Leaves on this Family Tree

Thursday, March 10, 2016

Two Down, Two to Go

Yesterday was a Red Letter Day.

We saw Maureen, Dr Kukar's PA (he was in surgery while we were there.) She checked all drains and was very pleased. Gene has lost 6 pounds this past week, she was concerned about this. So back to Phlebotomy for more blood work to check the Albumin (which has something to do with the protein in your blood) and white blood cell count.

Since it always takes a little while (but no where close to the "several days" it takes to get blood work results in a normal blood draw outside of a hospital) we went to the cafeteria to see what was on the menu that Gene wanted to eat, or could eat. When I saw that they had "beef on weck," (a Buffalo specialty of roast beef on a kimmelweck roll) I knew we had hit them on a good day. This is one of the food that we both love.

While we were in Phlebotomy, Maureen talked to the dietitian about Gene's continual weight loss while eating close to the amount of calories he needs. (Have you ever tried to eat a 2000 calorie diet while only allowed 40 grams of fat . . pretty hard. We have not accomplished it yet.) We found out later that the dietitian thinks his body is still losing the weight he needed to lose when he went into surgery, not much needed body mass for healing.

When we got back into the Clinic, Maureen said she had talked to Dr Kukar about everything she had seen and the blood work, white blood cell count was elevated but they both thought that this came from the "jiggling" around of the front drain (for some reason now  the tube from the drain always seems to be in the way and it is getting moved around) and the healing process of the open chest wound.

He said to go ahead and remove the back drain since it had not expressed and noticeable fluid since March 1. MUSIC TO OUR EARS ! ! ! !

It looks like there is some puss in the opening but it isn't. .
I tried to express any fluid that night be there
when I changed the dressing last night.
Not a drop came out.
I hadn't been there when they removed tube #1, so I was VERY interested to see what this was like. Maureen told Gene that he shouldn't feel any pain, just a strange feeling of something moving. While it was coming out, he didn't wince at all and aid he just felt a strange feeling, but no pain at all. I was amazed that the inner tube was a lot shorter than the PICC tube I watched being removed from his upper arm. But, it had a larger diameter.

So now he is down to the original right front drain from the surgery on Jan 25 and the Penrose drain in the open wound at the top of the incision from the "surprise" expulsion of Pancreatic Fluid on Feb 29.

We got a call, around 5:00 pm, from Maureen. She and Dr Kukar had talked after he got out of surgery. She said Dr. was THRILLED with how well Gene is doing. So THRILLED that  he thinks the last drain, which is expressing enough for the "hand grenade" to be emptied twice a day where it had originally needed to be emptied every 2 hours, can come out. But, since it still is expressing enough fluid to be drained twice a day, he wants to "wean" the it off. So, Gene goes in Tuesday morning and the pull the tubing part way out. Then he goes back on Friday to have it totally removed when Dr Kukar can be there.

Also, he said Gene can eat more than 40 calories of fat a day, as long as his body can tolerate it. The dietitian also thinks this change in his diet will slow down the weekly weight loss.

Today we are going back to the gym to set up an appointment with Charlotte, who is their exercise specialist who graduated from Canisius College with a degree in Sports Medicine/Sports Psychology. She also is a certified Athletic Trainer and is certified in Strength and Conditioning (she is the Strength and Conditioning coach for the Jr Sabres Hockey team.) So she will be able to develop a program for Gene that will allow him to start building up his muscles in a way that won't compromise what he has been through.




1 comment:

  1. I had a drain removed back in 2010, it is a weird feeling, no pain just the sensation of something moving. So glad Gene is doing so well, soon be time for cartwheels.

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