It’s All About the Surgeon

At 9:12am, I received a phone call from the surgical assistant that Hook was anesthetized with all IVs running at full speed and that everything looked good.  Wow!  They call you from—what?—a medium clean room or maybe the cell is in a plastic bag and the surgical assistant is punching the numbers with a gloved hand.  I’ll have to ask him the next time he calls.

HDU_AllAboutTheSurgeonPoor Hook was so hungry when they rolled him away on the gurney this morning at 8am.  He was on a liquid diet all day yesterday with absolutely zero fluids after midnight last night.   When the surgeon came to see us this morning, he assured Hook he could have a juicy hot meal….in about a week.

I take back all the Facebook grief I gave our surgeon for his cell calls, and felt reassured once I saw him this morning looking rested and eager to get to work as he shook our hands.  When Hook got a little emotional just before we parted, I said, “I feel like you’re in good hands.  I think if anyone can do this, he can.”   The anesthesiologist and the surgical assistant were listening to us and piped in with their own feedback:  “He’s good.  He’s very good, and we don’t say that about all of them.  When we don’t say anything then it’s time to worry.”

The next scheduled update from the surgical assistant may be at the halfway mark of 2-ish or they could decide to wait until Hook goes into post-op which could be as early as 4-ish.

Room #:  Still Pending

I did find out that I will not know Hook’s private room number for a couple of days because after post-op, he will remain in ICU for one to two nights which means I won’t be allowed to spend the first night after all.   This also means only immediate family will be allowed in to see him today and tomorrow (Friday).

On Friday/Saturday, the surgeon will determine whether Hook is fine to move out of ICU and into an Intermediate room.  Hook will stay in the Intermediate room until he can get up out of bed with help.  After the Intermediate room, Hook will be assigned his Private Room.

People have asked if there’s anything they can do, and yes, there is and I’ll be forever in your debt (choose 1 or all of the below):

–          Pray for Hook (if you believe in the power of prayer).

–          Follow this blog so updates are automatically pushed out to you.  This will help minimize calls, texts, emails.  I promise to make you chuckle from time to time.

–          Mail a Get Well card if you feel so inclined.  I only mention the Get Well cards because I think Dr. No told people not to send anything, didn’t have time to read darn cards, etc.  Well, yes he will have time and yes, it will mean a lot to him to see cards.   Address:  Allan W. Hook, c/o St. David’s Medical Center, Room #: pending, 919 E 32nd St. Austin, TX 78705 … OR…to our P.O. Box 151240, Austin, TX 78715-1240

Some folks have asked for our physical, home address, and I’m reluctant to give that because a) I will not be at home, and b) If it’s something that can fit into our mailbox then it can fit into our P. O. box which is pretty huge.   If it cannot fit in our home mailbox, then the post office will put a note in our mailbox and I’ll have to go wait in a line to pick it up.  Can you hear me whining about that already?

I appreciate your kind thoughts and desires to send stuff but I beg of you to please resist the urge to send anything more than a card unless you can hand deliver it.   #Thankyoufromthebottomofmyheart

Medical Details

I won’t be sharing any of the gory details of Hook’s surgery because, well, ick.  Plus, some of you may be eating like I am right now.  I can share that Hook is not having a Whipple procedure which is the most common type of pancreatic surgery.  Hook’s tumor resides in a most inconvenient place on the pancreas, and our surgeon in his Plan A will remove the tumor and leave the entire pancreas intact.  Plan B is to perform the Whipple.  Plan C is to save what he can of the pancreas.

Yes, You Can Survive Without a Pancreas

I didn’t know that either but yes you can live without a pancreas.  If you remove the pancreas, though, you’ll have to become a diabetic and inject insulin into your body for the rest of your life.  That’s not a result we want to have, but it was reassuring to know that it’s possible to live without a pancreas if we had to.  We.

Medical advancements amaze me yet we still don’t know the big purpose of tonsils and the appendix.   I’m sure hundreds of years from now when we are all long gone, some doctor or scientist will have an Aha moment and all the mysteries of tonsils, appendices, and pancreata will be revealed.

Visiting Hours / Estimated Time in Hospital

There are no visiting hours, ever.   This is what Hook would have me tell you because, bless his heart, he doesn’t want people to see him when he’s not 100%.  Since only family members will be allowed into ICU, those of you who are determined to see Hook in the hospital should plan on waiting until Monday or Tuesday of next week.

Once Hook moves from ICU into an Intermediate room, he’ll still be in a drug-induced, quasi-lucid state via a self-medicating finger clicker.  (If that were me, I’d be clicking that thing into oblivion.)  But when he does move from the Intermediate room into a Private room, Hook will be more open to visitors.

Estimated time in the hospital:  10 days.  It sounds long, I know, but the surgeon said this is normal for this type of surgery.   Hook has to be mobile and a few bodily functions have to be working before he’ll be released.   TMI?  I’m so exhausted I can no longer determine what’s appropriate to share and not to share anymore. Have to take a nap now and will post another update in a few hours.

It’s all about the surgeon right now and I mean exactly right now so pray, pray for that surgeon, and from the bottom of my heart, I thank you for reading.  It makes me feel less alone to know people are reading this and waiting for an update.

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18 thoughts on “It’s All About the Surgeon

  1. Prayers for you, the man himself (Dr. Hook – as I call him Fish) and all those who love him like you do. Thanks for the posts and thanks for keeping your positive attitude. He has a lot to live for (especially you!) so you know he will use his super strength and power to recover quickly.

  2. Rico and I are praying for Alan, his surgeon, and for our Rose. Hope to see you both real soon. Love, the Hargis’s

  3. Lots of prayers headed your way….following every word….so appreciate the updates. Take care of yourself, too

  4. Still here. Just letting you know. Following instructions praying for the surgeon and the OR team, but throwing one to Hook and to you every so often just for good measure.

  5. Waiting for every next update. You have friends there waiting with you. Just close your eyes and you’ll see us.

  6. Hi Rosemary – Riley and I are grateful to be included in your messages. We’ve prayed for the surgeons and those who will take care of Hook. You are both definitely in our prayers and I also put his name on the prayer roll of our local temple so there will be thousands more praying for him as well. Let us know if we can do anything. I’m sure Riley could jump on plane in a heartbeat if Hook needed him down there. Take care – Kaye Nelson

  7. Dear Rosemary, Thanks so much for the long update. I appreciate all the info—wish I could be there with you—but I am with you in spirit. We are all praying for the best outcome. Love, Claire

  8. Been praying for Allan at the top of each hour (and for you too). Just heading to get my boss at the airport and then off to the hospital. See you soon.

  9. Rosemary- this blog is amazing! THANK YOU for keeping us all updated and giggling from time to time. My prayers are with you both. The Wild Basin tarantula hawk wasps send their positive thoughts too. I’m sure of it.

  10. Thanks for the update! We will keep you both in our prayers.

    Tell him, when he is past having the ‘fuzzy head’ stage of post-op, that Denise and I send our best wishes.

    I always liked that ornery sonofagun. He was one of the very few ‘mensch’ among the zoology post-docs at UT back when I was a mere doctoral student at U.T. I can never thank him enough for getting me this gig at St. Edward’s!

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