RVery Best Nest

Come join Joe, Mallery & I, as we travel around the USA in our RVery Best Nest. God's Favor has been chasing us down, and we are enjoying all of His blessing's, that He has created for all to enjoy!

Sunday, March 6, 2011

Our Mothers and other Family Members 9/14/2010

Four years ago, my mother had her gallbladder removed. During this common procedure, her surgeon cut her main bile duct by mistake. The surgeon came out in the middle of surgery, and told me what had happened. He told me he would have to do reconstructive surgery to repair the mistake.  During the repair, a tube was placed inside the reconstructed duct, that also came out mom's side.  Shortly after the surgery mishap in Cedar Rapids, Ia, we decided to go to Iowa City, for a second opinion. We made the right choice, as U of I Hospital had a specialist surgeon, that had seen her bile duct injury, more times than one would think. From that point on, mom had to go to radiology every 8 weeks At her 8 week appointments, the tube had to be changed out for a new one, to prevent infection.They would also check to see if scar tissue was forming and closing up the repaired intestine/ bile duct. If scar tissue was closing the repaired opening, they would have to roto rooter it open again. Four years, she had that tube that exited out her side. Sometimes she would have to attach a bag to the tube, because so much bile was draining out of it. Otherwise the tube was capped off.  She had to flush the tube inside her, daily with  sterile saline water. Most of the time, the bile would start to leak out around the tube, onto her skin causing it to be raw, from the constant acid eating bile. She would have to then return to the hospital for another procedure to change out the tube and get a new one placed. The procedure included her being put under, with conscious sedation. At every procedure, she had to sign papers, stating that she accepted the risks of infection, another mishap, puncturing of her organs, uncontrolled bleeding, or death. Prior to laparoscopic gallbladder removal surgery, bile duct injury seldom happen. But now 1 out of every 100 surgery's using the laparoscopic method, ends in bile duct injury. Mom's new surgeon in Iowa City wanted to see if mom's repair would heal, stay open, then eventually, the tube could be removed. After two years of no success, mom asked her surgeon if he would do another repair. He said the surgery would be too risky, at her age. Four years later, mom's trips to Iowa City seem to be increasing. Once, she made 3 trips in one week. She also had built up a very sizable debt to the U of I Hospital, for her part after insurance and Medicare coverage. Finally, her surgeon agreed to do another reconstructive repair. He realized her injury had consumed her life. She could never make plans to go any where, because of her situation. Once she flew down to Alabama to see the girls.  A few days after she arrived, her tube fell out (a first). Tiffany had to take off 2 days of work, because the nearest Dr. that could handle the situation was not available until the next day. She also feared being somewhere, where there was no one who was specialized, and she did not want to take the risk with just anyone. The plan was for mom to have the surgery when we got home in September. Her surgery was scheduled for September 14, 2010. We needed to be there earlier, so I could get her to Iowa City for pre- surgery test, and appointments.

Here is my dear sweet mom after the repair of her bile duct injury at age 83. She turned 84 September 30. I stayed with my mom for the month of September, taking care of her. She could not drive or pick up any thing  more than a few pounds. I became her cook, house cleaner, taxi cab driver, not to mention, her nurse. I had to change her dressings and flush out her tube two times a day, help her put on, and take off these really tight nylon knee high socks, to help her circulation, and help her in and out of the tub. She had an incision from one side to the other, across her abdomen. I am not complaining of the care giving job, but when my job was over, I was thoroughly exhausted. I really enjoyed caring for her, as well as spending more time together. I am  blessed, that I could be there for her. She was a very good patient, and put up with her bossy and fussy nurse. I am not the nurse type, but mom said I did a great job!

Here is my mother, June shortly before we left. We give God all the Praise and Glory for  guiding  the surgeon's hands for a safe surgery!

Her surgery was a success, as she no longer has the tube coming out her side to drain bile, and she does not have to go to Iowa City every 8 weeks for the dreaded procedures. Mom can now see the light at the end of the tunnel, and will be able to pay off her hospital debt some day, and now her life savings, will not be all ate up.

Mom in front of her condo.
I have learned from this experience, that if you need gallbladder surgery, insist on having x-rays. The simply use of x-rays before the surgery will avoid the catastrophe my mom went through. It will show the surgeon your unique anatomy, so he will know where everything is situated, or if you have any abnormalities. Many insurances don't cover the x-rays, so doctor skip this important step. The other thing I learned from research is if  your surgeon causes this kind of injury, you need to have your surgeon stabilize the patient, and have them transferred to a specialist that has done this kind of repair many times.
  After this happened to my mom, I spent hours, calling lawyers, trying to find someone who would take mom's case. At the time, all the lawyers I talked to, told me mom would have to put up ten to forty thousand dollars, and chances were, she would lose the case, and her money, because her injury was a normal risk to the surgery. When you have an incident and need to sue, you only have a two year window to get  the case filed. I could not find anyone in that two years that felt mom would win her case. Four years late, I see many lawyers advertising for patients with this kind of injury. There must have been other bile duct injured patients that took the risk and took their case to trial, and won. Lawyers, must have found a loop hole, and are willing to go encourage patients to go to trial now.

After mom didn't need my help anymore, I joined Joe, and stay a few days at his mom's. Joe's mom's condo does not allow our RV to be parked there for even a day. Joe 's friend Drew was kind enough to let us store our RV out at his place again, while we stayed in Cedar Rapids.
While we were in Cedar Rapids, Joe's nephew Ryan and his wife, Tiffany, visited Kay, ( Joe's mom) from North Carolina. Joe's mom is 88 years old. Joe also got to be with her, while she had a cardiac catheterization to see why she was having so many fainting spells. A pace maker was placed, which seems to be working.

A few days before we left, my little sister came to see mom. Ozzie, her dog was enjoying mom's chair,

and Mallery was enjoying another.

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