Steve never made it in for his port surgery today. Last night Steve's fever returned and so did the body aches, head aches, and chills. I took his temperature around 4:00 am, only to find that it was climbing to nearly 101 degrees. Dr. Liao's instructions were to call if his fever got above 100.5 so at 4:30 am, I picked up my phone and texted him a message. Below is a copy of our dialog:
Me: Steve's temperature is back up to 100.8. He is not shaking but is feeling sick. We are going to the hospital but are concerned about surgery when the infection is not under control. Please advise.
Dr. Liao: Yes, go back to ER. He needs to be in the hospital for antibiotics. Make sure the ER doctor gives me a call.
Me: Should we go to admitting or the ER? We have a 5:30 appointment for surgery. Should we just go to admitting?
Dr. Liao: Go to admitting and then Dr. Kim will be able to see him and make a decision on surgery and antibiotics, drainage, etc.
Me: OK. Thank you. Sorry if I woke you!
Dr Liao: Don't worry. Take care.
Can you believe that? A doctor who not only answers your phone calls in the evenings, but texts you in the wee hours of the morning? Unbelievable! This man is a gift from God sent to us to minister healing to my husband. I cannot tell you how much he has meant to Steve and I in a short period of time. I know that Steve is receiving the very best care possible.
Anyway, what happened next? Well, we went to the hospital and checked into admitting. We were brought into pre-op and told the nurses the story. They did not know whether to admit him or to prep him for surgery. One of the nurses paged Dr. Kim and in a short time, he showed up in the room. Dr. Kim took one look at Steve's leg and he too shook his head. "Hmmm....." he said. "I really don't know how I feel about doing surgery for your port with your leg looking like this." It didn't take long before he arrived at his decision. He would change the surgery from installing a port to putting in a drain. Now instead of conscious sedation, we would need an anesthesiologist. Steve was going to be put to sleep for this one.
They prepped him for surgery in no time. Prior to Dr. Kim leaving the room, I asked him if he would pray with us. A friend of ours, Paige, who has been fighting Ovarian Cancer for 5 years, is also a patient of Dr. Kim's and Dr. Liao's. She told us that Dr. Kim is a Christian and would pray with you if you asked. So I asked. He gladly agreed, layed his hands on Steve, and bowed his head in prayer. He prayed for God to guide him and give him the wisdom to make the right decisions in surgery. He asked God for his healing and to be with us during this difficult time. When he finished, I was doing all I could to hold back the tears, unsuccessfully I might add. I did not want Steve to see me get all emotional. I needed to be strong for him. But I am telling you, this has been one of the hardest trials we have been through in the 24 years of our marriage. The threat of death and dying is real and that thought of losing my husband is unbearable. I was not afraid of the surgery; I was stopping long enough in thought to reflect on all that had been transpiring in a few short weeks. Seeing my husband lay there in the bed, hooked up to IV's, his doctor praying for him and his well being choked me up. I realized that have never loved him more than I did at that very moment. I leaned over and kissed his forehead. "See you soon, sweetheart. I love you." And with that, he was whisked away.
Below is a picture of the drain that Dr. Kim installed on his leg. I have decided not to post a picture of what his leg looked like before the drain. Steve and I both agreed that it may bother some folks to see it because it is a bit gruesome. His leg looks so much better now that all of the fluid is out of there and the drain is installed! The tape and bandages are concealing the location of his seroma.
I am finally releasing a sigh of relief and feeling a good nap coming on! It has been a long and difficult few days and Steve and I are both ready for a relaxing weekend! I got Steve a few DVD's and books on tape, so hopefully he will stay entertained while he is at the hospital. I encourage you to email him at firstname.lastname@example.org or call him if you have his number.
Thanks again for your continued prayers. Through God's grace and his power, we will overcome!