Saturday, February 27, 2010


I spent Thursday evening taking care of things that needed to be done before surgery, such as grocery shopping and laundry. I also packed a bag in case they could not do the surgery as a laparoscopy, figuring at least that way my dad would not have to hunt for stuff at my house. When Dad picked me up Friday morning, I also packed my computer. I did not take it with me, but I figured it would be a good idea to have it ready to go in case he had to come by and pick it up.

After checking in at hospital I got out my knitting to keep me occupied. I have been participating in Ravelry's olympics (Ravelympics), and I was working on the Wintergreen Gloves for the WIPs Dancing (Works in Progress event). I had been working on them on and off since the end of October, putting them aside to work on Christmas knitting and then Cold Mountain. To be in the WIPs Dancing event, projects had to be dormant for at least a month before the Olympic opening ceremonies, so I just opted to work on other stuff. I finished a pair of socks I had been working on here and there, and I also made some preemie hats for a friend whose daughter made her entry into the world a couple months early.

It was a morning of odd coincidences. The patient care technician who had taken care of me with my last ERCP three weeks earlier saw me and recognized me. He was not the patient care tech taking care of me this time, but I ended up being in the same pre-op room as I had been three weeks earlier. Then one of the nurses who took care of me was one who had taken care of me during a previous ERCP--the one on December 24, if memory serves.

So I get changed into the hospital gown and keep knitting. Eventually they started an IV, and the managed to put it in a vein in my right arm, which enabled me to keep knitting. And unlike last time, someone came in from anesthesia fairly early on. It was not the person who would be doing my anesthesia, but he did take a history.

After all the times I have had anesthesia, I have learned a few things. I need to make sure they know I am asthmatic and have had problems with anesthesia before. I also have learned that using my inhaler before being put under actually causes me more problems with anesthesia, and I told him this.

I did not get one of the people I had requested for anesthesia, but I knew I probably would not. Nor did I get the guy who did my last ERCP. The guy who did my last ERCP was not bad, but he also does not like using Versed. However, I like getting Versed. It helps me relax, and I seem to do better with it than without. This guy did give me Versed though which helped. Actually he said something about how if I had not talked much before I would be talking a lot. I made a remark about it being Veritaserum and the guy laughed. I actually did not talk quite as much after it kicked in--I tend to talk more when I am nervous.

I remember being wheeled into the operating room and getting on the operating table. After that the next thing I remember is waking up in recovery. I had an easier time coming out from under the anesthesia than I did last time, but I still felt kind of sleepy. The nurse in recovery told me that was okay and to sleep if I needed to. I did have some pain, and she gave me morphine. I was not particularly thrilled about that, but she said it was the standard procedure.

More importantly, I learned that the surgeon had managed to remove my gallbladder laparoscopically.

Eventually I was wheeled into another room back in the pre-op area. I got there right around 1:00 p.m. or so, so I turned the television on and watched As the World Turns. I did have some pain in the area of my back that tends to spasm, and the nurse who was taking care of me post-op said something that was probably the gas they used during the surgery. She said getting up and moving around would help with that. I managed to send out text messages to a bunch of people letting them know surgery had been laparoscopic--it took a bit longer though because I was having a little trouble focusing.

I got home around 5:00 p.m. or so. I had left the hospital about 4:00 p.m., but we had to go to Walgreens to get a prescription filled. I posted an update to facebook and sent messages to people who are not on facebook.

Not wanting to wake up a bunch of times during the night, I ended up staying up for a while. It is kind of funny, but I would sort of nod off while I was on the computer. However, I did not really do it if I was knitting, so I divided my time between both.

Today I feel pretty good. I am still a little sore in areas, but I know that will get better with time.

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Another Update

On Monday I called my primary care physician's office to get a recommendation for a surgeon within the same medical practice. They referred me to a surgeon and I called his office to schedule an appointment. They told me they had a cancellation so they could get me in at 9:45 a.m. on Wednesday.

So I went to the appointment today, and I am very glad I sought a second opinion. The original surgeon had told me months ago he could not do the surgery as laparoscopic procedure, and he indicated I would be off work 4 to 6 weeks. However, this surgeon told me he would try do it as a laparoscopy, and that if he could do it that way, I could be back at work in a few days. I asked what kind of recovery time I would be looking at if he ended up doing an open procedure (big abdominal incision), and he said I would only be off work a week or two. Then I asked about stairs, explaining that stairs were unavoidable since I lived in a townhouse. He said stairs would not be a problem.

He was very good about explaining what he was going to do for the surgery, and I feel much better about doing this. Good thing too, because surgery is scheduled for February 26, 2010 at 10:45 a.m.

Sunday, February 7, 2010


When I had my first ERCP on November 3, 2009, it turns out there was a 4 cm leak where the pancreatic duct was gone. Fortunately there was still some pancreatic duct left in the tail of my pancreas, so they ran a wire and placed a stent. When they did another ERCP on December 24, 2009, the leak was down to less than 1 cm, and my GI doctor replaced the stent.

I had another ERCP on Friday, February 5, 2010, and the leak has sealed up. So my GI doctor removed both the wire and the stent and cleared me for surgery.

Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Cold Mountain

Back in August I started working on Cold Mountain by Kieran Foley. The plan was to have it done in time to wear to my friend Lynn's wedding on October 3. I used JaggerSpun Zephyr Wool-Silk in the colorway Ebony.

I actually managed to get a good portion of it done before I got sick. This is the second Kieran Foley design I have done, and I think it was easier than Seascape. After I started feeling like knitting again, I tried working on it, but I would find mistakes and get frustrated, so I decided not to work on it for a while. Then I received an invitation to the wedding of a friend's son. That was the motivation I needed to finish. I was so close to finishing on January 22, 2010, I decided I was finishing that night. It did not happen. I ended up having to rework a section three times, but I finally finished it on January 23, 2010.

Here are a couple of pictures of it I took before blocking.

I am not enamored of the yarn. The first skein of yarn had a number of bad spots where either the yarn simply came apart or otherwise looked bad. By the time of Irish Fest, I had spliced it seven times. A couple of my friends have used this yarn and not had any problems with it, but I happened to mention it to one of the judges for the knitting contest, and she indicated she knew what I was talking about. I ended up having to splice it another time before joining the new skein and one time after joining the new skein. And then to top it all off, it ripped along the bind off edge when I was blocking it!

I had been incredibly careful when blocking it, but I guess this yarn just is not very strong. Or maybe it was just the skeins I bought that were bad. Fortunately I was able to undo the bind off and splice the yarn again. This time I bound off even more loosely. I did not block it again, but it is not terribly noticeable.