The surgeon, Dr Kenneth Feucht, who did my initial surgery is the head of a large practice of cancer surgeons and considered to be an innovator in his field. He had not been pleased he had been unable to save me from having an ostomy in the first place. Then when I had experienced the first complications soon after surgery he followed my care himself even though he was leaving the country in just a few days.
When my hospital stay stretched beyond what he expected, he was forced to leave me in the care of an associate, Dr Petty, telling the man he needed to take special care of me since I'd already been through so much. Dr Feuchct didn't want to hear anything else had gone wrong. Then he told me he probably would not see me again since I would be long gone before he returned from his trip.
In hindsight that was one of those things that seemed simple enough but that's sure not how it went. There's no way he could have even imagined things would go so terribly wrong.
It was the day after Dr Feucht left when the embolism shower occurred. I guess you could say that gave me a chance to build a rapport with the second surgeon. As much as I had hated leaving the surgical ward for the CCU, he was the one constant during that time. He checked in one me every day except weekends and he always introduced his weekend replacements so I never had a day with a strange surgeon. Thankfully though, the day of my second surgery Dr Petty was in charge on my case. There was some comfort going into the second surgery with a surgeon I actually knew well enough to recognize his name, face or voice.
I've never quite understood how blood in the ostomy bag indicated that my ostomy had failed but that is exactly what had happened. Dr Petty took one look at my ostomy and the skin around it and surmised the tissue was dying and my condition was once again critical.
Before the surgery I was told it would be a simple procedure that would not take long. Afterwards I was told the surgery had not gone as planned. It had taken nearly three times as long as he's expected with a considerable amount of cleaning up to do but everything now looked good and I should be back on the mend.
Actually he didn't need to tell me there were problems with my surgery. I knew when I found myself looking down on my still body with tubes and machines all hooked up and doctors and nurses speaking in concerned tones that things were not good.
This was actually the third time in this hospital stay that I had this experience. Each time it seemed to get more defined. The white light I saw became closer and closer and it got to the point I could see a tunnel. I could hear voices emanating from the tunnel and there were forms of people standing off in the distance. I remember felling myself pulled towards that tunnel like so vacuum was sucking me in.
I wondered if my beloved grandfather was one of the people beckoning me. As soon as that thought entered my mind I began to panic. All sense of serenity left as I thought "NO! NO! My horses! I cannot leave my horses!"
Then it was black again until I regained consciousness in the recovery room. This would not be my last experience with the white light and the face of death.
To be continued...
The Plot Thickens..........