Friday, the 31st of January 2020, began when we arose at 5:10am in the o’dark o’clock of the early morning here in Phoenix, Arizona. Today was Patti’s appointment for surgery to begin the process (Stage 1 of 3 Stages three months apart) of curing Patti’s esophagus disorder called Barrett’s Esophagus. We know not all of you are able to follow our website each and every day so if you missed our post last Monday (the post that gave quite a bit of information about Barrett’s Esophagus) and wish to know more, please click onto the below link..
Patti was ‘fasting’ and I took my breakfast with me in our truck to save time. We were out and on the road at 5:45am. Driving ‘at-the-limit’ and ‘flowing-with-the-traffic’ (85 miles per hour or more) we arrived at the Mayo Clinic Hospital at 6:15am a 30-minute ‘as-fast-as-it-gets’ trip. We checked in and our day began at 6:30am with a very detailed 25-minute briefing and explanation of Patti’s upcoming procedure (due to begin at 8:30am).
God Bless Patti, she opted to participate in a special research procedure to assist all who come later. So a good part of the 25-minute pre-op briefing was about the research procedure.
It was a two-phase procedure. In phase 1, a capsule that was able to transmit images of the interior of one’s esophagus was ‘swallowed’ by Patti (who said it was just a tad difficult to ‘get it down’). After traveling down her esophagus, it was pulled back up via a cord to which it was attached. In phase 2, a second device was again swallowed by Patti. Its function was to gather cells from the section of her esophagus that is compromised (cellular breakdown that was later burned out during the actual procedure). It too was then pulled back up Patti’s esophagus. Patti is only the second patient who has participated in this research procedure here in Phoenix.
(Patti is sleeping as I write this so I am not able to awaken her to clarify the following : Once Patti was taken from the lobby of the waiting room and prepped for the above procedures, I was able to go into the prep-room and sit with Patti for a good 15 to 20 minutes. I’m not sure if I went in to sit with her after the research procedure was completed or before it began. Either way we did have a nice few minutes to sit and visit. I think I was with her after the research procedure and before the surgical procedure.)
I was with Patti in the prep-room when the Chief Anesthesiologist came in and conducted one incredible briefing and hands-on physical exam (listened to her lungs and monitored her heart etc) and asked Patti many very detailed questions about her past history involving anesthesia. When he was satisfied Patti could tolerate the use of an anaesthetic, he gave the OK for the procedure to commence. Had Patti broken out in a coughing spasm, the procedure may’ve been postphoned! Obviously the Chief Anesthesiologist knew Patti was in the Emergency Room just yesterday!
Then it was time for Patti to go into the operating suite. She was placed under a general anaesthetic for the duration of the procedure.
As the procedure progressed, I sat in the waiting room and I was able to look up at an electronic ‘status board’ that showed when Patti left the prep-room. When she entered the operating room. When the actual procedure began. When it was completed. When she was ‘waking up’. When I could return to her side.
All the while, I was also getting the above information texted to me ! Amazing the informational flow I received (as did all the others waiting for their loved ones). I would estimate that there were twenty five (25) patients being prepped / and undergoing procedures in a most orderly progression along with Patti. That too was amazing.
After Patti was ready to have me rejoin her, we spent at least a full hour together as a myriad of post-operative details were tended to. Her doctor visited with us and was very pleased with how the procedure went. A nurse briefed us on Patti’s aftercare then handed us written information outlining what she’d just told us verbally.
Notice all of the equipment in the recovery room area.
Our view looking out at the general area of the recovery room.
Patti said it sure helped her to have me beside her bed (both before and afterwards) holding her hand and quietly visiting. I was very emotional and on-the-verge of tears when I rejoined her after the procedure was completed.
Before we left the hospital, we visited the cafeteria to further decompress. Patti can have Jello and cool, clear, liquids such as apple juice the rest of today. We then visited our Pharmacy to pick up some prescriptions.
We were home to our motel just about 5pm utterly exhausted the two of us.
Thank You All For Your Ongoing Interest And Support
Patti and Cap
Post Script : I wish Patti could proof-read this, fill-in-some-blanks, correct spelling and punctuation errors, etc, but that is not possible as she sleeps, dead-to-this-world. Tomorrow she’ll go over this but now I’m going to publish this post.
P.S. from Patti: I have now read this myself. Yesterday WAS quite the day and I am glad it is behind me, for now. This has to be repeated at three months and six months. It helped TREMENDOUSLY yesterday to have Cap at my side, holding my hand and giving his support. That is it for Mayo for now. On to just enjoying Arizona. Thanks friends!
- JAN 30, 20 .. THURSDAY AT THE MAYO CLINIC
- FEB 1, 20 .. SATURDAY .. THE DAY-AFTER OUR MAYO CLINIC WEEK