Here, There and Back

Me Before the Procedure, 9/3/2013

Me Before the Procedure, 9/3/2013

So, most of you know what happened a few weeks ago if you have followed Trish’s blog site, RobertsSister.com.  It was a cool, slightly overcast Tuesday morning (September 3) at around 8:02 am, I went into my doctor’s office of fourteen (14) years to have Fat Albert (Intrathecal  Catheter Infusion Pump) refilled with 40 cc of Fentanyl.  I named it Fat Albert due to its size, the first three I had were named Lucy Lu because they only held 20 cc of medicine.  The refill procedure consists of placing a sensor on top of my pump and scanning it to see how much medicine should be in the pump, check for alarms, checks programming, etc.  They then place a template on top of my pump which is implanted into my stomach just right of my belly button.  Once the template is aligned it gives the doctors the place of the fill port on top of the pump.  They then do by sticking a needle with a tube and empty syringe on the end into the pump and then extract whatever amount of left over medicine is in the pump, this starts them off with zero medicine in the pump and they know it can hold 40 cc so they then remove the syringe with the old medicine and attach a syringe filled with 40 cc to the tube.  “The needle is never removed from by stomach until the procedure is complete.”

I’m in with the (1st) doctor and she gets the needle in place and says something to the effect of, “that’s not right, or is it? Hold on a second.”  And she then proceeds to leave the room.  When she returns a minute or two later she looks at the needle and syringe again and is perplexed by “bubbles” coming out of the pump when she pulls back on the syringe.  she then excuses her self one more time and returns with a second doctor (Names left out for reasons of, oh I just left them out).  There are now two doctors looking at the needle sticking out of my stomach and the syringe hanging off the tube attached to said needle.  They say that they only retrieved one cc of medicine when they extracted it from the pump, I kept trying to explain to them that there should be from 5-7 cc still in the pump that is where it always is, when the pump is working right.  They both look at me like, “I have MD after my name, what do you have?”  They continue to discuss the bubbles their getting and say something about a “pocket” area and then they agree that they were in the right area and to start inserting the medicine.  This is the last thing I remember until,

Me after pump filled. 9/3/2013

Me after pump/me filled. 9/3/2013

The paramedics were sliding me onto a gurney.  I remember saying over and over, What happened? and You need to call my wife?  The only responses I received was, “You had a situation happen.”  I said this to anyone who would listen, the staff at Dr. Stephens office, the paramedics, the ICU staff (even though I don’t remember doing it, they say I did).   I then remember being rolled out of Dr. Stephens office and Kristy (office manager) and Jennifer (staff) saying, “You take care Mr. Kreis,” then somehow I remember the ride down to the ambulance and telling the paramedics that their clock’s battery in the ambulance needed replacing.  From this point, Tuesday (9/3 @ 8:02 am) through Wednesday (9/5 @ 3:00 pm +/-) I do not remember anything.  Apparently while I was out my brothers and daughters were having a great time playing around with the vomit bags and of course, me.  Nothing, No One, No Time is sacred, if you have the time to harass someone in our family take it.  So, after all the times we harassed my mom when she was in for her heart and/or lung issues, now it is my turn to be the Ginny pig per say.

Me in ICU,  I knew my daughters loved me. 09052013

Me in ICU, I knew my daughters loved me. 09052013

When I came to all my family was around me or in the hall way, talking about food of course and laughing about the photos they took of me.  Here is one, the others include a few vomit bags (empty I hope) one on my head, I looked like Jim Carey in the Grinch, another with one coming off each side of my head.  I do have to say that the nurse came in and tried to stop them from taking photos because they did not have my permission, somehow they talked her into letting them continue because there are more photos out there.  Love you guys.  Back to the episode, when I finally woke up and realized where I was and a bit about what happened, I had (4) IV’s in, one putting the antidote for Fentanyl overdose (OD), one for plain IV fluids, third for another medicine they were giving me on/off and the 4th as a back up, catheter, oxygen, monitors and more.  I spoke with the nurse one night and she explained that for a recreational OD they normally use only 1/2 a bag of the antidote medicine and with me they needed 4-1/2 bags total.   Here is what we were told happened, when I went in for the refill, they lined up the template, check.  Inserted the needle, check.  Extracted the old medicine, check??  Inserted new medicine into pump,??  Everything AOK, ?? NO!!  When they were extracting the old medicine from the pump, in the process of pulling back on the syringe the needle was inadvertently pulled out of the pump and now the tip of the needle is sitting in the “pocket” area, or just outside my pump.  When they then injected the replacement medicine (40 cc, Fentanyl) it all went straight into my stomach’s fatty tissue causing an immediate overdose.  They had to call to the surgery center which is in the building for assistance, they had to intubate me with a tube in my throat because by heart stopped and I was unable to breath on my own.  They had to breath for me again several times, when I was in the ICU for the first three-day.  When I did come to finally, I has slurred speech, memory loss, I don’t understand why they ask you if you know what day it is when you have been unconscious, don’t know how long you’ve been out and one of the first questions they ask is, “Do you know what day it is?” and “Do you know where you are?” DUH, NO, I’ve been out for how long.

While I was out apparently there were issues with Trish not being notified by Dr. Stephens office who put the blame on the surgery center (??), they then tried to say the paramedics should have called and they she (Kristy, Dr. Stephens Office Manager) tried to say it was up to Kaiser to call.  I’m sorry your doctors (2 of them) almost killed me and for a moment they did and you don’t think its your responsibility to call the next of kin even when I’m sitting on the gurney saying, “You need to call my wife!”  Her number is in my file as an emergency contact, her number is in both of my phones (personal/work) and its even on my med-alert bracelet on my wrist.  Damn it only seven numbers and a quick, “Hello, this is what happened and Richard is at the Kaiser ER.”  Trish tells me once I came to that I somehow called her in a majorly bad way and even worse sounding told her where I was, of course this I don’t remember at all.  Altogether I was in the ICU from Tuesday (9/3) through Thursday (9/5 @ 11pm),  from then until Friday (9/6), Roberts Birthday and our 16th Anniversary, I was in a standard room and finally released around 2:30 pm.   The doctor says that I will still have side effects of the Fentanyl for up to 8 weeks and that it will be 2-4 weeks for me to fully  recover.  Back on the 3rd they turned my pump to extreme low flow so the I would’ go into full withdrawals.     It didn’t work.  Back is killing me from sitting her typing this.   I will follow-up with a second in the series and to let you all know, I didn’t float above my body, or talk with one of my departed relatives, just me, myself and I.  Namaste’  / : ^{ ) >  – Richard

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