Thursday, July 4, 2013

Hospital Stay Overview

The first couple days in the hospital were the worst.  The doctors said because my dad's kidneys are not working properly, the waste that normally leaves in the urine was staying in his blood.  Those toxins in the blood were causing some confusion for him.  He was really out of it, so he didn't really understand what we told him.  When he thinks back on those first few days he's says it's really fuzzy.  Those toxins also cause muscle tremors and itchy skin (when the urea escapes the blood through the skin, it causes dry skin).  He also had trouble accepting the fact that he was seriously ill and needed to be in the hospital.  I think it was day 3 or 4 when he said, "I feel like I should be here."

The first week he had a catheter and was on IV fluids.  They gave him lots of pills to help with his high heart rate and malnutrition, occasionally for his high blood pressure.  They were hoping after his bladder was relieved, his kidneys would improve on their own.  Sadly, that was not the case and he started going in for dialysis every other day.  The doctors said there was still hope that his kidneys could recover, but the dialysis would speed up that process for him.  

On Tuesday, a week after he was admitted, he went in for the bladder scope.  The urologist was hoping to cauterize the bleeds and take a look around.  Unfortunately, when he was in there he found it wasn't a bunch of little bleeds in the bladder wall, so much as a large bleeding tumor.  He removed as much as he could, but after giving him 4 bags of blood decided to cauterize everything and back out. 

The plan is to do the CT scan and see how extensive the cancer is.  Hopefully it's only in his bladder and they can just take the dang thing out.  If they do that, they will most likely perform a bladder reconstruction out of his intestine.  

The doctor also found that the tumor was blocking his kidneys from emptying properly which explains why his kidney values weren't improving like they hoped.  A day or two after the cystoscopy he had a bilateral ureterostomy (tubes from his kidney through his skin).  So many tubes.  Getting out of the bed takes five minutes because of all the things that need to be unplugged or rearranged.

At the moment his is mostly unplugged.  The ureteral bypass tubes have to stay until the tumor is addressed.  Crossing my fingers that he can remain unplugged.

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