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Year View| Summary| Highlights| Month View| Saturday 27 July 2002 (Day View) – Cairns

27.07.2002Saturday 27 July – Cairns

I got woken up at 7 o’clock as requested. I managed to get myself out of bed and down to the Internet café with enough time to spend a half hour online, before phoning Silas sometime past 8 o’clock.
  They arranged to meet me outside the BellView at 9:30. I bought a falafel roll, which really filled me up, and then Silas came and picked me up. They have a hired Toyota Ute. We drove up to Eric’s place, then down to a bulk butchery, then to a pet supply store, leaving Cairns some time around one o’clock. A winding drive up the Kuranda range, and through Mareeba brought us to a café in Mount Molloy, which makes the best hamburgers in Australia, officially (some food group did a test or something...) Angie bought a hamburger, Gus and Harry had pies, and Silas had fish and chips. I nibbled a few of his chips. We then drove on to Lakeland roadhouse where we refuelled, and then onto the gravel and home. It sounds easy, but that was probably 400 km’s, and over 40 km’s of gravel, with all the undulations and bumps sending shockwaves of pain through my lung. Maybe that was a bit melodramatic, but some of the bumps sure hurt. I’ve just eaten dinner, sitting here in front of my PC pretending my lung doesn’t hurt. It actually works, when I think of something else the pain is less, and when I remember it, it begins to hurt more again.
  I’m all perplexed and unsure what to do now. This could be the end of my studying for this year... I simply don’t know. I’ve heard it’s possible to get into easy uni courses with a stats test, and then once in, I will be able to change to any course. Once again, I just don’t know, and I don’t know whom to ask. Sigh. Then there is the matter of my Austudy; if I stop studying, I stop getting paid. So I’d have to look for work, but I’m in no health to look for work... I really don’t know what to do. Sometimes I just wish life was easy and simple, or at least that I was rich. I know money doesn’t equate to happiness, but it would sure help. So would a good lung, this pain is getting to me. That’s one good thing about being tired and sleeping. The pain stops, even if it does hurt more to lie down. Sleeping is good for thinking too, I go to bed with a problem, and as often as not, wake up with a solution. I shall ponder over what to do and how.
  There are two types of operation that might be performed on me. The bedside procedure involves the insertion of a chest tube under a local anaesthetic. I have had this one already. A sedative may be also given, either by mouth or through an intravenous catheter, although it wasn’t in my case. The chest tube is usually placed in the lower part of the chest, near your underarm. A dressing is applied to around the chest tube and is taped in place. The fluid or air drains through the chest tube into a collection container called a Pleur-e-vac. This container is usually connected to suction to allow adequate drainage of the fluid.
  Once the fluid or air has been adequately drained through the chest tube, a solution of talc (or other agent, depending on the preference of the surgeon) is inserted. The chest tube is then clamped, to keep the talc solution from draining out immediately. You will be asked to change positions in order for the talc to be well distributed throughout the chest. The chest tube is connected to the Pleur-e-vac and the lung re-inflated. I never received the talc solution when I had this done to me, just the drainage and suction.
  The second option is performed in the operating room, under video-assisted thoracoscopy (VATS) surgery. This requires a general anaesthetic, which is given by an anaesthesiologist. After you are asleep, the thoracic surgeon inserts the thoracoscope through a small incision in your chest. The pleural fluid is removed. If necessary, pleural biopsies can be obtained. A talc solution is then insufflated (blown in) over the lung and pleural surfaces. A chest tube is then inserted and connected to a collection container, which is connected to suction. The chest tube remains in place (with a dressing over it) until the doctor determines the fluid output to be significantly decreased. This chemical pleurodesis is hopefully the option that will be chosen, talc being the most common irritant.
Comment by J.Kuritz – Thursday 7 October 2004, 7:32 AM
  Where can I find more information about the "Pleur-e-vac"? My Father, age 77, has been diagnosed with Ascites and the use of the Pleur-e-vac has been suggested. Currently he is admitted every 16-18 days for removal of 20 liters of fluid. He is considering the Pleur-e-vac but would like more information. Any information you can offer would be greatly appreciated.
  J. Kuritz

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