Thursday, December 16, 2010

Day of surgery Part 2

A little more detail about the day....Deborah and Paul arrived at the hospital at 5:10 this morning to prepare for the surgery. They said they had to wait in line like they were at Disneyland, only not so fun. The staff got her into a curtained off room where they got her in a gown, completed all those pre op things and started an IV. Then the anesthesiologist came in and said he was going to give her a "Margarita without the salt". (Just a little something to help her relax.) She was worried for a minute that it wasn't working, but then she said the colors on the curtain around her bed began to blend and that was the last thing she remembered until she woke up after surgery.
Patiently waiting........they are so organized here considering how many people they process each day. There was a nurse who would call us into a small conference room every two hours during the surgery to tell us how it was progressing. This was being done for all the families there as well. Like I mentioned before, Dr. Vauthey came out after the surgery to tell us it went well. He said Deborah would be in recovery and would not be able to have visitors for a couple hours.

While we were waiting, this lovely group of carolers came through the waiting room singing some Christmas carols. It was a nice reminder of the Christmas Season. After about 3 hours they notified us that we could go back to see Deborah. She was in the PACU (post anesthesia care unit). This was a very large PACU with probably 40 or more patients recovering from their anesthesia before moving out to a room. Literally wall to wall bodies on rolling beds, but well organized bodies.

She looked so good! She was awake and talking, although sleepy from the residual drugs in her system. She was coherent and wanted to know what the surgeon had said and happy to know he said the remaining liver was completely cancer free. She said she had no pain and felt like she could get up and walk if she wasn't so sleepy. :) We were allowed to visit for 20-30 minutes and then she needed to rest.

Some of the medical buildings between our hotel and the hospital. After another hour or two Deb was moved from PACU to the PACU Transitional unit. The patients on this unit are closely monitored. She will only be here for one night and then will move to a regular surgical floor.

She asked me to take this picture! Earlier she had started to shiver, but didn't feel cold. The nurses brought her a bunch of warm blankets and wrapped her up, including her head. This did control the shivering, but she thought it was funny. She says she has minimal pain and feels good,

She has a charming and kind nurse named Rajamma who watches out for Deborah--keeps her IV's running smoothly and makes sure she is comfortable. Paul mentioned earlier how many skilled people had to be involved in everything that happened today from the surgeons, to the anesthesiologists, to the researchers, to the nurses, to the technicians and many more behind the scenes. Its a lot to think about and makes us feel so grateful for all these people and their dedication.


  1. I love the blanket picture! It makes me so jealous that she has a blanket warmer near by to keep her cozy (although I wouldn't cash in part of my liver to get warm blankets). And she is very brave to let you take her picture after surgery. Thanks so much for the posts. Deborah is in our prayers and you, Kelly, though I don't know you, are an angel sister for being there for her. She is truly blessed, and as was said in one of our Sacrament meetings "an elect lady". Keep the posts coming!

  2. I've always loved how Deb keeps her sense of humor about things. It's just like her to request a picture be taken of her looking like a hospitalized Chinook!

    Sending my love,