I haven’t published anything for the last weeks, because I was quite sick and had a major surgery done.
Now I feel a little better, I made it halfway and the recovery can start now.
I woke up, felt really sick and that was the start of a very long hospital journey. First in Seehausen to fight the actual emergency situation and then three weeks stint to Berlin Koepenick.
The DRK Clinic is specialised for cases like me and they found something. The diagnose was a chronic inflammation of the pancreas garnished with plenty of stones, but not the “rolling ones”.
A five to six-hour lasting Whipple-Procedure was recommended and finally performed. A planned three days in the ICU extended to more than two weeks with all imaginable ups and downs.
Now I am back at home and wait for the rehabilitation treatment will start. I need to learn what I can eat, try to gain weight and an insulin pump needs to be adjusted to me. All these needs its time and I need to be patient.
One bad day! – It’s “Tea Time”!
A few weeks ago I woke up and immediately felt that something is seriously wrong with me. I am used to regular nausea and pain in the morning and most of the time I can fix myself with some Primperan, MCP or something else, but today was different.
I went to my GP to get a second opinion, some medication and a sick cert. The GP draw some blood, gave me a shot of MCP and a Domperion drip added with a nice selection of painkillers.
“I will call you when I got the results. After the infusion is finished you go home and try to get some rest.”
It’s tea time.
Half an hour later I went home and drank some chamomile tea. “It’s tea time, again”. The MCP started to kick in and nausea slowly faded away. The pain is not completely gone, but I can stand it without more painkillers.
Results are back – Infection and inflammation.
Two hours later the GP called. “The results are back and you need to go to the hospital straight away and no time to be wasted. I already arranged a pickup ambulance for you. Pack a few things and be ready to be picked up.”
I checked into the Asclépios Hospital in Seehausen. Acute infection of the pancreas, painful and might be life-threatening. Blood was drawn, a biopsy done, infusions connected and much more. At first they suspected much worse. I needed to stay for ten days.
Whipple-Procedure – DRK Hospital Berlin Koepenick
My pancreas is full of stones and most likely chronically infected. A Whipple-Procedure needs to be performed. They cut the infected piece out of my pancreas and rewire my digestive system.
For this procedure, I needed to go to Berlin DRK Klinikum Köpenick and stay there for about three weeks.
Tuesday, 4.th June, I was picked up by a cab in the morning, to be driven to Berlin Koepenick DRK Hospital. A well-known specialist centre for such procedures.
Tests and preparation
The next days, they took blood, put me into different machines to look inside me. The pictures made with X-Rays, MRT and ultrasonic.
The surgeon visited and explained the situation. “The procedure is mayor because we need to go very deep into you. We will remove a part of your pancreas and re-connect your stomach. It will last four to five hours. We use a tube inside your spline to sedate you as needed, you will feel nothing and be deeply asleep.”
He continued to explain side effects, possible complications and more. I wasn’t really interested, because I have no choice, what happens will happen.
Today is the day! – 7.th June 2019
On Friday morning the nurse woke me up at 06:00, to have a shower and shave my belly.
Dressing up in the blue theatre clothing. Now it starts to get very real.
Unfortunately, I am not allowed to have any coffee and I am very nervous.
To the theatre
I was driven in my bed to the preparation area. It’s a cold place down in the cellar. Have you ever felt the cold of an operation theatre?
Green dressed nurses and doctors rush around, I need to wait a few minutes… Sitting on the cold stainless steel table the tension raises, I shiver. There is no way of turning back now.
Are you ready?
The door opens, I see two nurses, they smile at me. “Hello Vil, it’s time. Are you ready?” I try to smile back. “Yes!” They giggle. “Good boy. Now, we need to place a few tubes and setup injection points. You will receive one direct point directly into your spline and one in your heart. We will monitor and regulate your vitals via these channels. Please sit still and bend over a little to relax your spline, I will place a tube around 10 cm into your spline, relax and don’t move. If you feel any tingling sensation in your legs or hands, please mention it immediately.
And now don’t move …….. ”
I feel a sting in my back, the needle is set and the probe needs to move to its place. I can see the monitor, I see the probe and how she finds her way inside me. Fascinating. A bit scary.
“We’ve made it. The tube is installed and we will start to administer pain medication. You lay down now.”
More needles, tubes and connections installed, they finished. A mask with oxygen over my face, it feels a bit unpleasant. I see a syringe with a milky substance. “Propofol, I suppose?” The nurse giggles. “We have a pro here. Yes, you are right.”
The last 15 seconds awake and then it will get serious. My last thoughts, the last independent breaths and everything will go black.
My friend Propofol.
I know the procedure and I wait for the warm feeling when the milky looking liquid is injected into my veins. Once I feel it, I know that I will be deeply asleep within a few seconds. My last thoughts are about the journey ahead. “When I wake up the procedure will be done.” and then the Propofol kicks in.
Good night, here I am.
Around six hours later. ……
My consciousness came back, I slowly wake up. I hear the beeps of all the monitors.
My first thoughts. “How do I feel? Is there any pain or nausea?” I carefully check inside me and to my relief, I feel surprisingly good.
The nurse shows up. She tells me that the procedure went fine, with no complications.
Something with colours
There was a bit of pain and I asked the nurse for some drugs to help. “Is there anything with colours inside to help me to be as comfortable as possible for the moment?”
She smiled at me and replied. “I think I can help you with that. I will need to ask the doctor for a prescription, but that’s no problem. I will be back in a minute.” She smiled and left the room.
Two minutes later she returned with a big syringe and a button.” She connected the syringe and passed the button to me.
“There is something to help you.” She smiled.
“You can click a maximum of four times per hour.
You can and click every fifteen minutes, that will help to numb the pain.
Or you click four times at once, that you will help you to sleep and you relax a bit.
It’s up to you.”
Now I will rest and sleep. Start to recover.
Unfortunately, my digestive system isn’t restarting fast enough. The adjustment to the rewiring of my digestive system was not a small task and a common side effect is a slow digestive system.
Longer ICU Stay
It was planned that I need to stay only for three days at the ICU, but a few days later my health declined a bit and the doctor told me that I need to stay even longer at the ICU.
My stomach isn’t starting up very well. The reconstructed part on the exit of my stomach is swollen and blocks the digestion. The liquid is filling up my stomach. The pain started to get serious and the stomach felt hard.
I was rushed to the X-Ray. You know there is something serious going on when you get rushed to the X-Ray and you can skip the line with no waiting time.
It was decided to put a tube through my nose into my stomach, to drain the fluids and release the pressure. For this, they placed a lubed tube through the nose into my stomach. I don’t want to go too much in detail, but it needed three deep breath, heavy pushing of the tube, with heavy discomfort and vomiting.
It was a messy procedure, but it helped to release the pressure and from now on the acid in my stomach will be extracted through my nose and collected in a practical plastic bag.
One time I went down to have a coffee and forgot close the valve on the tube and literally “drank” directly into the bag. Tough luck.
I hate it to be connected to all these tubes and cables. It’s ok for a few days, but then it becomes more and more unpleasant and after ten days the situation becomes unbearable.
So I connected and fixed all my infusion devices, drip-infusions and a few other bags to a pole and was able to walk very slowly downstairs for the first time in ten days. The ward was on the fifth floor and the way downstairs was an adventure.
But it was worth it. The fresh air was amazing. The sun is shining and the park is stunning.
No real food for around two weeks. Just a white “Astronaut Liquid” mixed with Insulin.
Not very tasty, but enough to get me going.
At the end of my Berlin visit, I will have lost 15 kgs weight. Dropped down from 80 kgs to 65 kgs, what a bummer. I miss every kilo.
Today my doctor received the lab results and she rushed into my room to tell me the good news. They checked some of the removed tissue because they suspected cancerous cells.
“It’s your second birthday today. Mark the date.” The doctor smiled at me
As days go by!
I am still at the ICU and I realize that the recovery process will last longer than expected, but there is hope because the recovery process improves a little bit day by day. No more heavy pain medication needed, the sleep is ok and I had my first successful visit to the loo for two weeks. Jipiieeeeee, time to celebrate!
Now, I need to tackle my blood sugar levels. As my digestive system slowly restarts and I need to learn how to adjust my diet to the new situation.
It’s a try and error operation. I do have a little guidance, but now I need to combine a diabetes diet with a low ballast one. Somehow counterproductive.
No more “Nose-Tube”
After ten days they removed the “nose-tube” and I got a little freedom back. Still connected to a “ZVK” (Zentraler Venen Kateter) in my neck. Sensors for my heart rate and …
I am a cyborg!
I carry a new and fancy RFC Bloodsugar Sensor. No more blood needed to measure my actual status. Now I am directly connected to my smartphone and with a push of a button, I am up to date.
Now an app monitors my sugar level in real-time and warns me if my levels get critical.
The loo works and I am able to eat again. Now it’s time to start the main recovery process.
I feel a little bit better. The scar is massive. 21 clamps already removed and the scar is long. Around 35 centimetres. Well healed, but they destroyed my Sixpack. 🙂
Bye, bye Berlin! Thank you!
I finished my stay in Berlin, back home for two weeks and prepare for the rehabilitation centre.
[UPDATE] – Rehabilitation Centre Moelln
I need to attend a rehabilitation program. There I learned what and how to eat and how to gain weight without hurting myself. Three weeks of lessons, extra care, presentations, and additionally a mixture of swimming pool, massage, gymnastics or yoga, good food.
[UPDATE] – Back Home!