Post 1424: day trip and surgery…!

“Where have you been all day?” The kitty boys demand an answer! I returned two hours after “kitty wet food dinner” time! Why, their little tummies were caved in!

Well, it’s a long story. Hang on dear readers!

The dialysis fistula that is used to give me dialysis treatments showed signs of poor flow on the venous side, so arrangements were made for an appointment at Regional West Hospital in Scottsbluff’s Exploration Radiology unit to determine cause and treatment.

Treatment turned out to be an angioplasty in the restricted portion of the venous portion of the fistula. As explained to me, the vein isn’t able to handle the same pressures as the artery, and micro-tears form in the interior wall of the fistula during dialysis.

Those micro-tears form scar tissue that eventually restricts the flow of blood during dialysis, placing additional pressure on the fistula wall because of (sorry to get technical!) hydraulic principles I understand having worked nearly 36 years in the hydraulic and industrial hose industry in various Quality Assurance roles. Take my word for it, the same volume of blood going through a fistula now restricted by scar tissue will have a higher pressure than it did when it had a bigger ID!

So, let’s get right to the fun part! Beer!

Woo hoo! Yeah, I went in at 9:30, waited till 10:40 to go in for pre-op preparations, was operated on around Noontime, I think, then completed my post-op wait by around 1:00. My friend Terry (we’ve been friends for 65 years, amazingly!) took me down to Scottsbluff, and I promised him a nice restaurant meal for his efforts. No pictures of the meal, just the beer because that was my treat to myself! (Well, and a nice filet mignon…!)  


By 2:30, Terry and I were ready to come home. We saw an incredible amount of evidence of the recent tornadoes, wind, hail, and thunderstorm between Alliance and Scottsbluff. It made us sad to see so much damage to the shelter belts, one of the enjoyable sights in past along Highway 385 and Nebraska 26 along the route to Scottsbluff.

Linemen were restoring power by reinstalling poles and wires ripped out by the storm, residents with damaged out buildings and homes were collecting debris into piles for future removal.

A BNSF railroad crew worked hard from when we passed by in the morning the train blown off the track (!) down by Angora to put the dozens of cars on their sides by the track back on the track by the time we passed it again in the afternoon. 

The tractor trailer had been uprighted and removed by the time we passed, as were some large containers dropped by the tornado by the side of the road. What a mess!

The power of wind never ceases to amaze me.

That little abandoned schoolhouse on Nebraska 26, a landmark all of us locals fondly recall and wished someone would buy and restore now is a pile of well-aged lumber. Rats!


Yeah, kitty boys, that’s where I was and what I did today. Now stop your fretting and I’ll put out your kitty food!


p.s. To all those who gave me their best wishes and prayers and comments of concern on Facebook, thank you and know that I was touched by your thoughts and concerns.

I posted that photo of me in the recovery room because I had nothing better to do for an hour. Little did I know I’d get the response I did. I am fine. I have a small wound from the angioplasty performed on my dialysis fistula. It will take no time to heal. I had no pain before during or after the procedure.

The procedure will help reduce blood pressure on the venous side of the fistula. That, in turn, will reduce the frequency of those “bloody hell” moments where I bleed out after what should be sufficient time for coagulation to take place at the sites of the two “buttonholes” – permanent places used for the dialysis needles instead of using new places each time – and, thereby, sparing me blow outs that cause significant bloody messes!

Remember the photos below? Yeah, “bloody hell”! That’s what happens when a fistula has a blow out because of high pressure on the coagulation plug in the buttonhole. Andy comes optional, and is the only good part about the whole mess. LOL! 



78 thoughts on “Post 1424: day trip and surgery…!

    • Dank je! En ja, het maakte een verschil! Totdat ik de procedure had, was er genoeg druk in de fistel dat het de meeste van de tijd heeft gehad die het in gebruik was. Na de procedure, omdat het meer open was, was de pijn meestal weg. (Er is iets aan het einde van de vier uur, maar niet zo veel.) Bovendien, omdat er een betere bloedstroom is, krijg ik betere resultaten van dialyse, wat betekent dat er weinig hoofdpijn, zwakte en problemen met het geheugen zijn. Het andere ding weet ik nu wat ik in de toekomst kan verwachten. Ik ken de gevolgen van beperkte stroming en kunnen de signalen van mijn lichaam onder de aandacht van de verpleegkundigen brengen.

      Thank you! And, yes, it made a difference! Until I had the procedure, there was enough pressure in the fistula that it ached most of the time it was in use. After the procedure, because it was more open, the ache was mostly gone. (There’s a little toward the end of the four hours, n=but not that much.) Plus, because there is better blood flow, I get better results from dialysis, which means little headaches, weakness, and problems with memory are gone. The other thing is I now know what to expect in future. I know the effects of restricted flow and can bring my body’s “signals” to the attention of the nurses.

  1. I am so sad to hear all these things dear WB, but you are fine and your cats happy to see you. My prayers and love with you all. Sorry I couldn’t catch on time. Thanks and Love, nia

    • Not to worry! It was a minor procedure, I had no pain before, during, or after, and I was enjoying a nice meal in a restaurant little bit longer than an hour after they released me from the hospital recovery room! Thank you for your concern, though. The surgery helped enlarge the dialysis fistula so the dialysis sessions are more efficient now.

  2. You looked at your surgery like an ingeneer in hydraulic speaks of the water flowing in and out!
    But I have to say you look better in watching your mug of beer than in your bed of the recovery room . How much I understand you.
    You are right, Dougn abourt the power of the wind . The modern windmills producing electicity should rotate full speed with such a tornado!
    This is precious to have a good friend like Terry and you ,Doug, you are a courageous man.
    In friendship

    • We have lots of those wind generators where I live because there is a lot of wind to turn their propellers. Amazingly enough, I didn’t see any of them damaged or blown down! I believe they have governors on their mechanical works that prevent them from blowing turning over a certain speed, but I could be wrong.

  3. I take it that if you had beer after the procedure, you didn’t need painkillers? 😉

    Hope you’re feeling much better now! While I’m not squeamish, the bloodstains in that photo were rather alarming. Paws crossed you don’t have to ever deal with this problem again.

    • Actually, I had no pain or discomfort at all. The doctor didn’t give me a prescription, and i didn’t give him any indication I needed one.

      The only thing more alarming than the blood stain on the jacket was the trail of blood I left from my car to the emergency room! They cleaned up the mess in the lobby and the dialysis unit, but the blood drops on the sidewalk were still there days later. That creeped me out!

      This condition will occur again, and, presumably, regular bleed outs are a clue telling the nurses and me it’s time to go through this angioplasty business again.

      Thank you! I am feeling better, actually, because my last session in dialysis gave me a more thorough cleansing of wastes than I’ve been getting because they had to run slower to avoid too high a pressure in the fistula and other blood vessels

    • Actually, there isn’t much recovery involved, but it would be nice if Andy and Dougy cleaned there own litter boxes and ran the vacuum to deal with all the shed hair…. LOL!

  4. doodz……sendin heelin prayerz yur dadz way, we gotta add mit we had ta speed by de fotoz coz we waz like WHOA……….we hope dadz doin soooper grate aye oh kay N him iz on de road oh ree coveree N healthee…. N him stayz ther fora long time….we R all sew sorree two lurn bout de tornado damage; 🙁 prayers two all ~~~ ♥♥

    • Thanks! Me, too. I had no idea what it was about, but they explained it in a way that actually related to hydraulic principles, something I understand because of working in an industry that dealt with hydraulic systems.

  5. Hope you are well and at home. Congratulations for being so brave. Lovely loving kitties to welcome you – prayers for you and your company.
    You are so strong – amitiés – france 🙂

  6. Praying for you for healthy conditions.
    Most of the technics I just couldn’t understand, it just way over my heads. 🙂 But I am sure you will understand.
    I couldn’t help laughing about the kitties, who had missed their meals, and had their tummies caved in! That was funny. I hope they forgave you.

    • The important thing is no kitty passed out before getting fed, no matter what they would have you think! As for the procedure, the only thing you need to understand is it lowered the pressure in the fistula, which will mean less likelihood of bleeding out!

  7. Doug, you are in our thoughts and prayers here. I am just catching up again, and saw your post. I am glad all went well, and now the fistula problem has been fixed. The boys are glad to have you home again!

    • Fortunately, it was pain-free, quick, and effective. I have a small incision above my fistula that doesn’t need a bandage one day later. Anyway, thanks for your thoughts and prayers!

    • No kidding! Fortunately, it was a fast procedure, and the meal afterwards – especially the beer, which I rarely treat myself to – was a hit. You know you spend too much time getting medical care when you are well known by the staff and you know them all by name, too!

  8. I’m glyyou got this out of the way and you’re ok! Sorry about the damn tornado. They scare me, I heard one roaring in the distance as a child in Michigan. Hug those kitties for me!

    • I have to agree on tornadoes. I’m not thrilled with hail in storms, either, or strong winds (there were wind bursts up to 70 mph).

      I’m glad to have this out of the way., too, especially since it did the trick: dialysis was uneventful today for a change!

      Andy and Dougy thank you for the hug and tell me to tell you “Meow!”

    • Yeah, there was a picture of it on Facebook today, before and after. It’s been abandoned for decades, slowly returning to nothing, but the storm sped up the process.

      Thanks! Yes, I’m glad it wasn’t a big deal for me as a patient because I will probably have to have it done periodically.

      Andy and Dougy let their tummies out today, and are glad they don’t have to endure the torture of waiting two hours past their usual wet food time1 Of course, they had water and dry food to tide them over, but, ummm, “cats”!

  9. I am glad everything went well and you will be able to avoid bloody messes.Also glad you got to enjoy a beer and steak.

    • Me, too, on all points! That beer was especially nice yesterday as it was pretty hot outside, even though I was wearing a tropical weight shirt and cargo shorts.

  10. I’m glad it is done and you are back at home… I#m so sorry for al the damage… specially for the old schoolhouse, I’m with you, such buildings deserved that someone gives them a new life… but now it is gone… sigh…

    • I hope someone takes all that well-aged wood and does something creative with it. I can see tables and panelling as possible uses. Or those barn doors.

      I’m pleased with the success of the procedure, and dialysis went flawlessly today.

    • Yes, it was a simple procedure, fast, and didn’t require much more of me than to lie there while the did it! I’m fine, and the procedure worked as expected. As noted, the basic principle is explainable using hydraulics: the same volume of fluid passing through a smaller ID vein will be under higher pressure than through a large ID vein. The way the nurses had to deal with it prior to the procedure was to run the dialysis at a lower pressure (slower) so I got less cleansing of my blood for the same four hours than when the fistula was new.

    • Will do! He’s a safe driver, and, as noted, one of my oldest friends. He used the time to stock up on some things he needed at a store we don’;t have in Alliance, and he ran into some Alliance friends in the lobby at the hospital. He said he had a good day as well!

  11. What a story! That recovery room photo did rather intrigue…glad to hear you are well and that the boys survived your day’s adventures! That beer was well-deserved. Cheers!

  12. We are glad the fistula was fixed and you are doing well. The tornado did quite a bit of damage. I never even think of them unless someone says something about them. I have never seen a tornado or its after effects. Well, we did see the devastation Katrinia wreaked on New Orleans. Rough! The winds must be scary as heck.


    • I think hurricanes would be more frightening than tornadoes since they typically are broader, bigger, and last longer, but tornadoes are scary enough! In either case, the winds are frightening, especially when you see what they can do. I mean, blowing a coal train off the tracks…!

    • Yes, and I’m glad to have things taken care of for now, Ruth! Those “bloody hell” moments are tedious and mean I have a mess to clean up, so it will be nice to have better control over that problem, thanks to the A=amazing Dr. Thanawalla and his highly competent (and amusing!) crew. I always have fun when I get together with them, even though it’s always for icky medical reasons. Thanks for your concern!

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