Saturday, November 12, 2011

Lucky Day 11-11-11

A couple of weeks ago, Jeffery realized it was time to find a specialist with experience treating Horseshoe Kidneys. He explained his situation to three different doctors and asked for a recommendation. Independently, all of them came back with the name Blake Hamilton. Even though he is out of our network, Jeffery went for a consultation November 1st and was pleased with the time Dr. Hamilton devoted to understanding this particular case. He ordered a medical test and scheduled a follow up visit November 8th. At the second appointment, he suggested a course of action to solve several causes of pain: one surgery using robotics and laparoscopic ports to correct an obstruction of the right ureter and remove stones (taking approximately six hours), and a second surgery a month later to remove stones from the left side. Jeffery wanted to know if it could all be done at one time, but the doctor said it would take too long. They agreed to proceed as soon as they could get an operating room with a six hour time slot at the Huntsman Cancer Center (they have the robotic equipment.) That very afternoon the secretary called with an opening for November 11 or November 21. Jeffery decided sooner was better.

We arrived at the hospital at 10 a.m. to check in before the procedure at 12 noon. The facility doesn't look like a hospital, more like an upscale hotel. We waited and waited. At 1:30 p.m. we were informed the operating room would be busy until 3 p.m. I brought grading to keep me busy, and I watched as the Family Waiting Room emptied. I was surprised at 7:30 p.m. Dr. Hamilton came out holding two specimen cups. He told me they went in with a scope to look at the left side and decided to pull out as many stones as they could. Some were too large, so they broke them up with laser lithotripsy, and cleaned out the left side. (Most general urologists perform shockwave lithotripsy, which Jeffery has had twice since we moved to Utah. Dr. Hamilton believes shockwave lithotripsy should not be used on patients with horseshoe kidney because the debris falls back into the kidney and starts new stones.) Then they worked on the right side with the robotic equipment. He detached the ureter, removed six LARGE stones, trimmed a narrowed area of the ureter, repositioned the ureter so it wasn't being pinched by some vessels, and reattached the ureter. Bottom line, Dr. Hamilton believes they removed ALL of Jeffery's stones in one visit.

Somehow, Jeffery ended up in the Presidential Suite. Dr. Hamilton said, "If John Huntsman were a patient, this would be his room." It is a large corner room with huge windows overlooking the valley, has inlaid woodwork on the cabinets, beautiful tile work in the bathroom, an adjoining room with a sofa bed, chair, and a wall of cabinets with a microwave oven and its own tv. There is also a small foyer outside the suite with a sofa and desk. There are kitchen, laundry, and shower facilities for families across the hall. You could host a family reunion here. I had lunch in the restaurant upstairs and recognized the decor from a wedding reception post online. It wasn't your typical cafeteria. I'm talking chefs, gourmet bread and a carving station. Patients are not given a checklist of meal choices. Instead they order from a menu and call Room Service. I complimented Jeffery on his choice of hospitals, and he said the doctor chose. My reply, "If I were a doctor, I would choose this hospital too."

We appreciate all the prayers and support from our friends and family.

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