On September 12, my husband Jason started experiencing immense pain at work. He called his boss, had someone cover for him, and drove himself to the ER. That afternoon he had his first of many surgeries to have his gall bladder removed, supposedly a simple straightforward procedure with a speedy recovery.
Over the course of the next four days it became clear that his recovery was not going as it should, he was not gradually feeling better. On September 17, while the kids and I were eating dinner, I heard Jason trying to get my attention. He was in an extreme amount of pain and could barely breathe. I called 911. In front of me and the kids, Jason was loaded into an ambulance and driven back to the hospital.
The next day, September 18, after a myriad of tests it was determined that my husband was having bile leak into his body. He underwent his second surgery to try to determine the location of the leak and redirect the flow of bile but no leak was found. A stent was put in in hopes it would do some good. After the stent placement, Jason underwent a minor surgery to install a drain that would drain the fluid collection out of his body in hopes of his body healing up within days. Upon installation of this drain he had significant improvement in pain. Three days later he was released from the hospital and we start recording the amount of fluid emptied out of the drain daily, hoping to see the expected downward trend.
All seemed well until September 23. Until this point, the fluid levels had consistently gone down; all of a sudden they jumped significantly. We discussed this with his surgeon who suggested that this occurrence was weird and to watch it for a couple more days.
Over the course of the next couple of days, the fluid that is being drained obviously changes. There is an addition of blood to the bile. When we went to Jason's doctor's appointment on September 25 he was directly admitted to the hospital, I had to drive him there and help him admit himself. Mind you this is admittance #3.
Once again, Jason went through a miriad of tests as before. Jason had another major surgery with the best GI specialist in Bellingham, who once again could not find the leak, and who once again installed another stent in hopes of it helping. At this point, Bellingham doctors started consulting with doctors in Seattle, the best GI specialists in the nation. On September 27, Jason was released from the hospital to go home. Doctors in Seattle said no matter what, even if another procedure is to be done, they wanted him to wait 30 days to rest and recover because his body had been through too much.
For the next 15 days things seemed to be going as they should, as if his body might be healing itself. The fluid drainage maintained a downward trend and we were holding our breath to see if there would be no more fluid draining by the end of the 30 days.
On October 13, after a normal drain emptying and flushing routine, Jason experienced low level pain comparable to when I had to call 911. He dealt with it. October 14, the pain occurred again, significantly increased. At this point, Jason was back to work, and once again had to leave work and drive himself to the ER for his fourth hospital admittance. They determined that his first drain was no longer properly functioning. They took it out, and reinstalled a new drain in the front, his second minor surgery. When this drain was installed, an infection was briefly spread throughout his body and he was almost admitted to the ICU with symptoms of sepsis (high, unstable heart rate and high spiking fever).
Upon this hospital admission things did not improve. Another myriad of tests were done and Jason transferred directly from a Bellingham hospital to a Seattle hospital on October 19, his fifth hospital admittance.
On October 20, Jason had some more tests and major surgery #4. The doctor removes the stents because they are not doing any good but cannot replicate the actual leak. He does narrow down that whatever is wrong is occurring on the right side of the liver.
On October 21, Jason has another test that is used to determine that 1/3 of his liver bile ducts on the right side of his liver are severed from the rest of liver and empty into gall bladder area rather than into his intestine. He is told that he has two options: go home with the external drain until his bile ducts close themselves off which could take a matter of months or have that part of his liver removed (which would be at least another 30 day wait for his body to heal). Jason’s primary concern is the amount of pain that his drain is causing him that would not allow him to go back home and be functional. On October 22 Jason has a test to check to placement of the drain and it is determined that it cannot be relocated.
With the concern about not being able to function with the external drain and Jason being so young, the idea was come up with to create an internal drain. If this procedure works Jason would be able to get back to his life. If not, we would be back to deciding between the two above options (wait for drainage to stop or liver surgery). On October 23, the first of two major surgeries (the 5th major surgery in this process so far) was done to install hardware into his body to start to create an internal drain. Jason will be discharged from the hospital in pain and primarily on bed rest for two weeks in which we come back to Seattle for the internal drain to be completed. This will be his seventh major surgery and his sixth hospital admittance.
*EDIT* On November 14, Jason entered the hosptial for his seventh major surgery and sixth hospital admittance. While the external drain was able to be removed...we still have a journey ahead that will require more time off of work and travel for more tests and more surgeries.
Why do I tell you this entire story about a young man and his young family who have been through the stressors of him having undergone 6 hospitals stays, 7 major surgeries, and 2 minor surgeries in a month and a half?
Over the course of this journey, little to no income has been made. Jason lost his secondary job altogether, and for the most part has not been able to work his primary job. I have lost my primary job altogether and for the most part have not been able to work my secondary jobs because of caring for him and the children.
Not only do we have all of our bills to pay, but as a wife that has been doing my very best to try to stay by her husband’s side in the hospital, there have also been babysitter costs, hotels costs, food costs, fuel costs, and parking costs accrued in traveling back and forth from hospital to home…and things have been like this for a month and a half and appear that they will be like this for at least another month between surgery and recovery if not longer.
We are seeking help to be able to keep a warm, lit, roof over our and the children’s heads; food in our stomachs; along with removing the stress of possibly not being able to stay by each other’s side in the hospital because of no financial resources.
*EDIT* The goal amount of $10,000 was created from adding up four months’ worth of bills (the amount of time that Jason has not been working and trying to preplan for future time off because of tests and surgeries) and expenses along with allowing extra for babysitting and travel expenses to and from Seattle. Any and all help will be amazingly appreciated!
For people donating who are local to Bellingham, there are incentives being offered per donation amount. If I am able to meet a $6000 goal the owner of Flow Motion is offering me a free 6 month Gold Membership which I could REALLY use!
To see all of what Flow Motion has to offer please visit http://www.moveinflowmotion.com/
* Current Flow Motion clients can participate by giving rewards to a friend but may not redeem themselves.
Also, there are now incentives for people donating in the Phoenix, Arizona area!
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