Thursday, January 22, 2009

The picture made it all worth while

What a day. My first appointment was at 1pm so we left with plenty of time to spare - 7am. We used the parents SUV because I haven't had a chance to put the winter tires on my civic.

Great ride there. We arrived around 11am. Instead of waiting for my 1pm appointment time, I thought I'd just pop in and see if I could get my tests done earlier... and I did.

It was done my first appointment by noonish and my next appointment wasn't 'till 2:20pm. So, we figured that it would be a great time to visit dad. He was supposed to only be 24min away (said Google Maps).

I'm not sure if I should be mad at Google Maps for saying it was going to only take 24min... or if I'm mad at Toronto because it was only supposed to take 24min. Either way - it took 1 hour and change to get there. We arrive around 1:20. And all Chelsea could think about was how we'd miss our 2:20pm appointment if we didn't turn back asap. But we had to visit dad. So - we threw caution to the wind.

Boy... all this time I've been telling you guys how great dad is doing. But, these pictures tell a different story. He is doing well - he's in good spirits most of the time, he can walk and he has a bit of energy.

But I have no idea whats up with all this bloating. He's HUGE from the diaphragm down, but skin and bone from the diaphragm up.

So whats his prognosis? I'm not to sure to be honest. The doctors say that the bloating will come down in time. My dad needs to exercises and eat more. He's prepared to be in Toronto for another 2-3 months.

Click for more pics of our visit with dad.

My uncle Paul got him a Sens jersey. My dad was so surprised. He loved it! None of us have any idea who its signed by - but its still boss! Thanks a million, Uncle Paul!

Our visit was very short - like 11min. We had to jet back to the hospital if we were going to make it back for 2:20pm.

We arrived at the Toronto general at 2:35pm... 15min late. I rushed to the appointment. When I told the receptionist I was late, she said, "Don't worry... Dr Greig is running late today." Sweet...

It felt like we were sitting in that waiting room for hours. The doctor didn't see us 'till 4:20pm. To pass the time, we played a Marital Quiz... we'd think up questions that we didn't think the other would know the answer to. I lost.

When the doctor arrived, he was really nice. To be honest - the dude saved my dad's life. He can be as late as he wants.

He asked a bunch of questions - 'How's your eating?' 'Are you gaining wait back?' All my answers were standard issue. He was really pleased with my recovery. He took a look at my scar - felt around. He was happy. My scar is very stiff when you touch it - apparently this means its healing very well.

Then he said, "Your 90% healed. The last 10% will take place over the next year. The scar will soften, the pink will fade, and the muscles will regain their strength. At this point, I'm saying that you no longer have any diet restrictions or activity restrictions. Your officially back to life as it was before the surgery."

He said that IN FRONT of Chelsea... and now I'm saying it on the blog... for the whole world to read... BLAST! So - I guess the sympathy dinners/baked-goods/laneway shovelling has come to an end. Chel won't even pass me a towel from across the room... she tells me to get it myself.

Even on my way out of the appointment, Dr Greig saw me slouching slightly. He barked at me, with a smile, "Hey now! Straighten up!"

After explaining that I have no reason to be a big-baby anymore, he pulled up a report on his computer of all my blood work since my assessments in November. It was so cool! You could see all my blood/liver levels were totally normal until the week of the operation. All the numbers that were supposed to read low were reading high and vice-versa. It was insane. Numbers that were supposed to be 5 were reading 58. Included in the tests were the results from my blood work that morning. It was so cool to see EVERY SINGLE TEST (except 2) were COMPLETELY back to normal. The two that weren't normal are very close to normal and its very obvious that they're on their way back to being normal.

Just before we left, I asked, "SO - you have any pictures for me?"

"Follow me", he replied.

Boooo yah!

You can click to see the bigger version.

These pictures are so boss! Now, there were supposed to be 5 pictures taken: 1-my liver before the operation; 2-my liver cut in half; 3-the remaining part of my liver before I was sown up; 4-my dads liver before the transplant; 5-my liver in dad. Unfortunately, only 3 pictures were taken - and all of them are of my liver before the operation. Oh well.

I've included a nice little diagram so I can explain all the details.

We'll start with the diaphragm and go clock wise.

Diaphragm is immediately below your rib cage. Its the muscle thingy that expands your lungs so you can breath. During the operation, that was expanding and contracting with the ventilator.

That white piece of whatever is a tendon that held my liver in place. It makes it look like my liver is two separate organs. The tendon connected to my chest, near my ribs and held my liver close to my ribs. Its been cut before this picture was taken. As a result, my liver is resting on the organs in my abdomen (just for the picture).

Awesome is the wicked incision... no blood... just a cross section of my skin. So cool.

Stomach - that's were the pizza goes.

Gallbladder - I don't have this anymore. It was removed during the operation. If you were to turn the liver upside down, you'd see all the 'wires' that connect the liver to my body... a network of veins/arteries supplying the blood, and a network of ducts (look like veins) that carry bile away from my liver. The ducts meet in a central duct (a really big vein) which transports the bile to my intestines to help digest certain fats. Just as that big central bile duct is leaving my liver, there's this little room to the left that stores up extra bile... the gallbladder. I'm not sure why it has to be removed... but its gone and I'm still here.


Iodine to sterilize my skin before the incision.

Muscle - that's the underside of my 8 pack. Yah that's right - 8.

"Josh - its so clean!"

I know! I think my liver showers more often then I do.

"There's no blood!"

Crazy eh! They said that I barely bled at all... above average.

I sent an email with the picture in it to a few close friends as soon as I got home because I knew they were curious. My buddy Jeremy replied with this attachment and the caption, "Listeria?"


I can't believe its over! Woooooow!

1 comment:

Adam said...

So dang awesome! I think the inside of your body looks better than my outside..

Praying for you guys.

- Adam