Those of you who waste your precious time following the ramblings of this old Florida codger and part time philosopher may have noticed my absence from these boards recently.
But then again maybe not. In esther case, I am going to bring you up to date with recent events in the life of Toritto
Feel free to click away at any time.
Those of you who drop in here occasionally will recall my emergency hospital stay back in August which resulted in the removal of a ruptured spleen. I was bleeding to death internally and didn’t now it. When I was on my last legs, in my recliner, holding the phone and knowing I wasn’t going to make it till morning, I finally pushed the buttons.
EMS came to the house through the back door and carted unconscious Toritto out on a stretcher. After a couple of transfusions and a scan it was off to surgery and a spleen removal. I have a lovely zipper scar as a momento of the occasion.
After 11 or 12 days in hospital it was home to recuperate. Actually was doing fine with a visiting nurse and physical therapist twice a week. And soon I was up and about, living on my own. You can read all about this adventure in the August archives.
The months rolled by and soon it was November when I began to notice a new problem. I had become conscious of my breathing. Now breathing is something we normally don’t think about; we just do it. We begin to think about it when we are resting; laying on our asses but suddenly conscious of being short of breath. Days went by and I began to feel like every breath I took was a deep breath.
Called the doc who immediately order a chest ex-ray. Soon my phone rang and I was told to report to the hospital for a thoracentesis. I was building fluid in the pleura, the sack surrounding the lung which was creating pressure outside the lung slowly cutting off my ability to breath. It was particularly bad on the left side.
A thoracentesis involves having a tube inserted through your back between your ribs and into your pleural sack to drain the fluid. No anesthesia. Outpatient basis. My left lung was done on Friday and the right on Monday. By Tuesday night I couldn’t breath again.
And so it was back into hospital on November 10. Thoracentesis wasn’t working. After a coupe of days of evaluations by the lung docs I was advised that I had a tear or hole in the left pleura and basically had 2 choices. Insert a tube into the pleura which would exit my chest so I could drain the fluid and air myself. Not very appealing. Firstly it doesn’t always work. Secondly it seems like a perfect route for infection.
The second choice was surgery to clean up the ness and then seal the pleura completely wo there is no place left for the fluids to accumulate.
You will note that the pleura consists of an inner and outer layer. The purpose of the procedure was to bring these layers together so that they would stick to themselves effectively closing out any space for fluid or air. This would be accomplished by applying an irritant into the pleura.
And so it was off to surgery, a cleanup after which talc was blown into the pleura.
After a couple of days of continued drainage through a chest tube it became obvious that the talc didn’t work. My body simply washed it out. The pleura wasn’t sealed.
On to phase two.
This involved the injection of povidone iodine through the catheter and into the pleura.
Sounds simple. I can honestly say that this was the most panful 15 minutes of my life. When it was done again the nest day I insisted on a cocktail of intravenous happy juices. The second round was much more bearable as I was high as a kite.
After it was done I looked at the doc in front of the nursing staff and said “Now that wasn’t so difficult was it?”
I was discharged last Friday and am now home again recuperating. I have a visiting nurse and a physical therapist. Same ones I had last time.
And I can honestly say I haven’t breathed this well in a long time.
Can’t wait for 2020 to bid adieu.