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Thread: Esophogeal perforation

  1. #1
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    Default Esophogeal perforation

    I was at my favorite Italian restaurant enjoying my birthday dinner. At least, that's how it began. Midway through the meal, I began to lose interest in eating. Didn't feel any distress, didn't even feel full--just felt as though I couldn't finish the meal. I sat there a moment, contemplating the remaining salmone alla grilgia thinking I'd forego desert, just pay the bill and go home.

    A minute later, I began to be aware that I wasn't going to be able to drive home. And then I realized that this wasn't going to turn out well.

    The next thing I was aware of was lying on my side on the floor. A woman from a nearby table was holding me, explaining to the owner that she was a nurse. She had originally thought I was choking, and had come to deliver the Heimlich maneuver when she realized that I was passing out. She immediately had asked for someone to call 911. Meanwhile, I'm lying on my side in extreme distress now, all thoracic muscles fully rigid. Ordinarily, when things go bad for me, I am able to find some position which gives me some relief from the pain. This time, there was no relief for me.

    In my case, my esophagus had opened up where it joined my stomach, and had delivered my dinner onto the side of my left lung.

    I'm fortunate in living where I do. There's a fire station a mile and a half up the road--and within four minutes, EMTs were coming through the door. I was semi-present, able to identify myself, and the hospital that I should be taken to. Two minutes later an ambulance showed up. At this point, I have no visual memories, and only scant audio memory. But I tracked every turn the ambulance took en route to the hospital with my body, being tugged one way and then the other. I drive by the hospital multiple times per day, so I am intimately aware of all the turns and bends. Fortunately (again due to where I live), the hospital was only about 8 minutes away.

    I was vaguely aware of being brought into the ER. I remember being surrounded by many hands pulling my clothing off of me. Two hands on my left shoe, two hands on my right, more hands tugging at my shirt. I feel a hard metal object being shoved against the side of my ribs. "That's a trochar! Apple told me about those, how they're used for poking holes in people." (Apple is my God-daughter, who, last July, was inducted into UC Davis Medical School.) I'm thinking this as the trochar is shoved against me even more forcefully. The third shove produces a loud grunt in sympathy from me as it apparently has penetrated my chest. That's the last thing I remember.

    That was Friday evening. I'm guessing that just a little over an hour passed between the time of the perforation occurred and when I was in the OR being cut open.

    Saturday morning I opened my eyes to see a couple of nurses, faces bathed in morning sunlight, greeting me, and informing me that I'm in the ICU. They tell me that I've been intubated, and ask if I'd like to be sedated. I decline the offer. The morning of the fourth day the tube is removed--but the nasal tube leading to my stomach remains in place.

    I was hospitalized on 8/19/2022. I was released on 9/2/2022.

    I was released still carrying a drain stuck into the left side of my rib cage, and a pick-line, with catheter leading into my heart, on my right upper arm. Eleven days later, the drain is removed. The next day, the pick-line is pulled. Finally I am able to sleep normally.

    I'm posting this to explain my recent absence from the forum. I've missed you guys.
    “Aren’t you supposed to be the gentlemen who lie for the good of their country?”
    “That’s diplomats. We’re not gentlemen.”
    “So you lie to save your hides.”
    That’s politicians. Different game entirely.”

  2. #2
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Wow. Glad you are on the mend. That sounds terrible.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    May you continue with your recovery.

  4. #4
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Apparently not too many people survive it. The last nurse to see me asked me what had happened. When I told her, she said "Whoa, you have found favor with the Lord!"

    The chances of survival start fairly high, and dwindle over the next 6 - 8 hours. Yes, I was one of the lucky ones.
    “Aren’t you supposed to be the gentlemen who lie for the good of their country?”
    “That’s diplomats. We’re not gentlemen.”
    “So you lie to save your hides.”
    That’s politicians. Different game entirely.”

  5. #5
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Ugh! Good Christ!

    I am sorry to hear your tale. But, so happy you are still here to tell it!

    My best hope for a quick and uneventful recovery for you!
    Skip

    ---This post is delivered with righteous passion and with a solemn southern directness --
    ...........fighting against the deliberate polarization of politics...

  6. #6
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    holy ****ing ****
    Simpler is better, except when complicated looks really cool.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Quote Originally Posted by webishop14 View Post
    I was at my favorite Italian restaurant enjoying my birthday dinner...
    Most stories that start that way end with fun and good food.

    Your story took my breath away (maybe that's a poor expression under the circumstances). I'm glad to hear you are recovering. I hope your recovery continues and you regain your strength. That is a frightening and impressive story!
    "Where you live in the world should not determine whether you live in the world." - Bono

    "Live in such a way that you would not be ashamed to sell your parrot to the town gossip." - Will Rogers

    "Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others." - Groucho Marx

  8. #8
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Damned lucky that nurse was at the table next to you...
    Glad you are back with us, it sounds like a very unpleasant experience

  9. #9
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Holy Crap!

    Glad you survived. Here's hoping for a full and rapid recovery!!!
    David G
    Harbor Woodworks
    https://www.facebook.com/HarborWoodworks/

    "It was a Sunday morning and Goddard gave thanks that there were still places where one could worship in temples not made by human hands." -- L. F. Herreshoff (The Compleat Cruiser)

  10. #10
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Good thoughts sent your way.
    I once thought I was wrong, but I was wrong, I wasn't wrong.

  11. #11
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Now there's something you can't prepare for! Glad you're back with us old timer JayInOz

  12. #12
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    Default

    Wow! Glad you came through it!
    You would not enjoy Nietzsche, sir. He is fundamentally unsound. — P.G. Wodehouse (Carry On, Jeeves)

  13. #13
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Holy Flying Flip, what a story!

    And glad you're still with us!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Wow. That's quite a thing to live through. Glad you're OK! Kind of interesting, though. Usually those sort of perforations are triggered by an episode of wretching after over-eating. I had to help a thoracic surgeon scoop out a lady's third helping several Thanksgivings ago... Best wishes for your continuing recovery!

  15. #15
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Wow! I am glad everything turned out ok.

    Just to add to esophagus issues and in case anyone else ever runs into this, although I didn't know it at the time, I had some esophagal varices that were likely caused by my cancer. One night I vomited a little blood. I wasn't overly concerned and the next morning I had a scheduled appointment with my oncologist anyway. While sitting there waiting, I vomited a whole tray's worth of blood. Due to the loss of blood involved, this turned into a very serious situation immediately. The nurses immediately kicked into emergency mode and I was dealt with at the GI department very soon. Lesson learned - don't ever ignore this stuff.

    Good thing I wasn't on one of my wilderness expeditions and away from medical help at the time!!
    "Wherever there is a channel for water, there is a road for the canoe. " - Thoreau

  16. #16
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Glad you are still with us.

    I suspect you have a journey ahead of you, and not only a medical journey.
    Almost exactly a year ago I went in an ambulance to the hospital in septic shock. I recovered, but lots of people don't.
    During the last year lots of bad dreams/night terror from that event.
    From my experience take care of your mental health.

    Good luck
    Russell

  17. #17
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Best wishes for a successful recovery.
    There is nothing quite as permanent as a good temporary repair.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Dang! That's rotten - but an awesome outcome.

    Andy
    "In case of fire ring Fellside 75..."

  19. #19
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Migod. So grateful you're here to tell us the story!
    If I use the word "God," I sure don't mean an old man in the sky who just loves the occasional goat sacrifice. - Anne Lamott

  20. #20
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Holy moly. Glad all is ( reasonably) well.
    Gerard>
    Albuquerque, NM

    Next election, vote against EVERY Republican, for EVERY office, at EVERY level. Be patriotic, save the country.

  21. #21
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    I'm glad you're alive and hope that nothing like that ever happens to you again.
    Yachting, the only sport where you get to be a mechanic, electrician, plumber and carpenter

  22. #22
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Wow, man!
    Glad you are here. Live longer and prosper!

    Kevin
    There are two kinds of boaters: those who have run aground, and those who lie about it.

  23. #23
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Yikes, what a story! So glad you made it and so glad there was excellent medical care at hand.
    Take it easy and heal well.
    I was born on a wooden boat that I built myself.
    Skiing is the next best thing to having wings.

  24. #24
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    I'm considered by friends to very fit and healthy for my age, but I am always aware that you never know what's lurking inside you.
    I do hope your complete recovery will be swift.

  25. #25
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    jezus h i'm glad your wife did not have to post an outcome that no one wants to hear !!!

  26. #26
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Quote Originally Posted by rregge View Post
    Glad you are still with us.

    I suspect you have a journey ahead of you, and not only a medical journey.
    Almost exactly a year ago I went in an ambulance to the hospital in septic shock. I recovered, but lots of people don't.
    During the last year lots of bad dreams/night terror from that event.
    From my experience take care of your mental health.

    Good luck
    Russell
    While hospitalized, sleep deprivation was a constant: I cannot sleep on my back. While intubated, communication was severely limited. I was quite aware of the psychosis lurking in the background, at times becoming my sometimes-reality. I was finally able to articulate the problem on day four, when the Dr. prescribed Trazadone for the next night. This was followed by 10 mg. of Ambien the next night. This helped.

    The first two nights after release, I was still trying to get through the night on my back: I still had the drain in my left side and the pick-line with intravenous antibiotic in my right arm. 10 mg of Ambien totally messed with my mind. The following night I tried 5 mg of Ambien--it still messed with my mind, but not as badly. In the middle of the third night, I finally tried sleeping on my stomach--heavenly bliss: sleep!

    I've been able to sleep ever since, and am amazed at how much the sleep helps in my recovery.

    Having Asperger's syndrome, my mind is quite capable of sitting back to observe in witness mode--I find this helps with my mental health. Playing piano also helps my mental health--the challenge currently is to be able to sit upright on the bench for more than 15 minutes.
    “Aren’t you supposed to be the gentlemen who lie for the good of their country?”
    “That’s diplomats. We’re not gentlemen.”
    “So you lie to save your hides.”
    That’s politicians. Different game entirely.”

  27. #27
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    The same thing happened to an old member of our club, at the london boat show with a bunch of friends, much guiness & beer consumed plus a big dinner, he collapsed on the railway station on the way home, most of his friends were all for carrying him onto the train saying "Hes only drunk".
    One insisted on calling an ambulance & he was rushed to A&e, that saved his life. Took him a while to get over it.
    Both lucky men to get away with it.

  28. #28
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Glad you're still with us
    What's not on a boat costs nothing, weighs nothing, and can't break

  29. #29
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  30. #30
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Good to see you posting here again.I hope future birthdays are equally memorable,but for happier reasons,and I wish you many more of them.

  31. #31
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    That was very scary and dangerous. Wishing you to recover quickly back to normal.
    Choose wisely -Treat kindly...

    A secret to a good marriage is to have a quick mind and a slow mouth...



    S/V ORCA 38' Herreshoff Ketch

  32. #32
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    You were very lucky to survive. I hope you'll recover quickly.

  33. #33
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Quote Originally Posted by webishop14 View Post
    I was at my favorite Italian restaurant enjoying my birthday dinner. At least, that's how it began. Midway through the meal, I began to lose interest in eating. Didn't feel any distress, didn't even feel full--just felt as though I couldn't finish the meal. I sat there a moment, contemplating the remaining salmone alla grilgia thinking I'd forego desert, just pay the bill and go home.

    A minute later, I began to be aware that I wasn't going to be able to drive home. And then I realized that this wasn't going to turn out well.

    The next thing I was aware of was lying on my side on the floor. A woman from a nearby table was holding me, explaining to the owner that she was a nurse. She had originally thought I was choking, and had come to deliver the Heimlich maneuver when she realized that I was passing out. She immediately had asked for someone to call 911. Meanwhile, I'm lying on my side in extreme distress now, all thoracic muscles fully rigid. Ordinarily, when things go bad for me, I am able to find some position which gives me some relief from the pain. This time, there was no relief for me.

    In my case, my esophagus had opened up where it joined my stomach, and had delivered my dinner onto the side of my left lung.

    I'm fortunate in living where I do. There's a fire station a mile and a half up the road--and within four minutes, EMTs were coming through the door. I was semi-present, able to identify myself, and the hospital that I should be taken to. Two minutes later an ambulance showed up. At this point, I have no visual memories, and only scant audio memory. But I tracked every turn the ambulance took en route to the hospital with my body, being tugged one way and then the other. I drive by the hospital multiple times per day, so I am intimately aware of all the turns and bends. Fortunately (again due to where I live), the hospital was only about 8 minutes away.

    I was vaguely aware of being brought into the ER. I remember being surrounded by many hands pulling my clothing off of me. Two hands on my left shoe, two hands on my right, more hands tugging at my shirt. I feel a hard metal object being shoved against the side of my ribs. "That's a trochar! Apple told me about those, how they're used for poking holes in people." (Apple is my God-daughter, who, last July, was inducted into UC Davis Medical School.) I'm thinking this as the trochar is shoved against me even more forcefully. The third shove produces a loud grunt in sympathy from me as it apparently has penetrated my chest. That's the last thing I remember.

    That was Friday evening. I'm guessing that just a little over an hour passed between the time of the perforation occurred and when I was in the OR being cut open.

    Saturday morning I opened my eyes to see a couple of nurses, faces bathed in morning sunlight, greeting me, and informing me that I'm in the ICU. They tell me that I've been intubated, and ask if I'd like to be sedated. I decline the offer. The morning of the fourth day the tube is removed--but the nasal tube leading to my stomach remains in place.

    I was hospitalized on 8/19/2022. I was released on 9/2/2022.

    I was released still carrying a drain stuck into the left side of my rib cage, and a pick-line, with catheter leading into my heart, on my right upper arm. Eleven days later, the drain is removed. The next day, the pick-line is pulled. Finally I am able to sleep normally.

    I'm posting this to explain my recent absence from the forum. I've missed you guys.
    That must have been an experience. Glad you pulled through. Makes a perforated ulcer seem like a walk in the park.

  34. #34
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    was the salmon farmed ?

  35. #35
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    Default Re: Esophogeal perforation

    Yikes. The things that can go wrong with us. Glad you're recovering.
    There is no rational, logical, or physical description of how free will could exist. It therefore makes no sense to praise or condemn anyone on the grounds they are a free willed self that made one choice but could have chosen something else. There is no evidence that such a situation is possible in our Universe. Demonstrate otherwise and I will be thrilled.

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