Archive for November, 2011

Health Update – The Short and the Long of It

November 9th, 2011 Comments off

The Short

I am having esophageal reconstruction surgery on November 16, 2011.

This surgery is similar to the one I had in June of 2010 except that it is going to be in Houston with a different surgeon. The reason that I am having this second surgery is that there were a couple of areas that were brought together during the first surgery that never had the tissue and/or blood vessels connect. This is what has been causing the scar tissue to grow all this time. With this new surgery I will also have a plastic surgeon who will concentrate on these connections to try and ensure that this does not happen again.

The Long

The journey leading up to this second surgery has been one filled with tens of procedures, tests, and unfortunately emergency hospital stays. The funny thing is that all the procedures that I have endured for the last year+ were to try and save me from having the surgery that I am about to have. Unfortunately all the procedures that I endured ended up becoming more dangerous then the surgery itself, go figure.

This is the tally of procedures, tests, and hospital stays that I have had since my last post in March:

  • Stents: 1
  • Dilations: 3
  • Laser ablations: 10
  • Emergency Room visits: 5
  • Tests (CT, swallow, etc): 5
  • Days in Hospital: 22 days
  • Units of blood transfused: 14-16
  • Ambulance rides to emergency room: 1
  • Helicopter rides to trauma center: 1

On average I was having a procedure, emergency, or test every 2-3 weeks for the last 6-7 months. That’s one reason why I was not posting here on my site. There was just too much going on in such a small time frame that it was impossible to keep up with it here.

The event that stands out most to me during this period was an emergency hospitalization that happened in early September. It included the helicopter ride, 10-12 units of blood, and hospitalization for 7 days in which 2 were in ICU. It was this event that caused my wife and I to reevaluate everything and decide on having surgery. I will spare everyone the details but I believe this is the closest I have ever come to losing my life. I didn’t see the white light or anything but for all intents and purposes most people don’t live through what I went through in early September.

Surgery Details

My wife and I talked with 3 different surgeons before deciding to go with the one in Houston. She is a specialist in the type of surgery that I need and considered one of the best in the country. Her patients and the staff that she works with speak very highly of her. I have already been under her care for a test and a couple days in the hospital and am convicted that she is the best choice for this important event.

If everything goes as it should in the surgery I should be out of the hospital within 2 weeks. I also should not need any follow up procedures and should be able to sleep lying flat again (Yah!). Acid reflux should no longer be and issue either.

I am really looking forward to getting this surgery done, recovering, and getting on with my new life. I am not sure what that entails but I am looking forward to finding out.

I don’t expect to give blow-by-blow updates of the surgery or my recovery afterward but I will update here and there to let folks know how I’m doing. I will probably update more often on Facebook so if we are friends there you’ll be privy to more info. If we are not Facebook friends yet and we do know each other make a request and I’ll approve it. Here is my page – Dan Masters on Facebook