Tuesday, August 28, 2012

What starts with G and...

... is an organ that hasn't given Chris any trouble?   (More on this in a minute.)

We had a busy day today!   It started off at Cardiac Rehab.   Chris decided to go, despite having some pain in sternal incision area.   His neck was stiff, too.   He did great at Rehab, though, and had an appointment directly after for a massage.   He said that she really worked out the knot he had in his neck, so we hope he'll be able to sleep well tonight.

While he was being massaged, Jen @ DaVita called and let us know that she faxed the paperwork to Dr. Lyons for Chris' neurological exam.   I called their office later and got him an appointment for Sept. 19th.

Next was our pre-operative consultation with Dr. Giles.  He discussed with us reasons why the catheter tube might not be draining properly and explained what he would have to do.  He's going to go in with a camera (laparoscopic, minimally-invasive surgery) to determine what the issue is and attempt to fix it by either removing an obstacle or moving the catheter site.    As we were wrapping up our conversation, Dr. Giles says, "Has anyone talked to you about your gallbladder?"   Chris replied, "No!", as we looked at each other and laughed.
Chris and I have this joke that he's going through the alphabet with medical issues.   Appendix.  Back problems, Congestive Heart Failure...  We thought we had G down when he had the Gastric Bypass and/or Gangrene!
Dr. Giles went on to explain that, on the CT scan to show the cath tube's position, he noticed that Chris has stones in his gallbladder.   Furthermore, the largest one is in the neck of his gallbladder and will cause trouble for Chris in the (possibly near) future.   He told us that when he was trained, surgeons removed the gallbladder routinely during gastric bypass surgery.  This is because most obesity surgery patients develop gallstones.  He also explained to us why a gallbladder is no longer needed in modern humans.

So, long story short, Chris has another G to add to his list!   Dr. Giles knows Dr. Sorensen (Chris' kidney transplant surgeon in SLC), so Dr. G is going to call Dr. S to make sure it's OK with him to remove Chris' gallbladder.  It's preferable to take it out now, rather than to try to deal with it in an emergency situation.

So, since Chris is already going to be under anesthesia, he will probably take the gallbladder out while is in there doing the catheter surgery.   It will still be outpatient, so he'll be home resting & recovering that same afternoon.  Dr. Giles' surgical practice was purchased by St. Luke's hospital system since Chris' original cath surgery in December 2011, so this surgery will be performed at St. Luke's Meridian.  It's scheduled for Wednesday, September 5th.

Monday, August 27, 2012

Another Busy Week

Chris had Cardiac Rehab today.   He wasn't 100% sure he would go, because his foot was bothering him.  He did eventually decide to go, and he said his energy was OK but the foot was still painful.

Tomorrow, Chris has Cardiac Rehab again and then a pre-operative consultation with Dr. Giles for his upcoming operation to re-position his dialysis catheter.

Thursday is Cardiac Rehab once again.  He has an appointment on Friday with his cardiologist to review the results of the echocardiogram he had done at St. Luke's in June to evaluate his new valve.

Today, I called Dr. George Lyons' office to schedule an appointment.   He's the neurologist that Chris has been referred to for evaluation of his tremor.   They haven't gotten the paperwork from the kidney folks yet, so I'll check back with them next week.

Thursday, August 23, 2012

Another Surgery

Chris has been attending his cardiac rehabilitation sessions (with 2 exceptions this week because he's not been getting enough sleep) and he had 2 cavities filled on one of his teeth on Tuesday.

He hasn't been sleeping well because his dialysis machine keeps making these very loud alarm noises in the night.   It's not draining the fluid from his abdomen properly.  He has tried sleeping in different positions & stuff, but nothing he's done has helped.

Yesterday, he went in for a CT scan and later to DaVita for the big monthly meeting.   They didn't have the CT results at that afternoon meeting, but they did say that his phosphorus is back down to a good level -- which means that his significant reduction of Kool-Aid intake worked.   We met a new doctor, Dr. Pintar, and he examined Chris with his PA (also named Chris).

For some reason, they didn't get his PTH (Parathyroid hormone) levels when they took his blood last time, so Jennifer drew some blood to get that tested.

This morning Chris said Jennifer called with the results of the CT scan.  His tube is out of position, so he's going to have to have a minor outpatient surgery to move it to its proper place.  He won't have to spend the night at the hospital or anything.  Dr. Giles (who originally placed the cath) will be performing the surgery, and his office is supposed to be calling us today to schedule.

Chris is also expecting to hear from a neurologist soon.   He has had a tremor his whole life, and he wants to get it identified.   This way it can be treated, or perhaps we could find out if it's part of something else.