Surgery Recovery Day 6: Not your Average Patient

1934 Newspaper clipping announcing "The Water Baby" sculpture by Beatrice Fenton, for which Gene modeled.

1934 Newspaper clipping announcing “The Water Baby” sculpture by Beatrice Fenton, for which Gene modeled.

Statistically speaking, Gene is not average and never has been.  At 3 years old he was modeling for sculptures that are now in museums.  (See photo left.)   In his 70’s he completed his first triathlon.  And how many 82 year olds do you know who swim 1-K every morning in open water?

So when Gene’s surgeon said that the median or average post-Whipple Procedure hospital stay was 7 days, I should have known better.  But I figured that Dad, being older than most Whipple patients, would stay at least the 7 days, and maybe even the 10-14 that is common with these surgeries.  I even looked forward to the idea of getting a 7 day break before returning to caretaker mode.

I am happy to admit that I was so wrong!  Gene was discharged from the hospital on day 4!  Yes, you are reading right…  Gene came home Tuesday, less than 96 hours after having major abdominal surgery on Friday.

Yesterday, Wednesday, was Day 5, Gene’s first full day at my home without the care of nurses.  He did well, especially since his guest room is on the third floor of our little seaside town-home.   Like in the hospital, he is interrupted every couple hours and encouraged to take fluids, food, pain killers, and walks, so none of us are getting much rest.  But all systems are “go” and Genes digestive system is awake and learning how to accommodate with fewer parts.  His pain fluctuates between minimal and moderate, which can be expected with this type of surgery and increased physical activity.

For those of you interested in statistics, and hope, read The Median Isn’t the Message, by Stephen Jay Gould.

http://people.umass.edu/biep540w/pdf/Stephen%20Jay%20Gould.pdf

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1 Comment

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One response to “Surgery Recovery Day 6: Not your Average Patient

  1. Terry, I used the photo on the Facebook event page for Chain of Hands. I will on Meetup, WordPress as well. Thanks. -mi

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