Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Doing Well - Just Waiting for Surgery

Hello Everyone,

I just wanted to send out an update on our situation here in Australia. We are both doing well considering the circumstances, but it appears we won't be able to walk away from this incident with minor injuries. As Sean mentioned, we were assaulted around 2:30 a.m. Monday morning local time in Perth. I am fine and only suffered a cut on the inside of my cheek from being head butted. Sean, however, was punched pretty damn hard and suffered a broken jaw which requires immediate surgery. Since we were scheduled to fly to Melbourne at 11:45 p.m. Monday night and there was nothing we could do that day in Perth given the public holiday, we decided to continue on with our flight and seek immediate medical attention upon arrival in Melbourne. The emergency dentist who saw Sean in Perth gave him pain medication and started him on antibiotics to hold him over until he could be properly treated.

I did some research before we left Perth and found an oral/maxillofacial surgery unit at the Royal Melbourne Hospital so our plan was to go there as soon as we arrived in town. After our flight arrived in Melbourne around 5:30 a.m. Tuesday, we dropped our bags off and since we didn't receive a response to the email we sent the hospital Monday and couldn't reach anyone there by phone, we decided to just go straight there.

We went through the whole registration process and, of course, they wanted to do more x-rays, which again revealed the extent of Sean's injuries and the need to do surgery as soon as possible. Unfortunately, the hospital is the only public hospital to handle such cases in the region, so surgeries are scheduled according to the severity of case. So while they would make every attempt to schedule Sean for today, if someone else came in, say from a car wreck, with a more serious case, they would be bumped ahead of him. We also learned that Sean would have to stay overnight after the surgery so they went ahead and admitted him in the hope that they would be able to schedule him for surgery later this afternoon or early evening.

They put him on a saline IV since he has to fast if they are to do surgery (not that he could eat anything anyway) and also put him on intraveneous antibiotics and gave him more pain medication. Unfortunately, we waited all day in the hospital room, but by 5:00 p.m. they informed us that they would not be able to do the surgery today and would try their best to get him in tomorrow before noon. So he has to stay at the hospital overnight tonight and will still have to stay overnight following the surgery. At this point, we're looking at a Thursday discharge at the earliest.

As far as the surgery itself goes, he will be fully sedated as they will have to use metal plates and wires to reset his jaw. The plates will be permanent, but internal, so he should fully recover without noticible evidence of the injury. It's not clear yet whether they will be able to save his back molar, which is the only thing holding the two parts of his jaw together at this point. The recovery will likely be the hardest part as he will have to be on a liquid diet for four to six weeks following surgery. He will also have to have a follow-up appointment two weeks following surgery so we will definitely be here in Melbourne for at least that long.

Sean is in very good spirits, probably more frustrated than anything having to sit around and wait for surgery. It doesn't help that his roomate is an older man who snores and listens to the TV at it's highest volume. We both just want to get the surgery out of the way so we can deal with the recovery and hopefully still be able to enjoy the remainder of our trip.

I am home now (we're staying with a couchsurfer) and will try to get some sleep as neither of us has had much in the last two days. I will be back at the hospital first thing tomorrow morning and will be sure to update everyone once I have more news.

Thanks to all of you who already sent kind words of support on Facebook. It really means a lot. And I'm taking our computers with me to the hospital tomorrow so we can at least try to catch up on blog posts while we're waiting.



Post a Comment

<< Home