May 18, 2019 | 2 comments

Ready for Surgery #4

DAY 23 – Nyel got back to his room about 2:15 a.m. after yet another surgery – this time to clean out the site of his last surgery.  The surgeon evacuated the large hematoma that had formed, cleaned everything up “down to the bone” and took care to stitch him as tightly as possible, hopefully to prevent formation of another hematoma. During the initial surgery three weeks ago, they were unable to do such a great job because “things got very dicey” and the surgeon had to close him up very fast.  Nyel still has a wound vac but now, please god, it will be able to keep the wound free of excess blood…  His blood pressure is scary low and they’ve ordered two units of blood… But bottom line:  Nyel feels great and looks oh so much better.  And his appetite is back!  Yay!    So… I’m taking a bit of time to reflect on the last few days here at St. Vincent’s.

On Thursday, when Nyel agreed to the orthopedic surgeon reopening his surgical site, Nyel asked if a cardiologist would be involved.  He had a question about his blood thinners relative to the procedure and afterwards.  The nurse wrote his question on the white board.  By morning the question had been erased.  No cardiologist had seen or talked to Nyel so we put another question on the white board:  “Will cardio be involved in surgical decisions?”

Life-saving Fluids

About 10:30 a.m. an orthopedic P.A. came in to have Nyel sign the surgery consent form.  Nyel asked him if a cardiologist would be able to weigh in.  I wish I had tape recorded his gobbledygook answer.  The only part that is indelibly etched on my mind are these sentences:  “Well, even though you are on the cardiology floor, the orthopedics people check with you every day; the cardio doctors do not.”

So???? Nyel and I weren’t sure what that meant.  It sounded a little (no…make that a lot) too competitive to me.  The  P.A. had also mentioned that the cardiologist on duty today was on “the orange team.”  What the hell?  I wondered if Nyel is considered the football, the shuttlecock, the hockey puck or what.

As it turned out, the cardiologist was in surgery and did Nyel want to postpone his “procedure” in order to talk with him? That could mean, of course, the P.A. pointed out, that Nyel’s surgery would be postponed, perhaps until sometime next week…  I’m sure he was just stating the facts but it sounded a bit like a threat of some kind to me. “No,” said Nyel.  “Let’s get on with this.  But, if the doctor is out of surgery before I go in, I’d still like to see him…”  I knew he was thinking, as was I, for god’s sake, get me outta here!! Soon!”

Nyel Listens to Instructions

What is it about this hospital, anyway?  We are both totally convinced that the reason Nyel is here at all this time around is because we could NOT make ourselves heard back in February when we requested a consultation with a cardiologist.  And here we are again…

Postscript:  Nyel did not go to surgery until 8:00 p.m. last night.  The cardiologist did not show up.  It is now 10:15 the morning after.  The cardiologist has not shown up.  His assistant popped in a few minutes ago and said that “the doc” is still trying to get in here.  Yeah. Sure. You Betcha!



  1. Betty and Jan


  2. Larry Parsons

    Orange team? Gosh, I sure hope that they didn’t bring in the folks picking up trash on the side of the road.


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