's doped up on percocet and is in quite a bit of pain. Is that the best time to "train" someone on how to use this super expensive and very intricate equipment?! I think not.
We made it through the hook up process, I got to stay and watch. Wow. That's a lot to remember. Thankfully, he will be doing that every day this week at the clinic so he should know it backwards and forwards in a few days. I'll explain more about how it works later. Quite fascinating. He was hooked up for 3 1/2 hours today. The rest of the week it will be longer and he'll eventually be released so he can do it here at home while he sleeps, not while sitting at the clinic in a chair.
The machine is on a cart with all of his supplies so he'll be able to roll around the house if need be. Ultimately he'll be doing this while sleeping. A little interesting thinking about all that tubing in the bed. The machine isn't very loud but does make noises when an exchange is happening...while pumping fluid in, or pumping fluid out. Just something we'll have to get used to...9 hours a night, every night.
He's doing great. Sore, tired, and wiped out from anesthesia. But overall he's feeling good. He's hoping the soreness wears off quite soon. He doesn't want to take the pain meds they gave him, pretty strong stuff. Hopefully he'll be down to just aleve or ibuprofen in a day or two.
All is well, just hoping he can sleep with the pain and new sensations he's bound to be feeling. Me too, for that matter.