Friday, May 15, 2015

Successful Gall Bladder Surgery

Today started early, with us heading out the door at 5:30 a.m. to be to the hospital by 6:00. The main hospital waiting room was full when we arrived and we checked in, to take our turn with Pre-Admissions. As they called names of those ready to go back to the surgical wing after pre-admissions, usually two people would leave each time, until they called one name and probably ten or twelve people left. (They must have been having a family reunion while waiting for one family member to have his surgery!).

When Dad was called, we went to Pre-Admissions for a Pre-Paid Hospital Estimate of 15,000 Rand (approximately $1,500) for the surgical procedure (minus anesthesiology and doctor and possible other, as yet unknown, fees). We then went to the Surgical Unit to be taken to a 2 person room and Dad was given a BEAUTIFUL purple gown and disposable "undies." The nurse then showed him how the gown ties in the back and explained that is why they say ICU!! Dad sure looked mighty cute in the purple gown! He looked very striking in that color.

About that time I was called back to pre-admissions and asked to pay another 10,000 Rand (about $1,000) -- still not sure why -- which I did. But the computers were now down and they couldn't give me an official hospital receipt. In fact, they weren't going to give me anything until later in the day when the computers were back up. They weren't even going to give me the small cash register type receipt, until I asked them to photo copy it so they would believe me when I came back for the computer receipt.

When the anesthiologist came to speak with Dad about the details of the procedure with regards to being put under, he asked if Dad has any crowns or dentures. He also asked how tightly they fit and Dad showed him. The anesthiologist jokingly said, that looks OK, but if they fall out, "we have quite efficient techniques to fish them out!"

Dad got all dressed up for the surgery, and rested until he was taken over to the "operating theatres" about 9:15 for the final pre-op questions and prep that I was present for. He was taken into surgery, as the first on Dr. Wessels (pronouced Vessels) operating schedule, for what was to be a 1 hour procedure. I was taken to a "Comfort Room" to wait....and wait....and wait. Close to 2 hours later, I went exploring to see if he was out of surgery, and was told he was still in Recovery and had been given morphine because he was in considerable pain.

Then I waited, and waited, and waited some more. It was now after 1:00 and I went to stand just outside the Comfort Room to see if I could find anything out. Along came Dr Wessels who asked me if my husband wasn't out of Recovery yet. I explained that no one had come for me, so he went to check and discovered that Dad had been taken back to his room -- and no one had come to get me. Dr. Wessels gave me a quick report of the surgery and mentioned that he found the gall bladder to be extremely inflamed. He said that it definitely needed to come out. He also said that Dad would not have been able to put it off until we got back home to Utah.

Well, to briefly tell the rest of the story, Dad started coming around after I was back in the room with him for about 30 minutes. He then was so groggy that he would ask me the same questions over and over, forgetting that he had already asked. But when fully conscious, he couldn't wait to show me his bottle of GALL STONES. It was only a small sample of the stones that prior testing had revealed nearly entirely filled his gall bladder.

A Senior Couple came to pick me up about 3:30 and had a good visit with Dad. Another Senior Couple is fetching me at 8:30 tomorrow morning to go to the Shongweni Market, right across the street from the Hillcrest Private Hospital where Dad is being held hostage (for the 25,000 Rand or about $2,500 in US
dollars). After breakfast and brief shopping at the market, they will drop me off at the hospital. The plan is that Dad will drive us both home after being released tomorrow --- but if still rather groggy, we may have to plead with the Senior Couple to have one of them drive our car back while we are riding with the spouse in the other car. I am still frightened to drive here on the left side of the road, where nearly all of each trip anywhere is on freeways with an average speed of 100 kilometers per hour!.
Quite the South African adventure!! 

No comments: