Thursday, August 13, 2009

Surgery After Surgery

This morning, Clark underwent his fourth surgery in 7 days. They changed the dressings, cleaned him out, and closed the area by six inches on each side. While in there, they also found that the weight and pressure of his guts disrupted the connection of his bile duct. They were able to reconnect it and bile is now passing through the normal way. He was not effected much by this but it would have caused problems in the days to come. Hopefully this repair will hold or they will have to cut the duct higher up on the liver which is a more involved procedure. If problems are going to arise it won't be for about 7 days so they will watch this connection closely. They will also check it in a couple days when they go in again to clean him out, get some more fluid off, and bring muscles closer together. The hepatic artery is now pulsing and looks fantastic, even without meds to increase his blood pressure. This is a little bump in the road and he is still in a precarious position. Their biggest concern is that he is at high risk of infection as long as he is open. They are very vigilant about this so Clark is on a steady drip on antibiotics. Dr. Schwartz reported that, "Everything is going about as well as can be expected".

I asked the nurse how the Wound Vac works. She explained that they stuff his opening and all the crevices with a sponge like material. Then this is covered with an adhesive which seals to the skin. There are tubes and suctions all throughout that keep it sealed and drain off fluid and infection. Pretty amazing!

Even though Clark has so much fluid on him, his skin is so dry. He asked for lotion so I gave him a little hand and foot massage which he thoroughly enjoyed. He asked Dr. Hutson, the hepatologist, if it was true that he couldn't have grapefruit. Dr. Hutson responded, "Absolutely not". He cannot have grapefruit or pomegranate or the juices of either ever again because they will cancel out his anti rejection drugs. Clark was disappointed because he loves grapefruit, but he can LIVE with that. Dr. Hutson also joked (but is serious) that Clark can't have sex for awhile either.

After so many days here, we have learned to make quick friends with the fellow visitors in the waiting rooms.


Dessie E said...

It sounds like things are on the up and up! Clark this is great news. I knew you were going to do well. I am so happy for you and your family. Keep up the positive thoughts and I will keep up the prayers. One day at a time.


Anonymous said...

4 surgeries in 9 days! You are one tough guy! Hang in there, buddy. Doing Great.

Bobby said...

NO GRAPEFRUIT!!!!! thats an outrage. I know you were mad about that news more than anything. Hey kristen did you show clark that note i left him, make sure you tell him not to make me a liar. I was gonna write it on the marker board but the drawing of the liver and stuff looked pretty important so I decided against that one.

Ashley Starrett said...

You are most definitely in my prayers, Clark! Pleaseee keep your head up and be strong!! I'd still love for you to visit. =)

kathy bleeker said...

rhonda and clark--i am thinking of you every day and every night--my prayers are with you every minute! clark--between having both the larson blood and kimble blood in you--i know that you will get through this! keep your chin up!

Cher said...

Wow! You are doing great considering all the surgeries. Maybe we should get Mom's fancy sewing machine out there to get you stitched up for good. Ha! Keep the faith, you are strong in mind and body.

Rhonda and Kristin, thank you so much for this blog and keeping everyone updated. Love the pics. I really appreciate it. Here's my hug.