Thursday, November 10, 2011

Mick McKellar Update -- Day +263

As you can see from the photo, I am doing physical therapy, Keweenaw style. Yesterday, the yard was shades of brown and dark green, with scattered accents of faded reds, golds, and grays. About 3:00 PM, yesterday, the air suddenly turned white. By this morning, more than a foot of that white had fallen, with about 10 inches of the heavy, wet snow to be moved from our driveway.

Because I had surgery (laparoscopic cholecystectomy) on Halloween day, I can't really wrestle with our ancient snowblower (an 11 HP John Deere), so I had to settle for scooping the heavy snow. Shoveling is simply not recommended, so naturally I do it, but slowly and carefully. I don't take pain killers, so I know immediately if I do anything I should not.

Healing Well

The incisions have healed well, and the angry red entry wounds are not so angry and only a little red. Even the opening left by removal of my Jackson-Pratt drain has healed and looks benign. I still get twinges and uncomfortable sensations when I move certain ways or pick up more than I should. Still, I would call the surgery successful.

Good Numbers

Blood tests from Wednesday morning revealed some really good numbers. I am still anemic, but not dangerously so. My bilirubin is in the normal range, indicating that my liver is behaving normally, even after the gall bladder surgery.

Car Sick

Just in time to prepare for our next jaunt to Rochester, MN (on 11/29/2011) our dependable little '93 Focus may be in need of medical care. I'll be taking it to the car doctor tomorrow for a diagnosis of probable wheel-bearing-itis, this coming only a week or so after we sold our old minivan. Both vehicles are/were suffering from last winter's nearly total inactivity.

My visit to Rochester will be part check-up and part testing to determine why my pulmonary function has decreased since July. We are praying it is not fibrosis.

Thanks for your ongoing prayers and good thoughts.

Gotta get some rest. God bless and good night.


Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Mick McKellar Update -- Day +253

I am home! The surgery went very well, although there was (I guess) an unusual twist, and I am wearing a suction device to draw blood and other stuff from the surgical area. I cannot lift over 10 pounds and must not stretch, twist, or bend more than a small problem because it hurts to do those things.

There is some pain and breathing can be difficult at times. The worst is using the "Airelife" volumetric incentive spirometer every hour. Performing and monitoring my own postsurgical breathing exercises is a cool idea, but (to put it bluntly) it hurts. I have pain medication, but have managed to avoid taking it until about a half hour ago...just before turning in for the night.

Of course, I am taking antibiotics to prevent infection. Kudos to Portage Health medical staff for great, friendly, and professional care. I was particularly taken with the new disposable surgical robe system. It was made of paper. It covered my posterior. And get this...when I said I was chilly, the nurse connected it to an air pump device that circulated heated air into the robe, keeping me nice and toasty while waiting for my surgical adventure.

Best of all, I was home for Halloween and was able to see my grandsons, Daren and Raine, in costume tonight. Both were constumed as Batman (Batmen?). Their family dog was dressed up in a cape and went trick-or-treating as a Vampire Pomeranian.

Thank you all for your prayers and good thoughts. I am certain they powered a successful surgery and allowed me to go "under the knife" with more confidence and comfort than ever before.

God bless and good night,


(rapidly becoming a hollow man on Halloween)