May 28, 2011

We Feel it for Him

This is the weirdest thing in the world, what I'm about to type. If you've heard of this... feel free to chime in.

It turns out, Joe didn't really lay on the floor for 3 days. It was one. Which still sucks. But is better than 3.

When asked if he knew he was sick, he keeps saying no. When asked if he was in pain, he keeps saying no. None of us have believed him... until today.

When you go see him, he's his normal self. He's cussing every other word, laughing, carrying on.

The man has had his abdomen cut through and had the following things removed: colon, flesh from his stomach and groin, and ALL parts that make a man a man. ALL.OF.THEM.

He's on no pain meds.

He's in no pain.

He coughs and everyone in the room tenses up. He had major abdominal surgery. He looks around like it was just a normal cough.

He is missing body parts AND skin... nothing.

The nurse is puzzled. The doctor is stunned. We're all looking at each other and when you say to him, "Joe, are you in pain?" he shirks his shoulders, shakes his head and gives a half smile and says, 'nah. Not at all. Why?"

We're not sure he understands what's been done to him to save his life. The surgeon keeps saying he's probably going to die. His internist keeps saying he's not. The skin grafts are going to be a tough go, staving off infection, but as his internist said to his niece today, 'Are you kidding? I told you he'd pull through. Look at him and how strong he is. He'll be fine..."

We're wondering what kind of mental toll this will take but Joe has a 'what will be will be attitude', so I actually think he'll be OK with this, although I'm sure the initial shock will be that... shock.

And his great revelation to all this? 'I don't want to die down here in Florida. It's time for me to move back up with family in NJ.'

So I expect if the infection doesn't come back, the grafts take, and he doesn't get pneumonia, that within the next six months he'll be moving to Jersey to be near his sister.

Can you imagine... not feeling pain? Now we understand why he didn't realize he was sick. This lower infection... there was never any fever and he was never in pain.

How odd is that?

Posted by Boudicca at May 28, 2011 09:27 PM

Well,a lot of things come to mind. Mainly, he could have neuropathy which causes the nerves to essentially stop working/feeling. But usually, in a case like that, it would have been going on for a longgg time prior. You probably would have heard him complaining of numbness/tingling in his extremeties, fingers, or toes.

Also, my MIL had a sort of similar thing, but she wasn't entirely lucid. This was due to fluid build up around her heart. She wasn't aware of some of the pain she must have been going through. But for some reason, the fluid build up around her heart messed with her thinking.

Lastly, he may just not be feeling the pain...yet. He may still be under the influence of all the different anesthesia they use during a surgery like that. I had a major major knee surgery, and felt great the day after, and the day after that, and then one more day, BOOM! The pain was horrible! It took about 3 or 4 days before everything wore off, and I started feeling the pain...major.

So, I dunno. There are sooo many variables. But those are my experiences. Hugs to you and yor family for being there for him.

Posted by: DogsDontPurr at May 28, 2011 10:29 PM

Wow! All I can say is thank God he's not feeling pain, for whatever reason!

Posted by: pam at May 29, 2011 08:23 AM

Neuropathy was the first thing I thought of. My fil had it. But there were other things that came with it, as you said, like the tingling and pain.

I asked his niece if anyone remembers him having a head injury. I was wondering if part of his brain could have been damaged.

And I did think of the anesthesia, but it doesn't explain why he didn't feel all the pain from the infection. That could still be it. I guess we'll know in the next day or two...

Posted by: Bou at May 29, 2011 08:39 AM

Regardless of the reason (which may never be known) I'm thankful for his sake he hasn't been in pain because that alone would likely have killed him! Prayers going out for him. Good heavens.

Posted by: Teresa at May 31, 2011 11:42 AM