Monday, April 18, 2011

Part 4: We Don't Like How This is Looking

It was wonderful to have a visit from my mom, my brother Tim and Stewart. Stewart gave me a wonderful priesthood blessing, and although I don't remember details about it, I'm so thankful for it. I know it made a difference. I also know that family, friends and ward members were praying for me, fasting for me and serving my family as best they could. I know my life was spared because of their faith and prayers.

My mom sat by my bed and chatted, which most of you know is my very favorite thing - chatting with my mom. Although I couldn't talk, I did ask for paper and pen so I could scratch notes and say what I wanted to say. She told me all about her Gospel Doctrine lesson, and updated me on the renovations they are doing on their house. I gained such strength having my brother Tim there. He's been through many-a-hospital-stay, and I would look at his bright smile and strong frame and think, "Tim's done this before. I can do this too."

About this point in came a male nurse, informing me that he was there to insert a feeding tube through my nose. My mom moved to the back of the room to give him space, and my amazing nurse, Candy stayed by me and held my hand. I needed a hand to hold, too. Although he had a scope, he could NOT find the spot the tube was supposed to land. In and out, in and out, in and out of my nose and throat, he tried again and again. It was horrible, and I hope I didn't break Candy's hand squeezing it so hard. Probably a good thing I had a tube down my throat and couldn't speak, because I think I would have said, "It's okay. I'll just starve!"

The chest tubes were doing their job. They had drained a good liter of brown, infected fluid from my lungs. My doctor came in after the daily round of scans, x-rays and vitals and said, "We're concerned about your right lung. We don't like how this is looking. The infected fluid has started to congeal to a jell-o like consistency. We'd like to try to place another chest tube to see if we can get that pocket of fluid out." Despite their attempt with another chest tube, the fluid was too thick to be removed with the tubes, and was now joined by a "rind-like" coating on my lung, which both needed to be removed. I was then introduced to my second doctor, Dr. Coleman.

Dr. Coleman came and visited with me, and asked me a bunch of questions about my health, habits, etc., most likely making sure I'd be a good candidate for this surgery. He explained the surgery to me: A small incision in my right side by my ribcage, and they would go in and manually scoop out the infected fluid, and scrape off the rind-like coating on my lung. The procedure is called a Thoracotomy. Gross, huh? I wouldn't know. I was asleep for the whole procedure, and woke up thinking about sugar cookies!

The surgery was a success, and they were able to remove another liter of fluid, in addition to the coating on my lungs. All of the nurses who asked who my surgeon was would say, "Oh, Dr. Coleman! He's the best Thoracic surgeon in the Northwest. You're going to be just fine."


Wendy Jean said...

You don't know me, but Holly Kelley is my sister. She mentions you in e-mails every so often - especially at Halloween and your family's super cute costumes that you made.

I'm so glad you pulled through this hard experience and you are now sharing it. I know our prayers are answered through other people that I like to call angels and I love to read accounts of other's who have their prayers and needs answered through faith.

Dianna said...

The plot thickens - literally (sorry for the pun). I am just amazed with each of your posts how the Lord carried you all through this. And we are all soooooo very glad He did.

Amy said...

Haha! Great pun, Dianna! I should have made that the title instead. You are so clever. Welcome Wendy! I love your sister. I've been her VT for a while, and I'm so happy she's my friend. Thanks for stopping by!

Nicole said...

ugh. that sounds disgusting. Jello like infection....Glad they got it out! Your mom rocks by the way. She was one of my favorite people growing up. I always admired her.

Granma Faye said...

Hi Amy, I'm Holly's mom. I, too, am so glad you wrote about this experience. As a matter of fact, reading about that doctor following the prompting to return to the hospital in the middle of the night impressed me so much that today I shared the story with one of my favorite, long-time patients (at the dental office where I work.) Such a miracle and testament of the power of the Spirit! And what a blessing the doctor listened and acted. Your story brought me to tears and will be forever a legacy of inspiration to your family. Thank you for sharing. I'm so glad you made it through to continue mothering your little family. ♥