Emergency Surgery

So it's Friday evening and dad has been feeling ill all day, his primary doctor has been contacted earlier and he advised to only push liquids plus monitor for any changes. Around 10pm dad starts vomiting really really dark brown liquid I have never seen this so I call the on duty triage nurse, dad gets medical through the VA. She says to transport to ER. After the ER does their thing, wonderful staff by the way, it's determined he has a femoral hernia and his bowel is kinked inside the pocket caused by the hernia. Surgeon called in and he tries to massage externally the bowel out of the hernia, he is only partially successful.

Now we are facing 2 options 1) surgery to fix it, which because of age and the CBD puts him at a high risk or 2) do nothing and hope it slips back into place on it's own. Option 2 is also very risky because the bowel could lose blood flow and tissue dies resulting in a infection, which will probably cause death.

Dad is semi-coherent so the choice is put to him but he doesn't seem to understand, I have PoA and healthcare so the decision is mine. Since time is not on his side I have to decide ASAP, risky surgery which he may not survive, be in bad health afterwards and require nursing home care OR let a man who's probably 5+ years into CBD get some final rest.... I choose surgery and it went ok. He is in ICU now resting with long road to healing ahead of him. Did I make the right decision.... I'll never know....


9 Replies

  • Oh Ron! I'd say yes yes yes you did make the right decision!! This is very similar to what happened to my mum (who doesn't have Psp) a few weeks ago!! Her recovery is good but slow. Sending you both good wishes and lots of love, please keep us posted! I know exactly how you must be feeling x

  • Hi Ron

    Yes I also think you made the right decision for your dad

    Hope all goes well with his recovery and even if it takes time to recover from this at least your there to see him through it

    Sue x

  • Considering how painful the choice 2 would have been, it would be a horrible way to die, so yes you made the right choice.

  • Ron what a difficult decision for you. I think like others who have replied that you made the right decision. The other option would have been a horrible death? If this works then he has some extra time. If it doesn't then at least you have done your best and nobody can do more than that?

    God bless you and your Dad.

    Marie x

  • Thanks for all the replies. Dad is doing ok, bowels are working but still in ICU. I'll know more about what the future plans are after I talk to doctors in the morning.

    I gave my post some thought and decided I did make the right decision, if he came through ok great, if not then it was just his time and I had done all I could do.


  • Some months ago someone posted here that her father had been sent home with this problem, in agony, as surgery was deemed too risky for him. It sounded a hideous way to die. You know you made the right choice. Even if it had not turned out so well, it would still have been the right choice. It is stories like this that make me so attentive to my man's system!

  • I can understand the weight of your decision. Hoping a speedy recovery (for you both)




  • This morning, Tuesday, things were looking good.. Stomach tube and internal catheter were removed, talk of moving dad from ICU and possible discharge within a day or two. Nurse calls after dinner to let me know they introduced clear liquids and he started complaining of nausea, scan showed excessive fluid in stomach so the tubes put back in, along with catheter and all moves taken off the table for now.


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