Where did Chuck disappear to?

  • I kind of dropped out of the universe about 3 weeks ago. I think I should let all of you know I'm still here (barely) and will be back in the game soon.

    I had a supposedly minor surgery mid June. Let's say it went very badly. I had my Gallbladder out which everyone told me was a minor, "Band-aid" procedure now-days. The first problem was that I allowed my surgeon to herd me into an out patient "surgery center". For those of you who have never been in one of those take this advice. If your doctor is offering any to treat anything more serious than a hang nail in a "Surgery Center" he has just threatened your life. Defend your self by any means and run for your life. Stupidly I agreed. I didn't want to stay in the hospital. Dumb.

    I should have got up an run when they wheeled me into that operating room. It resembled the inside of my garage only with more junk. Some of the equipment wasn't even working right. The anesthesiologist was fiddling with the wires on the monitoring machine. It wouldn't stay connected or something. They had forgotten to prep the table first I had to get back off so they could do something to the operating table. Who know what else went wrong while I was out.

    Well actually I know two things that went wrong while I was out. They told me when I woke up. Evidently my liver was in the way of removing my gall bladder so the surgeon had "Difficulties" and I would have extra pain. The second problem, they evidently had a problem intubating me and my throat would hurt more than usual. I was sent home with a bottle of Norco and instructions that if I had excessive pain to go to the ER. I would end up there eventually. Twice.

    That night as long as I took the Norco and didn't move I was OK. It hurt too bad to lay down so I slept in the easy chair. By morning my legs were swelled up like balloons. I probably should have dialed 911 right then. I elevated my legs and soldiered through. I really didn't want to go sit in the ER for hours (maybe days) for swelled legs. I couldn't call the Doctor for advice because like an idiot I'd let them do the surgery on a Friday.

    By Monday the legs were normal sized just a bit achy but now my throat hurt like hell. Tuesday off to my Primary care Dr who treated me for the throat infection I know had. I guess they used that ventilator to unclog the toilet before they used it on me. I may not be exaggerating.

    I go a few days and can now lay down as long as I'm well pickled in opiates. Slowly I'm feeling better. One day one of the Orange Tide (We have lots of orange cats) jumped on my belly as I slept. I'm pretty sure that's what a gunshot feels like.

    After a week and as the abdominal pain begins to subside my right leg takes more of the spot light on the pain scale. I can't imagine why my leg is hurting so back to my primary care doctor. He immediately presses the panic button. Within an hour I've had an ultrasound revealing a very large clot in my right calf. First trip to the ER. It's absolutely packed. There must be 50 people ahead of us. Surprisingly We get in in about 1 hour. Wait is that serious? Yes, it turns out it is.

    After more needles than I can count (In one draw they took 13 tubes!) 4 tries at an IV, they need a huge needle for the CT scan with contrast test, and about 12 hours of waiting it's confirmed. I have 1 large clot in my leg and as a bonus I get 2 Pulmonary Embolisms, one for each lung.

    OK time for a little back story. My grandmother died of a PE and one very nearly got my mom about 5 years ago. Now I have 2. I admit it. I'm terrified.

    Lots and lots of blood draws and I get a heparin drip. That's supposed to dissolve clots and prevent any more forming. I was in the hospital for about 3 days for the heparin treatment. They have to monitor the treatment with very frequent draws, I think it was hourly. My arms feel like pin cushions. After they finished the drip treatments they sent me home with oral meds.

    The first night was OK but the next day I was getting winded just talking or standing up. By the third day I was panting like I'd ran a race just walking across the room. I imagine more of the clot has traveled to my lungs. Back to the ER.

    So, here's the trick to get admitted to the ER instantly. Say "I'm short of breath". Turning blue probably helps a bit too. I was in the Trauma Room bed in about 2 minutes. More draws, more tests, another CT. At first they thought is was "Hospital Contracted Pneumonia" so I get the high powered antibiotics. After more prodding and testing they decided it was just Bronchitis with a heavy dose of panic attack. No movement of the clots. At least the panic attacks get you some interesting meds.

    So I'm home. Hopefully no more trips to the ER for a very long time. I turns out there isn't really much they can do for clots. After a week or so they begin to calcify and become scar tissue. Eventually they body absorbs them and the nearby veins take over the circulation, bypassing the clot. I should be back to normal in a few months (well what passes for normal around here). Right now my leg hurts really bad if I stand or walk for more than a few minutes and I am quickly out of breath with any activity.

    So that is the tale of a Laparoscopic Cholecystectomy gone very bad. Never ever let any doctor drag you to a surgery center. Go to an acute care hospital or run for your life. If your legs swell after any procedure dial 911 or get you tail to the ER. If you have a clot someplace in the swelling it could kill you. Two tried to kill me. On the bright side the pain I was having in my mid back was in fact the gallbladder. That pain is gone. Still deciding if it was worth it.

  • Poser Ambassadors

    Hang in there, bro!

  • Poser Ambassadors

    Holy crap. Sorry to hear about all that. This is exactly why I won't have my gallbladder removed. Not to mention all the other complications that can arise once it is removed - which doctors will never tell you about, often because they aren't even aware of them to begin with or deny the significance. There is no such thing as a 'simple' surgery. All of them can come with debilitating and dangerous side effects. Some kids die just from having their tonsils removed.
    I had crippling pain from my gallbladder that just got progressively worse over about 3 years' time. I did my research, found out how important the organ actually is and what nasty things can happen without it, and learned how to heal it myself holistically. Went from having daily pain that felt like someone was twisting knives in my ribs and shoulder blades to the point I couldn't walk or even breathe easily, afraid of eating because most anything would trigger an episode, to being completely pain free and normal within about 12 days of taking an herbal formula called Gallbladder Complete. It cleans the gallbladder by softening and dissolving stones (something doctors say isn't possible), and flushing sludge that builds up over time thanks to our crap-tastic modern diet. And I could actually feel the stuff working every time I took it. It's been well over a year and I have not had any issues since. I continue to take the stuff every couple months now just to keep things clean and working. Good for the liver too.
    I don't trust doctors or hospitals. Never have. It's an absolute last resort for me. If it's not broken, falling out or rotting off, then I can heal it myself naturally most of the time. Every organ in the body serves a purpose, no matter how insignificant they might seem. So my philosophy is it's better to try repairing it first with nature's medicine before getting it cut on and poisoned by big pharma. I still have my tonsils and appendix too.
    Anyway, I guess all that is rather moot after-the-fact. I hope you have a full recovery and don't experience any prolonged issues.

  • I wish you a safe and speedy recovery. What an experience. Gragh.

  • So far I've had no complications from the missing gall bladder. None of the gastric problems I was warned of. I guess in that respect I may be lucky. Heck I had a big ole' greasy hamburger last night. You can only eat so much oat meal LOL. I don't miss the constant pain in my back either. All of my problems have stemmed from a reckless surgeon.

    How do you pick a surgeon? This butcher came with 5 star recommendations every place I checked.

  • @nerd3d

    It sounds like you came close to closing your eyes on the operating table and waking up in an alley with several organs missing!
    ...did anyone do a quick count?

  • Poser Ambassadors

    Feel better soon!!!

  • Get well soon.

  • So glad you are still with us, and sorry you had to suffer so much unnecessarily. Please take good care. We need you.

  • Poser Ambassadors

    That's an appalling ordeal, I hope you're feeling better soon!

  • If you are in California I would check out Kaiser Permanente if you can get it. They have saved my life several times (I had tachycardia) and are pretty much the best care you can get in California. My mom had brain surgery and a gallbladder removal just like yours. I don't think they intubate for such a minor surgery...In fact they did not intubate me when I had my pacemaker installed. In my mom's case they kept her overnight to make sure she was ok.

  • Holy crap... what a nightmare! Hope the worst has been and gone and it's clear sailing from here... but what an ordeal you've gone through. Nothing but well wishes, and I hope you continue to get better.

  • Best wishes for a speedy recovery!

  • Geeze Chuck, sorry to hear about your ordeal. I had an excruciatingly painful episode during a losing battle with a recalcitrant kidney stone going on 7 years ago, but no debilitating effects after it was gone.

    Except for the 6 hours of pain and vomiting that first evening, I was lucky when my Internist/primary doctor sent me to an excellent Nephrologist, who connected me with the Urologist who, it turns out, performs Lithotripsy on calcium based stones that aren't too large, rather than surgery. It was done at a good hospital, I was out for 50 mins., and no pain, no fuss, no bother afterwards. Best of all, no scar. I went home about an hour and half after the procedure, and haven't had another episode since.

    It's not pleasant when something like this happens Chuck, and I hope you recover quickly and completely, and don't have any recurring issues down the road. Take care of yourself.

  • They say what doesn't kill you makes you stronger. I should get a super power out of this. Maybe it will be to spot reckless surgeons and break their fingers. LMAO.

    I do feel my endurance improving. The first day I couldn't stand up with out getting out of breath. I just did 4 house lengths and was only breathing a little harder. I'm doing leg lifts and stuff to try and keep my muscle tone up. Those don't make me out of breath.

    Right now the worst thing is I'm having frequent panic attacks. I go grab the Pulse/oxy meter and it reads 100% O2 saturation. No, you're not turning blue you just think you are.

  • Get better man!

    When I was in the hospital the last time I was experiencing panic attacks as well. The panic attacks would manifest as the same symptoms I would have before my heart would go into tachycardia. They prescribed me Atavan for the anxiety. After a couple of weeks at home on the Atavan I had become physically dependent on it and the withdrawal symptoms were exactly the same as the symptoms I was taking the med for. I had no Idea I was hooked until I decided to stop taking them. Then I had to keep taking them and taper off slowly till I was ok without them. In the future I will decline any anxiety med and pain meds only if I'm in serious pain.

  • @nerd3d
    OMG you have had a really rough time. Glad you sound like you're on the mend now, and welcome back!!! Hope you are taking things easy.
    Not totally convinced that it is all the surgeon's fault though.
    eg a clot in your leg in the deep veins can happen after an operation. That is well known. Happens after airtravel too and it doesn't stop people catching aeroplanes. And you have a familial tendency to clots from the sound of it too. My sister's husband had a hip operation and the surgeon put him on anticlotting treatment before the op, and then he had a big bleed around his hip that damaged a nerve to his legs. I think the surgeon can't win either way from the sound of things. I think we should all be aware that any operation can result in problems after. We have to weigh up the risks versus the potential benefits. We all want to be the person who it goes smoothly for of course. If 99 out of 100 ops go fine, for the one person who has problems, it is 100% bad.
    Your throat problems was due to an anaesthetic issue as well, not the surgeon. Maybe the airway anatomy was difficult. Perhaps the anaesthetist managed to save you even though it was a tricky procedure to intubate you and keep you ventilated whilst asleep.
    However I am wondering if your shortness of breath wasn't a clot on your lung? Did they test you for that?

    Anyway, I'm very glad you are recovering now and on the mend. At least now that you know you are someone who makes clots you can be prepared for next operations and airtravel etc.

    Love esther

  • Yesh what a terrible situation man, I'm glad you're doing ok though!

    I hope the rest of your recuperation is stress free, nerd. D:

  • Holy smokes, Chuck!

    Sending huge hugs your way. Hang in there!!!!

  • Chuck, I've already emailed you my well wishes for your recovery, but after reading your detailed experience feel it's worth commenting again.

    Pretty hard road you've had to travel as of late, full of pain, anger, disappointment, resentment and mistreatment. So sorry for you and the challenges you've had to endure. Hope that things will indeed look up for you and have continued improvements made.

    One day at a time now right?