Body Betrayed | Body Disabled

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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Cathy's Blog - Wednesday, April 27

Today is Wednesday, April, 27, 2011 and we are at Vanderbilt Hospital for Kerry to receive his third round of Plasma exchange. This will make a total of thirteen individual exchanges. We had good weather for about half of the trip then the bottom fell out: thunder, lightning, raining cats and dogs. On the way here, the wind was blowing really hard and rain was blowing all over the place. Thankfully, I had used Rain-X on the windows and the rain was dancing off our windshield, so visibility was fair. At one point, we came to a slow crawl and I thought, "Oh no! There's been a wreck and we are going to be late!" But traffic started moving again. When the rain and wind first started, we saw a pick-up that looked like the wind had blown him off the road and there were a couple of cars that spun around to face the opposite direction than they were originally traveling. One car was in the HOV lane and the other in the emergency lane. Needless to say, it was bad driving weather but by the time we arrived the rain had become a slow drizzle.

We were debating whether or not to go to the Atrium Pancake House (which is a popular place to eat and people stand in long lines just to get in the door) or just go on to the hospital, get registered, and then go to the cafeteria for breakfast (mine, not Kerry's). We went to the cafeteria.

It was suggested that he register early for his three day hospital stay and he did around 8:30 am. It took hardly no time at all to register (believe it or not) and since his procedure wasn't scheduled until 11:00 am we had plenty of time to eat! After my breakfast, he registered at radiology and shortly after his name was called.

We made our way down the hall to the surgical holding area and I was given a beeper. We are placed in a “curtained room” and Kerry's clothes were exchanged for a hospital gown. The nurses did their pre-surgery routine and we waited.

Usually with this procedure they use contrast dye to which he is allergic. So Kerry was pre-medicated with 25 mg Benadryl and 50 mg of prednisone.

The Radiology Intern came in and introduced himself. He asks if Kerry has had this procedure before. He has, but this is slightly different. This time Kerry will have a Tunneled Catheter. This means the catheter will inserted into the jugular and be tunneled under the skin coming out a few inches below the neck line. This procedure is supposed to help keep the line in place (using the skin growing around it) and also to help keep down germs. (y’all all know how I feel about germs) You definitely do not want germs--especially going down the line to the heart and lungs.

After the catheter insertion, Kerry went for plasma exchange. I sat in the waiting room read my magazine, dozed, had lunch, and went to the car to re-arrange my baggage. At 2:30 PM I went back to the dialysis ward to check on Kerry's progress. They had some problems with the catheter clogging up with blood clots so things were progressing slowly. Around 3:00 PM I received the news that we had been assigned a room, I went to the car and got our stuff and headed to our private room. I neatly stacked our stuff and went to eat supper.

I was back in the room and quietly reading when a tornado warning (code orange) was sounded, so I, along with the patients were moved the hallway. By the time I was seated good, they were bringing Kerry back. They brought up his supper, which he hungrily ate and after fifteen minutes or so were finally able to go back to the room.

It is now 7:30 pm TN time, I am tired and will say goodnight.

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