Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Sunset at Prien Lake Park

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

Marathon

Eric got some much-needed sleep last night and was quite calm most of the night. He awoke around 3:00 though and couldn't go back to sleep. So we had many hours of waiting for morning, waiting for anesthesia to come get the surgery ball rolling. We were expecting them around 6ish, but they didn't come till around 7:00. Eric was pretty anxious by then. I, oddly, was very calm throughout the morning. Concerned, naturally, but peaceful. I knew this needed to be done for Eric to get better, so I was cool.

That is, for the first 3-4 hours. We expected the surgery to last 2-3 hours. Around two hours in, the surgeon came to the waiting room and informed us that Eric's case was more complicated than he expected, the lung damage more extensive than anticipated. And it would require "hours." He'd have to remove the entire right upper lobe and about half the right middle lobe. In addition, the case was complicated by the discovery of a rare fourth lobe in his right lung. Doc said it occurs in about 1% of the population, and in all his 20+ years of cardio-thoracic surgery, he'd only seen it once before. But this anomalous lobe also had to come out, and made the surgery both more difficult and time-consuming. In addition, Eric had no natural fissure between the middle and lower lobes, so the doctor had to create one. All very strange. The second half of the surgery, my calm demeanor morphed into a tight knot in my stomach.

Eight hours in the OR. A long anxious time. We caught a glimpse of Eric as they wheeled him back into ICU, but the nurses won't let us in until they get him settled. The surgeon, Steven Howe, assures us Eric did great, he's okay, and he should be able to breath so much easier now.

We've been here in the hospital four weeks today.

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