My daughter's doing better now, having had two very difficult days. First of all, surgery day. She was originally supposed to have laparoscopic surgery, for about 2 1/2 to 3 hours. When they were almost finished, she developed a bleed and they had to open her up to find it and fix it. So she was on the table for over 7 hours. She spent 4 hours in recovery, and was taken to her room at 6:30. Because of the extended surgery, she was heavily sedated; her breathing stopped every time she closed her eyes, which was about every 10 seconds. The breathing alarms went off hundreds of times during the evening, and we kept tapping her toes, shaking her shoulder, saying her name, whistling, and doing other things to keep her breathing. The nurse told us it was safe to go home, so we left around 10.
Yesterday was a totally lost day, as far as recovery goes. She was still having breathing problems in the morning, but the larger concern was her blood pressure, which was horribly low, and dehydration. Blood tests showed renal failure, which was a false alarm, but then another blood test and a fever showed an infection. She was in a lot of pain, but they couldn't give her more pain medication because the blood pressure was so low. They moved her to a room on the Definitive Observation Unit (one step closer to ICU), and kept pushing fluids. The doctor was in and out often, and was baffled as to why she wasn't doing any better. He spoke of the possibiity of having to go back into surgery to see if there was a leak; and was concerned about the infection and blood pressure. At 10 pm, they decided her blood pressure was stable (88 over 45) and said I should go home, get some sleep, and they'd call if they were going to move her to ICU.
This morning she looked a lot better; was more alert, her fever was down, and she even said she felt a bit better. She's turned a corner, no worry now about further surgery, and might even get out of bed tonight. She showed us the incision - 10 inches, vertically, right through her belly button. Ack. We left her sleeping this afternoon, and will go back after supper.
Now, speaking of supper! This wouldn't be a food blog without food, would it? I was looking for a quick and easy meal last night between hospital visits, and had seen this recipe in the Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer. (Isn't that flyer wonderful? It introduces you to so many of their products that you normally wouldn't buy, and then some of them become "regulars.") Now that spinach is back on the shelves, I was ready to use it. DH agrees with me that this soup is fabulous, and we'll definitely have it again.
Italian Sausage and Spinach Soup
adapted from a recipe in the Trader Joe's Fearless Flyer
4-5 sweet Italian sausage
1 small onion, chopped
6 cups chicken broth
1 cup uncooked rice
1 20-oz. can diced tomatoes
1 6-oz. bag fresh baby spinach
Remove sausage from casings, crumble, and brown with the onion in a large stockpot. Add broth, rice, and tomatoes. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes, or until rice is done. (Longer, if you use brown rice) Add spinach, then cook another couple of minutes until spinach is wilted and bright green. Serve with some crusty Italian bread or rolls.
food & drink