Came back to the big house yesterday. Cardio-thoracic surgeon was concerned about the empyema. He thought he would have to take me back to OR today and re-VATS me and possibly do an open thoracotomy to clean out that pleural space. Instead they repeated the chest CT late last night and I was taken to pre-op this morning at 0800 with a scheduled OR time of 0800…after he reviewed the CT films. The lung is staying up so far, so surgery was cancelled. The two hour holding time in OR was the longest wait in my life, but when I saw the surgeon (who is a really great guy) bopping down the hall with his nurse, both all shits-n-grins, I knew he had some good news for me.
I had a PICC line (peripherally inserted central catheter) placed today. I will go home on long term IV antibiotic therapy (at least three weeks). The plan is to rescan me on Sunday or Monday and, if the lung is staying up and the effusion does not return, send me home by Tuesday. If the effusion gets bigger, it’s back to the OR.
I feel great. Wonderful. Minimal shortness of air on 3 litres of O2.
The big house is better this time. Different floor, different nurses. No tele monitor. No chest tube. My window faces south so I can get some sun. It’s the little things that count…especially dogs. Dawn came by with Spock and Fergus and totaly surprised me. Made my week seeing the boys, and they were happy to see their old man.
I was telling my father today that had I been this sick before I became a nurse I would have had a whole different perspective on what it’s like being ill. I was a compassionate nurse…but I would have been a more compassionate nurse, which is something every patient can use.