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Thursday, May 21, 2015

Day 3 in the Hospital // Surgery

We were disappointed the angiogram had to be cancelled, but Kev's brother Darin and a social worker administered a priesthood blessing in the late morning. There had been a lot of miscommunication all morning about this and someone finally arrived just as Darin was leaving. He spoke of Kev being made whole, and of a successful recovery, but I still worried. Sometimes we interpret things differently than is intended... and I worried that Kev being "made whole" might mean he would die and that this would be fulfilled in another life. I was a wreck. By now I was convinced I was going to raise my kids alone, and that Lincoln would never know his dad. I imagined having to tell Aspen her dad had died. I imagined having to move out of my house and figure out a way to survive a life without Kevin.

Around 2p, a nuclear technician came into Kev's room. He said he would be administering a test that only has a 60% rate of sensitivity. It can sometimes determine the existence of a Meckel's Diverticulum, but it cannot actually rule it out. The test is not always conclusive... However, the CT had indicated there could be a small pocket off the small intestine that was the cause of all this trouble.

While we waited for Kev's Meckel test to conclude, we did some research on the potential diagnosis. Turns out, if you Google what a person could be suffering from when they think they have appendicitis, but don't, MD shows up as one of the top responses. Oh how I wish I'd thought to look this up beforehand!

But the thing with Meckel's Diverticulum is that only a small percent of the population actually suffers from this congenital birth defect. It's estimated only 2% have a Meckel's Diverticulum, and most of those who have symptoms get it detected and taken care of in early childhood. It's very rare for someone to go beyond 10-12 years of age without having it removed due to symptoms emerging. Often times a surgeon goes in to remove an appendix, and he finds the meckel instead (which is the case for Dr. Cavin, who as performed the surgery before thinking he was going to remove an appendix). Basically, it's rare to have it. It's rare to have symptoms. It's rare to have symptoms as an adult.

The Meckel allows for gastrointestinal juices/acid/mucous to get into the small intestines. They aren't designed to handle the mucous, and it can cause upset stomachs, vomiting, GI bleeding and abdominal pain. It's not hereditary, thankfully, but it is more common in males vs females.

During the test, I drove about a block away from the hospital to shower at a friend's house and to pick up some food for Seth and myself. I had let family and friends know we were on the cusp of either ruling in or out another diagnosis, so everyone was anxious for answers.

Waiting for the results was so painful. Seth and I practically jumped out of our seats any time Kev's door was opened. Finally, Dr. Krishnamurthy came in with a big smile on her face. She blurted out that they'd found the cause, and it was definitely Meckel's Diverticulum. We were overjoyed.

Next step was another blood transfusion since Kev was still fading fast. He'd lost a lot of blood and was beginning to be unresponsive. At one point, he was taking a nap and I had difficulty waking him. He napped while Seth was in his room with him and he said it was like watching our Grandpa Vito sleep (at 94 years old). He wasn't sure if Kev was going to take another breath.

There must have been miscommunication after the surgical consult, because no transfusion was administered prior to surgery. We kept being told it would just be a short wait until surgery, so we didn't press it. Additionally, the lab levels we were given were not the most-recent, and therefore everyone was operating under the assumption Kev was at a 21 for his crit, when he was really at 17. SEVENTEEN. It's infuriating how little communication there seems to be in a hospital. And if you can actually talk to someone, they usually respond that the question isn't in their scope of responsibilities.

I had to get back to the kids Friday evening to nurse Linc and take a break (having been at the hospital almost 24-straight hours) for myself. Matt graciously offered to take another night shift with Kev, and Seth stayed through the surgery, as well. I felt awful leaving, but I had just reached a limit. I needed some time to regroup. I knew he was finally in good hands with Dr. Cavin, and I felt good about Seth and then Matt being there. And with Aspen gone at her cousins', I could be at the hospital in just 15 minutes or so with Lincoln in tow.

It wasn't until about 7pm that Dr. Cavin and the anesthesiologist met with Kev. Seth said they were both very surprised Kev hadn't yet received a transfusion. It was expected he'd receive some blood during surgery, but he should not have started the procedure at such a low count. I think he received two additional units of blood before and during surgery.

I waited up for Seth at home after surgery and it was so refreshing to be able to discuss a successful surgery instead of just wondering what was wrong. We were in such a high spirits, finally! Going to bed that night was so much easier than the night before. Seth stayed at my place again since he was also exhausted after a long day at the hospital.

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