Embracing Change

Dr. Allen said “no way” to our plan to check into a hotel. He played hardball with Humana and got them to approve the Acute Rehab plan!

So, I have deluxe accommodations at the Mary Brigh building! I will be getting three hours of PT, OT and other therapy every day. My tentative release date is July 5th.



Closer to Free!

Humana did not approve the plan to do Acute Rehab here at the clinic. So, instead I will be discharged from the hospital in the morning and will stay at the Airbnb with Jen through Monday, when the surgeon plans to remove the stitches.

I am celebrating by wearing my new Mayo Clinic sweatshirt!



Rehab Program?

At this point, I am approved to participate in a rehab program here at the Mayo Clinic. However, it remains to be seen if my insurance company will pay for it or not. Hopefully, will have an answer early tomorrow.

The rehab program would consist of 5 to 6 days of additional physical and occupational therapy, which would jump-start my recovery. 

Definitely Turned the Corner this Time

The lymph angiogram which was done on Monday was an 8 hour ptocedure that left Doug wiped out for 2 days. The radiologist found the leak and successfully plugged it. The chest tube drainage decreased immediately and yesterday the last tube was removed. However, he has had right abdominal pain since then and we learned yesterday that his gall bladder was full of sludge.  A biliary tube was inserted today to drain the bile and relieve the pressure. I know what you are thinking 1. Can anything else possibly go wrong and 2. Maybe we should rent for a year and register to vote in Minnesota.

Doug can have clear liquids tonight ( isn’t beer a clear liquid?) and then progress to a more substantial diet, like guacamole and margaritas😉.

That’s it for now,




Two steps forward, one step back

Doug is making good progress with walking, transfers and exercising. And he is gradually eating more. However, his chest tube continues to have high output. The doctors have suspected a chylothorax but 2 tests have been inconclusive. In short, the lymph fluid and lipids from the small intestine travel through the lymph system to the thoracic duct to a large vein near the heart. That duct could have been injured during surgery and caused a leak that enters the pleural space where the chest tube sits. So he is NPO ( nothing by mouth) to see if the drainage slows down. Monday a lymphangiogram will be done to determine if there is a leak.

It’s discouraging. Doug needs to eat in order to have the energy to exercise. It’s hard keeping our spirits up.

Fruit Punch and the Penguins

Doug had a swallow test this morning to see if the new connection between the esophagus and stomach leaked. He stood for a minute or two and chugged about 8oz of a contrast while they visualized the site. No leakage noted and a clear diet was ordered. His pain button has been discontinued and now he can take oral pain medication.

On another note, the Pitsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup, their second back to back championship. Doug has enjoyed watching the games and looked forward to a night of hockey.

He still has a chest tube and it is exhausting walking and going to rehab but he is getting stronger.


Who knew fruit punch tasted so great?