Sunday, February 24, 2008

Update on Shin

This is Michelle, Shin's friend from Sydney. I was with Tony during Shin's hospital stay yesterday while Shin was off with the drugged out fairies. Shin asked me to write down what happened to her while she was asleep or drifting in and out of consciousness. So bear with me as I paw through the details in a slightly less eloquent way than Shin would - she's a journalist, I'm an analyst!

We arrived at the hospital early so Shin could be prepped for her lung biopsy. We were told the procedure would see her out of the hospital room at 8am and back in to it at 9.15am. An hour for the operation and 15 minutes of recovery time afterwards. The reality was very different.

During the first hour Tony and I relaxed over a cup of coffee. Though the risks of the surgery had been pointed out to us, they were minimal and our main focus was on getting the results. We were back in the room at 8.45 am. At 9.15 am the surgeon called Tony and asked to see us. The surgeon looked like he had seen a ghost.

He told us that there had been a mistake and that Shin had been overdosed with anesthetic (Xylocaine) to the tune of 2.5 times the amount she was supposed to get. It was a local anesthetic that had been put directly into her lungs by the head operating theatre nurse. He said in addition, given how small Shin is, the impact of this mistake was even greater.

He told us she was in the Intensive Care Unit. Her body was "twitching" for the second part of the biopsy which forced him to finish it early. She had gone into a seizure caused by the overdose of anesthetic. The anesthetist gave her four more sedative drugs (Valium, ???, Dilantin, Thiopental) in her veins to try and take control of her body and brain. Eventually the third and fourth worked and her seizures stopped.

Yes, the surgeon apologized. He took responsibility for the mistake. I liked his integrity in handling the situation and communicating with us.

Tony and I were allowed to go in and see her in ICU. She sure was out of it. The drugs they were giving her via IV drip were keeping her sedated while the overdose wore off. It was like she was in a coma.

Tony spoke to her first. He said, "We're here Shin, we're looking after you." Shin took a noisy gasp of air in and then went back in to her coma-like state. She knew we were there. She was like that for hours. Three hours. At 12 noon her blood pressure was so low they turned off the brain sedation (Thiopental). After a half hour she started waking up.

And in true Shin style she brought the humor into a dire situation. I remember her first intelligible words were said with her head towards Tony, "I love you." Two minutes later she turned her head to me and said, "You're still here."

From that point on it was a comedy routine: from "I'm not dead yet?" to singing, "You are my sunshine, my little sunshine." She tried to sit up, without success, and when asked what she was doing, said, "I'm just showing off". The nurse, whose name was Xioa-na (similar to Shin's name) said hello to Shin in Korean, which surprised and impressed Shin, even in her dazed state. She was in and out of consciousness.

At one point, Shin sat up a bit and started shaking her head violently from side to side with a goofy look on her face. She talked about the tubes they put in during the procedure, saying, "They put it up my nose. What would they do if I had boogers up there?"

After a comical night at the hospital Shin is back home today and is OK. She is still tired but is certainly on the mend.


Marge said...

I'm so so sorry to hear of this latest diagnosis - and the huge mishap in surgery. Bastards!
You and Tony are dealing with so much. I'm just glad you and he have a big support system around you.
I love you, madly, my sweet...

angie said...

hi shin .. big hugs from all your dragon boat team mates. we're really sorry to hear of your latest diagnosis, but we know you're a fighter so we'll be praying hard for you and know you will do all you can to fight it. We're always thinking of you and miss you. we know you're not up to receiving visitors right now so we'll wait till you give us the ok .. training season has started, dry land is now pool session on mondays with paddling training on saturdays as usual.
Take care shin ....
Love always from your team mates of Paddlers In The Pink

Anonymous said...

Very glad you came out of that safely. Are they going to at least compensate for the mistake?

rach said...

Hi shin ,OHHH SHIN iam sooo pissed off that that happened ....but i have disovered new manual called emotional freedom technique a week you will have enough energy to read it im sure .it claims revolutionary .. miracle ideas ..Have you ever heard of that nutter well he is renound ( not surwe of spelling) for being a bit mad but elevated his body off the ground ... possible david blane .. so hey by the way eft has nothing to do with him .. but maybe there are answers out there which we just dont understand ...will get iian to copy it in work and pop up with it .thinking of you lots of love rachxxxxxxx