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Location: Salt Lake City, Utah, United States

This blog is a record of events in the life of Joseph Taggart and his family since his spinal cord injury while body surfing in Guatemala in January 2006.

Monday, February 18, 2008

Blessings and Emergency Surgery

Since when is a health problem a blessing? This week end. Joseph has been battling a UTI infection this past week or so. The Doctor even suggested there might be kidney stones. Trying to schedule the tests for them was a complete failure-- time after time. With all this in the background, Sunday afternoon Joseph felt really horrible. He related that he felt like he did when his foot infection went septic and began filling his system. It was time for the EMERGENCY ROOM. As we prepared to go, nausea led to worse. . . time to go.

We went to the new Intermountain Medical Center about 6:00 PM. The facility is very new and nice, so are the people. They decided to to a CT scan (Computed tomography) to check him for kidney stones. When they returned with the results the doctor said. "You don't have kidney stones. . . but your appendix looks like it may be a problem". Three hours (and a large bottle of raspberry flavored 'contrast' chemical) later Joseph went in for another CT scan on his appendix.

Joseph was lobbying for just taking it out. A while ago he was told of a quadraplegic in Idaho that felt like something was wrong. . . the doctors diagnosed a UTI (Urinary tract infection) and perscribed antibiotics. He just didn't feel right and headed for Salt Lake where there were doctors that understood SCI (spinal cord injury) patients. He died on the way to Utah. His appendix had burst even before he started the trip. It's a serious problem when you can't feel the specific pain to describe symptoms to the doctor.
The results from Joseph's second CT scan: "out it must come". Joseph was delighted. At 1:00 AM he was prepped and taken for surgery. They were able to do it with Laparoscopic surgery. It is minimally invasive (if you are interested, this page: Laparoscopic Appendectomy links to photos and videos of the process). The surgery was successful and by 3:00 AM he was out of the recovery room into a regular hospital room. Mom and Dad greeted him groggily. His great friend Matt Smith also came. Matt said he'd stay the rest of the night so Tim and Gloria could get some sleep. There are some acts of friendship that are celestial, Matt's really good at those.

Back at the hospital Monday morning the sun was bright in the beautiful picture windows of the room on the East side of the hospital. Joseph's spirits were great and he was ready to go home. First he had to finish breakfast, doses of IV antibiotics and then a solid lunch and by 2PM we were out of there. What a miracle, in and out in less than 24 hours feeling better leaving than entering and the weight of worry about his appendix rupturing gone forever!

Tim and Gloria's friends Janet and Randy Simmons & Annette and Pete Brunson from Logan arrived just in time to bring a most fabulous meal and celebrate the triumphant return. Oh, and did we mention today was a holiday in the U.S.: Presidents Day , happy birthday to George Washington and Abraham Lincoln.


Blogger KATEMARIE said...

JOE!!!! Wow! No wonder I haven't heard back from you! can just say you don't want to hang out, just skip having another surgery next time, okay?!!! :)

I hope you are feeling better!


Feb 20, 2008, 12:25:00 AM  

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