13 July 2007


Back home and moving slowly

I'm on my living room recliner couch now, after a week in the hospital (as you saw) that included:

  • Wonderfully adept surgery from Dr. Phang and Dr. Gourlay, who saved both my anal sphincter and my left kidney, which I thought I might lose.
  • Excellent, friendly, and caring treatment from all the nurses, doctors, and other staff of St. Paul's Hospital in Vancouver who took care of me after that.
  • Very fast recovery to start, so that everyone thought I might come home Wednesday, after only five days, rather than the seven to ten days originally expected.
  • A big setback when my intravenous drip was disconnected, when I went into full-blown morphine withdrawal that had me shivering and twitching and groaning in pain through a whole night and morning.
  • Getting a handle on that problem and beginning a plan that will bring me off the morphine as I recover at home.
  • Having a visit from my great friend Simon, and then visiting him again as he recuperated in the same hospital from his own planned major heart-valve operation.

We could not share a room, since Simon's on the cardiac ward, but we remain PKBF (pain-killer buddies forever). Simon is still there for a few more days. Across the ocean my online cohort Jean-Hugues is also recuperating in a hospital in France after colon cancer surgery three days ago, so send them both your good vibes.

Thanks to my dad for posting updates, and to my wife for getting a few photos and the video up here (as well as for being generally wonderful, of course). Thanks to my kids for visiting and bringing stuff to help me feel better. I think my crazy wacky web guy activity will remain slow for the next while, but I'm back, baby.

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Derek it's fantastic to see you home and in such good shape! After watching my mom recover from a bowel resection (Crohn's disease) about 15 years ago, it's clear that they've made remarkable progress in surgical efficiency, and you're certainly on a fast-track to recovery!
Glad to hear your back home. This is great news. :) Enjoy your victories. You've more than earned them.
Hi Derek !

Good to read you again ! You do give me hope, because when you are in the middle of it, it is kind of hard to imagine you will ever manage to throw these day back in the past.

JH is still in much pain, yesterday, his bowels were not emptiing at all, neither way, it was awful. A surgeon appeared by magic and put a tube in his ileostomy, and everything in there went all over the place, yuk ! But it did prevent occlusion (french word - I give it a try, sounds possible in english).

Today, he called be and said he had a bad night, so I am going to rush there to hold his hand as soon as I am allowed too (around 12:30).

But before that, I am going to print your blog, and I know he will be eager to read it.

I wish you a full and complete recovery - you have amazing strength, that you are going to need to get rid of those lung metastases. But if anybody can do that, you can.

Sincere thoughts from Paris - today filled with flags, music and all kind of things for the National Day.
Hi Derek,

good to know that you're back and gradually getting better. Your dad did a great job keeping everyone posted. All the luck to you and Airdrie!
I'ts wonderful to have you back, at home and on the blogsphere. I'm glad the surgey went well and hopefully you will soon be off the morphine for good.
Thinking of you and Airdrie and the girls.
Welcome back.
Love., Real & Family
What a nice report on your hospital care as compared to those which the local media feed us on a regular basis...but Dorothy said it best:
"There's no place like home"

Welcome back,Derek.
I've never meant a smiley more in my life:

Welcome home, Derek. Keep kicking ass!

Best wishes,
pain killer buddies forever...

Glad to see you've retained a sense of humor throughout this ordeal.

Get better soon.