Tuesday, February 27, 2018

Medical Emergency While Cruising

George was admitted to Broward Health Medical Center in Fort Lauderdale two days ago. His diagnosis is small bowel obstruction. We have no idea how he ended up with an obstruction.  He doesn’t seem to have the right risk factors for one, but here he is. The treatment has involved inserting a nasogastric tube for drainage. That is supposed to relieve pressure and allow for the obstruction to clear on its own. A surgeon told us yesterday that 80% of these cases do clear and do not require surgery, 20% do not clear and do require surgery. George’s case is right on the edge. There have been some good signs, but there is still too much drainage to pull the tube and allow him to eat. They are going to give it more time to clear. 
The treatment has been torturous for him. He has always had a strong gag reflex and the tube really triggers that. He had a test yesterday, a small bowel series, that made him want to die. He had open heart surgery 19 years ago to correct a hole in his heart. He says this has been much worse. 
Meanwhile, I am in charge of the boat. I have always said that I would be done with cruising if anything ever happened to George. This episode has really confirmed that. George and I operate as a team when we are on the boat, a pretty good one if I do say so. Since he has been sick the responsibility has been overwhelming for me. As much as I love the Bahamas it has made me question the wisdom of sailing that far from home again. I completely understand why people give up cruising when the health issues start piling up. I had hoped we would have more time, but I am grateful for the time we have had. 

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