First off, thank you all soo much for your prayers on my family's behalf. The past two days, Dave has really turned a corner and things are looking up!
Today whilst visiting Dave, he requested that I write on the blog what exactly happened to him, since many people have just heard bits and pieces. So here we go...from what I understand..there may be some editing occurring in the near future if my version of the story is incorrect...but this is what I understand..
On December 14, my dad went in for a full knee replacement surgery. He has been planning on replacing the knee for quite some time, and was a prime candidate. He was in great shape, and a very healthy 55 year old. Since he has blown out his knee a few times, his knee was causing him a lot of pain so he decided to get it replaced. The knee replacement itself went really well. My dad was able to come home about 4 days after surgery and the knee pain was under control.
The day after he got home, he began to complain of intense stomach pains. When we talked with him, it sounded to us like he was reacting poorly to the narcotic pain medications. The problem was...the stomach pain was getting worse and worse. When I would talk with him about his pain, he would say that his knee pain was about a "5" but his stomach was a "10". If you know my dad, you know he is not a complainer of pain. I mean, he was up and walking on his new knee perfectly fine. After days and days of this and no improvement, it was time to just go to the emergency room. By the time they went to the ER, my dad literally looked 9 months pregnant and hadn't eaten for days because he felt so sick.
Once he got to the ER, his white blood cell count was up quite a bit. They decided to do a CT scan, which showed an abscess in his bowel. They kept him over night and planned to drain it in the morning. When they went in, they found extreme amounts of infection in my dad's intestines and a bowel obstruction. Because of this, they ended up having to do a colostomy, which will be reversed in a few months. Along with the colostomy, they had to take out the damaged portion of the colon. The doctors also decided to take out his appendix. Besides all of that, they removed about 500 mL of pus that was in his intestines and colon.
How did this happen? Good question. The trauma from the knee surgery could have caused infection in other parts of the body. The pain killers and anesthesia could have catalyzed some of the diverticulitis that he already had. Nobody is quite sure, but we are quite positive that one surgery caused the other surgery. It was a random complication of a pretty routine procedure. Unfortunately it had to happen to my dad and unfortunately he has had to spend his holidays in the hospital.
He has been in the hospital about a week now. His outlook is looking MUCH better. He is eating solid foods as well as getting up and walking laps around the surgical floor of the hospital. He is seeming more like himself and is that same positive and optimistic guy he has always been! They are still concerned at the increased white blood cell levels, and we are hoping they didn't miss some of the infection in the surgery. They are keeping him at the hospital until they can get that under control.
I think that about covers it. Again, we appreciate all of the love and concern and we are truly grateful for all of the phone calls, meals, and prayers on our dad's behalf. It was a very scary situation and we are just lucky we found the problem in time!!