Update

I’ve been doing reasonably well lately. I’ve held onto the 6 pounds I gained after they removed my biliary tube two weeks ago. I haven’t been very enthused about updating this blog lately; maybe the fall weather will pull me out of my funk.

I’m able to walk more than a mile on level ground now. I’m building up my strength and endurance gradually. Jen and I are hoping to do some traveling with our camper in the coming weeks and enjoy the fall season.

I attended a Sierra Club monthly meeting last night for the first time in a long time. It was nice to see everybody again.

A Turning Point

My local doctors didn’t see the need to have a trancystic stent put in (as proposed by the general surgeons at the Mayo Clinic).

They ran another cholangeogram test Tuesday morning, decided that everything looked fine, and so removed the biliary tube/bag that I’ve been using for two months now.

Since then, I put on 2-1/2 pounds in less than 48 hours! This after not having put on any weight since leaving the hospital.

Our belief is that almost all the bile was ending up in the external bag, with almost none of it making it into the small intestine. This inhibited the processing of fat. Now that bile is flowing normally again, it appears that I am processing fat normally (for the first time in a long time).

More Developments

Jen got home from the Apostle Islands at 2 AM Sunday morning; Martha, Dan and her drove straight through. She had a great time, and was able to keep up with the other experienced paddlers. They were rained-in one day on an island, but had good weather aside from that.

My brother Bill and his wife Jane left Monday morning for their home in Maine; they arrived home an hour ago.

Natalie got home Monday afternoon after her Weepin’ Willows gig in Chicago on Sunday. She’ll be staying with us for a few weeks until she reunites with Rick in the RV.

The REALLY GREAT NEWS came today: my local surgeon agrees with my local G.I. doctor that the proposed procedure at the Mayo Clinic on August 25th is not really needed. He’s agreed to take over care of my gallbladder, and is confident that we can deal with whatever arises!

Update

It has been an up-and-down week, but generally I seem to be moving in the right direction. My weight has stabilized, and I’m even gaining a bit of weight on good days.

My gallbladder seems to be stable for the time being. I was able to get an appointment with my local surgeon on Tuesday next week, so hopefully I’ll find out then what should be done about the gallbladder. I’d prefer to get it taken care of locally, rather than going back to the Mayo Clinic August 25 as currently planned.

Natalie re-joined the family Monday, and will be staying with us for a few weeks until she reunites with Rick on his RV. It’s been nice having her around while Jen has been out paddling the Apostle Islands.

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Jen ready to launch!

We haven’t heard from Jen since she launched, but we didn’t expect to. We should hear from her tomorrow, when she gets back to the mainland.

Today the doctor at the Mayo Clinic said I could start adding more fat to my diet. I had a Whopper Junior for lunch; it was great! Tonight Jane and Bill are preparing a wonderful shrimp dinner. Life is getting better!

Changing of the Guard

My older brother Bill and his wife Jane came into town this week (from Maine) to keep an eye on me while Jen is off paddling the Apostle Islands in Lake Superior with the Hoosier canoe and kayak club.

Jen left here at 5:30 this morning, and arrived at the group campsite about a half hour ago. I just got a call from her; she’s setting up her tent now. She’ll be gone just over a week.

Bill will be participating in a 35-mile Jay Freeman bike outing near Rabbit Hash tomorrow! He’s borrowing my bike, which hasn’t seen any usage yet this year.

Trip Report

Our visit to the Mayo Clinic on Thusday and Friday went generally well, although it was hectic at times making all the appointments.

The chest x-ray showed no leaking, so they’ve doubled the amount of fat that I can take in on a daily basis. That should help me begin to put on weight.

The lymphadema  seems to be fully resolved. The only issue is that the gall bladder cannot be removed laparoscopically because of scar tissue, so we will have to figure out how to deal with that when the time comes.

We are back home now and the weather here is beautiful!  Jay and Kathy Freeman have invited me to be a guest in their canoe tomorrow on the Little Miami River!

 

 

Update

I’m sorry that I’ve gone a week or more without updating the blog. I have continued to struggle getting enough nutrition onboard day to day. I’ve lost some more weight, and haven’t been feeling too chipper.

On the plus side, PT has been going well, and I am able to walk reasonable distances without any walker or poles at this point. We are headed back to the Mayo Clinic this Thursday and Friday for post-op check ups. I’ll provide an update Saturday when we get back.