Tuesday, November 30, 2010


Thanksgiving didn't go so well. Around 04h30, Robb awoke in pain and he spent most of the day in discomfort. He found some of the medicine he had brought back from France. He took it and it seemed to control the pain to the extent that he could move without being wracked with pain. Then he thought it was over. But the next day the pain was back. He called the doctor but the office was closed on Friday, which is normal for this doctor because they work on Saturday. Saturday morning, we drove over to find that they had closed the office for the entire weekend.

Robb was still in pain, so we drove to the Holy Cross Hospital Emergency Room because it is closest to us. We both thought they would give him something for the problem and we would be on our way in a couple of hours. But they did an Ultra Sound Scan and discovered that he had gall stones. The ER doctor wanted him to check into the hospital, but, since he retired, Robb is one of those millions who have no health insurance. Finally, we decided if he checked in, they could run some tests and when they found nothing, they would at least give him something for the pain.

The problem was that when they ran the tests, they discovered that he needed to have his gall bladder removed and they recommended doing it NOW. Supposedly, they would do the operation on Sunday morning and he could leave that night, but because he wouldn't sign the paperwork before he talked to me, he missed that window. We talked it over and decided that he should go ahead and have it done and get it over with instead of waiting until March when he would start Medicare. At least, he would be rid of the pain which seemed to be coming on more often each time.

His roommate, Greg, was already scheduled to have the same surgery on Monday, and that's the day for which they scheduled Robb. Originally, they were told they would go down to the operating room around 13h00, but they didn't come for Greg until after 14h00 and Robb learned that he was scheduled for 17h30. The nurse told them that it would take about three hours; an hour in prep, an hour for the operation and then an hour in the Recovery Room before they would be back in their room.

I went over to the hospital around 19h30, Greg was there, but Robb hadn't been brought back yet. I sat around talking to Greg for awhile and then went down to see if I could see Robb in Recovery. I could find it, so I went back up and sat in the visitor's lounge for a few minutes. While I was sitting there, his doctor walked by, saw me and came over to tell me what had transpired in the operating room. He began the conversation by telling me that Robb's was the absolute worst gall bladder he had ever seen. He went on to say, that he couldn't remove all of it because it was attaching itself to his liver and if he had cut any more, he would have been cutting into the liver and that was not a good idea. So he had to leave about fifteen percent of it inside. He said that wasn't really a problem because Robb's body would compensate and get rid of it.

Both Greg and Robb were originally scheduled to leave the hospital on Tuesday morning, but because of the complications, it was necessary to keep Robb for another day or two until they were certain they were no more problems and the healing process was moving as expected.

I drove back to the hospital tonight, after taking a couple hours off. Robb was in good spirits and just a while later, the nurse came in and unhooked him from the IV, which means he'll probably be released tomorrow. As confirmation, he was told the doctor had written on his chart "For probable release tomorrow". He really wants to get out of there and I have missed him being home, muchly.
Keep your fingers crossed.

Hasta la próxima, amigos.


Jacob said...

Hi Bob!

First of all, so sorry to hear about Robb's problems. I remember as a kid when my mother had her gall bladder removed - a scary time.

So glad that he is recovering nicely.

We've had our own medical problems - our daughter who lives in Colorado had an hysterectomy which was botched badly...she was sent home even though she was infected. Ended up in the ER of another hospital for emergency surgery which, if she had delayed another day, would have been too late. So, we flew out there and spent almost three weeks with her until she was mostly recovered. Another scary time. She's 47 and lives with her husband at 9000 feet which means it takes some doing to get to a doctor or a hospital. But she is coming along great at the moment so we expect that she will be fine...

Ah...wanted to tell you that I "borrowed" this great video for my political/religious blog, Contextual Criticism...I did give you a hat tip and a link to your blog.

It's great!

One other thing: Yes, I did climb the Arc d'Triomphe. Big mistake. I damn near died. I was offered the elevator, but hey, I'm still "young," right? (I was 70 at the time)...we took some very nice photos which will appear from time to time on Paree.

Best wishes to you both!

Ken Broadhurst said...

My fingers are crossed. Best to Rob and to you too.

Jacob said...

Hi Bob,

Thanks for your comment on Paree...I don't know the various areas of Paris...but I think you do and you are no doubt right about the photo posted today...

Hope that you two are hale and hearty and healthy and have a wonderful holiday season!

Megan said...

oh no, the poor guy. That sounds awful. At least it was taken out.