Keeping the blogosphere posted on the goings on of the world of submarines since late 2004... and mocking and belittling general foolishness wherever it may be found. Idaho's first and foremost submarine blog. (If you don't like something on this blog, please E-mail me; don't call me at home.)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Update From Room 1674

Some quick notes from my first few days at the hospital recovering from cancer surgery:

1) Everything is going as well as could be expected. The pain from the 36"+ incision ( ! ) is getting more manageable, and they've pulled the most annoying tubes out. (I've decided there are few things more annoying than a nose tube.) The pathology report from the surgery shows that the cancer hadn't spread to any local lymph nodes, and that the radiation had done its job in killing the tumor.

2) I had a wonderful visit from the inimitable ninme and her husband yesterday. Before that, I was really in no condition to have anyone visit. This has given me a much better appreciation of how major medical issues can really make people weak.

3) I'm surprised that, at least at this hospital, they don't encourage more interaction between patients. For some reason, I thought there'd be more than just nodding at each other when doing out mandatory walks.


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, I dunno. A cath is pretty annoying, too...but the mprphine button made just about anything tolerable.

Mine was just a motorcycle accident. They don't spread. I am so glad to hear your's hadn't.

Take care of yourself.

2/23/2009 6:10 AM

Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

We're glad to hear your recovery is going well!

2/23/2009 6:20 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Glad to hear things are going well. Looking forward to you getting back in the blog saddle full time.

2/23/2009 7:13 AM

Blogger Steve Harkonnen said...

Get better soon, fellow blogger and shipmate. I wish you all the best in health and a full, snappy recovery.

2/23/2009 8:35 AM

Blogger Kat said...

Glad to hear that everything is going good for you. Here is to a speedy recovery.

2/23/2009 8:44 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hey, glad to hear you're doing better!
I had bypass surgery several years back. I thought the worst was (in order) getting the ventilator out, getting the catheter out, then the chest tubes out. I didn't have a nose tube, but I think that's only because they used so many others there wasn't enough room to place another one!
It's freaky to me how soon they have you up and walking. However, I guess it's a good thing, since I was home less than a week after my surgery. You can nod at the other patients, however they take a dim view on you tripping them for some odd reason. Not that they can prove it was me...

2/23/2009 8:58 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I've heard there is a really strong relationship between getting out of bed/walking around and recovery time. Much more so than people used to think.

Evidently, too much time spent flat on your back is very bad for you. Someone should tell the ELTs.

2/23/2009 10:24 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thanks for the update. Take care of yourself, and stay strong.

2/23/2009 1:04 PM

Blogger beadlizard said...

Lovely news. That's a truly long incision. Yikes!

I've found that the psych ward can be friendly. During one long stay in a hospital the only piano was in psych so that's where I went to practice every day. Verrrry chatty!

Wishing you a quick and thorough healing. God bless. --Syl

2/23/2009 7:42 PM

Blogger Srvd_SSN_CO said...

Joel, good to hear things are going well. I will drop off a trinket for you tomorrow before dinner time. Toodles!

2/23/2009 10:57 PM

Blogger bothenook said...

36 inch? zoiks. sounds like you are in line for the golden zipper award for sure.
glad to hear our friend deadly radiation was able to help out. must have been non-qual cells though, because we all know that nukes are immune to radiation.
really really glad to hear things are getting good enough for you to bitch about tubes. you're on your way now dude.
and hey, that comment above about ELTs? i resemble that remark....

2/24/2009 12:52 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Long-time reader, infrequent commenter. I wish you the best, sir. Thank you for the updates and get well soon.

2/24/2009 4:45 AM

Blogger a_former_elt_2jv said...

I take particular offense to the 'flat on your back' remark. Isn't that the RO's?


2/24/2009 11:49 AM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

"I take particular offense to the 'flat on your back' remark. Isn't that the RO's?"

Nope, the previous comment was dead on, the SMAGs were rackhounds. The RO were too busy shaving their, err.. you know...

2/24/2009 5:17 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just checking in to offer my 2 cents. I met Bubblehead's mom! She's a lovely lady. And tells a mean story about Nebraska, too.

I saw the scar, which really is incredible. It looks like somebody thwacked at him with a broadsword. It'll make a *really* good story later.

2/24/2009 6:26 PM

Blogger Dave (aka Buckskins Rule) said...


Been a longtime reader, but only a rare (if ever) commenter. Glad to hear you are on the road to recovery.

36"???!!! Gadzooks!!!

I suspect they don't encourage interaction between patients because you are in Seattle. People up in these parts don't interact with strangers, at least not in the cities. It didn't used to be that way, but while I was off riding the boats for 20yrs, Washington (specifically the Seattle area) became Californicated. Now if you give a greeting to a stranger on the street, they are as likely as not to look at you as if you have the black plague. It's not so bad in the more rural areas, but there is still room for improvement.

Any notion when they sawbones are going to let you out?

2/24/2009 9:29 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Joel, it's great to hear you're recovering so quickly. It sounds like you'll be up an at'em in no time. That's outstanding.

Yeah it's true about patients not having much communicJation with one another. I noticed it when my Girlfriend was recovering from her kidney transplant at Swedish Hospital (which is about 10 minutes east of you hospital)over 2 years ago. I'd take her out for fresh air 2 times a day in the "Doctors" park area, and all the other patients and medical personnel would avert their eyes and not acknowledge us. That really used to piss me off.

But, what was explained to me later on, was that when an in-house patient was out getting some air, it isn't generally polite to make more than 2 second's worth of eye contact with another patient whom you don't know.

It's difficult for most people to talk about their medical difficulties. I suspect that's why you were mainly conversing with only your family and close friends.
Everyone is in survivor mode when they find themselves in the hospital. That hard instinct in life is perfectly normal.

So, don't worry about it. Just concentrate on getting well and returning home to your familiar surroundings and family. It appears that you'll be home very shortly, and I'm glad for that. I'm happy as hell that you've beat all this cancer shit!! It sounds like you caught and sunk it all in it's early stages. That really is outstanding.

I'll look forward you future bog posts.

Have a good week.
Thanks, J.

2/24/2009 11:48 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

we are with you, pard..

2/24/2009 11:49 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

we are with you, pard..

2/24/2009 11:50 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

sorry for the double post..the last computer i knew how to use was the Ford mark1 able fire control puter, in late 50's, lol..

2/24/2009 11:52 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Gee whiz buddy, this seems like a difficult way to lose some weight.

2/25/2009 4:20 PM

Anonymous Anonymous said...


Here's a video for you to cheer up to-- I saw it looking for "Navy Numa Numa" on Youtube:

Hope you're feeling better

2/25/2009 8:06 PM

Blogger Lil ol' me... said...

(This is 'escapee' from Huckleberries...) I've never posted on your blog before, although I've visited it...I just wanted to wish you a speedy and full recovery...

2/25/2009 9:40 PM


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