Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Dean's Surgery

Today was the big day...lucky Dean! :-/  Our sweet friend, Amanda picked us up then we all headed over to the hospital for Dean's 8:30am check-in time. (Surgery was scheduled for 11am.) 

My mom met up with us there and was quick to introduce us to all her "buddies" at the hospital. She works in the HR dept and between our family's raging medical issues and her job, she knows virtually everyone there! (Ahem)

Dean was quickly situated, then it was time to be wheeled down to surgery.....

"There's no way I'm putting those on..."
Wooo Woo!!!
Fancy tights and fashionable "Acti-Tred" sockies!
I had to turn away when he had his IV put in...(shudder)
Amanda wanted to get a "sweet goodbye kiss" shot. We had to hold it for awhile thanks to the dumb digital camera...

Pastor David and Sheila got there just as we were heading to the cafeteria to pick up some chai. We sat and chatted with them for a bit, then my Mom left to go pick up the children and take them back to her house. Amanda stayed with me 1) because she's an awesome friend and 2) she knew I'd go NUTS by myself.  Pastor David and Sheila stayed for close to 2 hrs. We all sat together and chatted/prayed before they had to head out. (It was so good to have them there! I was really glad they came.)

Surgery lasted 3 hrs--less than the original 3.5 we were quoted, so that was good. Dr. Alberts came down to talk to me and Amanda a few minutes later. He told us that the surgery went well and everything went according to plan. They were able to relieve a lot of the pressure on the nerves in Dean's arm/shoulder, which was great. Now all we had to do was wait to see if his pain was gone. He tried to ask Dean how he felt, but he was still too groggy from the anesthesia. Dr. Alberts said that if Dean continued to do well, he could go home tomorrow. Hooray!

Amanda and I then headed back upstairs to wait for Dean to come out of Recovery. However, that took longer than expected. Apparently Dean's built up quite a tolerance to pain medication over the past few years, and it took several doses of dilauded (morphine derivative) before they were able to get him somewhat comfortable. Hence, the longer waiting time.....


Back in his own room. Groggy and slightly loopy....
Ok. Make that REALLY loopy....!
But he could still manage to text!  Ha ha! (Scary...)
Ten inhalations every hour to help prevent pneumonia...Good times.

He's still in a lot of pain, his throat being the worst of it. It really hurts to swallow and will continue to do so for the next 6 weeks or so. The doctor said "Think strep throat...times 5!" There ya go. His arm/neck/shoulder are also in pain, but surprisingly his hip seems fine. 

He's also got a totally disgusting drainage tube attached to the incision in his neck to help ease the swelling. Unfortunately, it drains *blood*...lots of blood. (Anyone who knows me can see where this is going....)

When he first came around the corner on his gurney, I about HIT THE FLOOR. All I saw was this nasty stream of blood and had to cling to the wall with every ounce of strength, just so I wouldn't pass out. In fact, Amanda and I were both so queasy over it our legs felt like Jell-O for a long time. (Shudder) Dean eventually noticed how pale I was getting (then again, maybe it was more "green"?), and asked what was up. After teasing me for a moment ("Oh? You mean this tube of blood? Blood drips, baby! Look!"...Ugh!!!), he decided to be nice and cover it up. However, the damage was done and the room hasn't stopped spinning since. (In fact I'm still nauseated!)

He was able to eat some mashed potatoes with gravy I fed him, and managed to drink some water and cranberry juice. However that all really hurt his throat to do so. My poor honey....

I must admit that I really enjoyed spoon feeding him, though. :o)  Good thing, since I'll be doing it for awhile.

Then our dear friends, Daniel and Sylvia stopped by to check in on him shortly after that. They recently returned from a conference in Oregon, so I didn't think they'd be up to coming out. But we were both so glad they did. They only stayed for a few minutes, but it sure did help. :)



However, the real highlight of the evening was watching Dean's face light up when the kids came into the room. They were a bit shocked over the sight of their Daddy, but they quickly recovered. (Well, Abby recovered after Dean hid the drain tube again. Poor thing's just like her Momma. Ethan looked a bit green around the gills, too.)

I want to take a moment to give a very special thanks to...
  • My Mom--for coming in with us, helping me navigate the hospital corridors, taking the day off to be with the kids, bringing me food (that I could barely eat thanks to the drain tube), and running my errands
  • Amanda & Lisa-marie--for helping me coordinate everything, calming me down, a fresh cup of chai, volunteering to keep the kids overnight, and for the rides to/from the hospital
  • Pastor David, Sheila, Daniel and Sylvia--for your visits and prayers
  • My sister--for calling me twice just to make sure everything was ok (you know me so well)
  • Russ & Deb--for the surgery deposit (a huge blessing)
  • Family/friends who offered love, encouragement, phone calls, texts and prayers. We love you all!!!!

More updates as I'm able. Thank you all once again for everything!

1 comment:

gyro said...

Dean is blessed to have such a loving and supportive wife and family. Thanks for the update, glad he is doing well.

-- gyro

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