Sept. 11, 2014 -- For those of you who care and are following our recent medical misadventures, here is the next chapter. It's such a shame hubby and I aren't really med-fetters, since we have had so many exposures to medical stuff in recent months.
We had set up an appointment with Dan's colon surgeon to schedule the re-connect surgery. They call it a "take down" of the colostomy. The appointment was set for the third of September, but on the first, Labor Day, he ended up back in the hospital (at my furious insistence!) one more time!
His persistent diarrhea was just getting worse daily, and he was feeling really lousy again. Despite a truly heroic effort to stay hydrated, he was life-threateningly de-hydrated once more. Immediately they put him back on the IV fluids, and they admitted him, initially suspecting a c-diff infection. They were able to rule out c-diff, thank God, but didn't yet know what was going on. This time we all agreed that whatever testing needed to be done, for however long, he would stay in the hospital until we got to the bottom of this.
So they bring in a gastro-enterologist, and do the colonoscopy thing through the stoma once again. Dan watched the procedure on the screen, and said the interior walls of his colon looked like cats had been clawing at it!
Tissue samples were sent to the lab, and took three days to come back... but at last there is a name. He has Ulcerative Colitis.
With a name there is a treatment regimen, although we are warned it will be a slow recovery, and the surgeon says the take-down is now an absolute minimum of six weeks away. At least. It's such a disappointment, as Dan's loathing for his stoma and its treatment is so profound (understandably!) and increasing every day. But even he recognizes that if he were already hooked back up he would be living full-time on the toilet to deal with the diarrhea, whereas now he can at least sit at the TV or computer and poop into the bag.
So yesterday at last he came home after ten days in the hospital, wonderfully cranky and grouchy, and verbally venting. We held each other last night and shared wonderfully healing great sobs. Because of the generational age difference between us he is so worried that he is appearing old and infirm and unmanly in my eyes, while I see only the man I love in pain and misery. I suffer the personal frustration of being able to be of only minimal help.
All of this against the background of the busiest summer season our business has ever enjoyed. The very heavy rains (can you believe those pictures of Phoenix, with cars flooded in water over their hoods on the Interstate?!) have come largely from thunderstorms. It's the classic Arizona monsoon season on steroids this year, and the T-storms create lightning strikes, and cause more forest fire from the lightning than they ever put out with their rain. So we have been just blasted with doing extra fire patrols in addition to a wonderfully rich tourist season. I love what I do, I love having the unpredicted extra income, but it has all had an exceptional quality of stress to it, knowing my guy is sick and suffering while I'm up zorching around the sky.
For those of you who care, thank you for caring. This too shall pass, and one of these days soon I will be able to blog once again about how much I am enjoying my enemas!