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#14 (23Jul00) ER

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Subject: Jen wellness update #14 (23Jul00) ER
From:      Karl Horton

Jen watchers,

the roller coaster ride continues .... for those of you who find medical details distressing, don't read on, just know that Jen had a minor problem today which turned out to be benign.

It would be nice to have a single day when we didn't see UCSF hospital - but not today.

In the middle of the afternoon, we noticed that Jen had a large pulse in the side of her neck, right next to the wound from her neck dissection. On the one hand we both felt like anxious parents worried about anything strange with the new baby. On the other hand we immediately paged Andy Goldberg.

So, we piled Jen into the Mustang and drove to the ER. The ENT resident took a look and was concerned enough to disappear for thirty minutes whilst he consulted with Goldberg. It was bloody stressing. Next door in the ER someone took a jack-hammer to one of the patients. It went like this: "ddddddddddd ing, oh,oh,oh , eeeeee". I tried to keep Jen's blood-pressure down .... what the hell was our doctor *doing*. Jen took her pad and wrote "He's probably looking things up; the tongue bone connects to the neck bone...".

Eventually the resident returned and told us that there is probably a small leak in the tongue flap, which is letting air dissipate into the neck wound. He put a drain into the wound (under local anesthetic), and pronounced the problem non-critical. he also congratulated us on our perspicuity in pressing the alarm button early: if the neck wound became infected it could lead to complications.

Complex, eh? Jen is taking it reasonably philosophically: she'll get to see Goldberg about it tomorrow: there is a moral here. Get over your shyness, and *talk* to the doctors - you are as much involved in your wellness as they are. Jen is definitely teaching me this lesson in spades; the attitude of "I'm sick, and they will fix me" isn't optimal.

We're still both really glad, however, that Jen came home. We regrouped with Jane & Larry tonight and had a family meal. Jane, Larry & I had chicken salad, and Jen sat at table, writing notes to us whilst she ingested a tin of "goop" through her feeding tube.

Tired now.

Incidentally, Jen apologizes, but the time isn't yet right for visitors to 4504.

regards, Karl

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Page last updated: Monday, 05 March 2001 17:54:50 Eastern Time.