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This is just a quickie update to let you know that the surgery went smoothly, and that I am home and eating dinner. I am in some pain but not unbearable pain and I do have prescription pain medications to take if I need them.

The physician who did the surgery to remove my peritoneal dialysis catheter is the same one who put it in almost three years ago. It was supposed to be a different physician, but that physician is also a transplant surgeon and there were some five or six transplants going on today, all of which take precedence over my surgery. I did not complain about that, although it delayed my surgery, because someday that will be me getting surgery to receive a kidney transplant.

At last, the surgery is done and over with, after being postponed twice before (it was originally supposed to be done in mid-September, then in late September, but was canceled by the physician), and I'm home.

My body is free of medical devices again, finally. It feels strange not to be wearing a PD support band after having done so for nearly three years. It feels strange (and very good) to feel my abdomen and not feel a catheter tube.

I am feeling good enough to be feasting on beef brisket from Jones Barbecue in Seattle, where we stopped on the way to the ferry this afternoon. I was still woozy so Charles went in while I sat in the car. I fell asleep shortly after arriving home. I made sure to tell everyone who was working on me at the hospital about the kiss yesterday, and everyone thought that was wonderful and very special. Seems everybody I talked with at the hospital thinks highly of President Obama. All my tale did was confirm that he's a warm, caring, and empathic man.

As I told the hospital staff both at my pre-anaesthesia meeting and today when they were working on me that I get really sick from anaesthesia, they made sure to give me extra anti-nausea medicine in my IV, and I did not feel sick afterward at all. They also paid careful attention to my statement that I'm allergic to all adhesives, especially on my arm where I connect to the dialysis machine and at my catheter site. There's a film called Cavilon, made by 3M, that is applied to the skin in such cases and it protects the skin from the adhesive. The adhesive sticks to the film, not to my skin, thus preventing a rash from flaring up. The only adhesive to which I am not allergic is Tegaderm, a wound dressing, so that was used for everything, including where they would otherwise use tape. Everywhere something sticky (electrodes, for instance) was applied to me, Cavilon was applied first, and to me, it's a skin saver.

When I got home, I tried on the jeans that were waiting for me at my front door, and then went to sleep at Charles' suggestion. He promised to set up my dialysis machine for me this evening and is doing that right now so I can eat.

As soon as I finish my dinner, I have to start my dialysis run. I feel good enough to be able to place my needles, but I'm in enough pain and am enough tired from surgery and a lack of sleep last night that he will probably wind up doing the half-hourly vitals checks that are required of home hemodialysis patients who aren't yet on nocturnal. (It's not a requirement for nocturnal; they want you to sleep instead of waking up every half hour to check things. I can't wait until I move to nocturnal, probably in a couple of months.)

The surgery was postponed twice because the physicians who place and remove these catheters are the transplant surgeons, and transplantation comes first. I know there were a lot of transplants today, probably all from a single donor: heart, lungs, liver, and both kidneys are now alive and well in other people. A lot of lives were saved and given back today. That caused my surgery to happen at 1 pm instead of in the morning as I was originally told. There was some question last night as to whether it would happen at all, but it finally did and is over with.

I will use my sister Aji's ginebig  (Snake medicine) in the wound when I change the dressing on the wound; it will help it heal faster and without scarring. Bless her for gifting me with some; I use it just about every time I dialyze, too, because it really helps prevent my skin from getting irritated, an important issue when I dialyze more than one day in a row.

Thank you so much for all the good thoughts, prayers, energy, and well wishes you've been sending; they are felt and help immensely. For once I wasn't scared going into this. A lot of that is thanks to you. Thank you for everything.

Off to dialysis,
River

Originally posted to Kitsap River on Fri Oct 22, 2010 at 09:59 PM PDT.

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