Thursday, January 24, 2013

Waiting Game

On Wednesday, January 23, 2013 we kept our kiddos out of school and headed to College Station so we could be there while my Mother in Law had her surgery done.
Within the first 10 minutes of the road trip, my husband got pulled over for speeding. He was going less than 5 miles over the speed limit and luckily only got a warning. The rest of the road trip went wonderful. The kids played and looked around (they were all still sleepy).
We got to the hospital about the same time as Howard's parents did and were able to talk to Linda, go through the whole pre-op stuff with her and make sure she understood everything and didn't have any questions. We met with her surgeon, Dr. Ryan Walter and he was very optimistic and open, wanted to make sure we all understood what was going on, he was great. We prayed with her and over her with all of our family holding hands with her pastor leading us in prayer. She was smiling, looked awesome (her hair is always perfect) and was ready to get everything over with!
We said goodbye to her one by one and told her to have a nice nap and left her bedside at 11:40am on the dot. And then we began to wait. Howard Jr and Sr went outside for a bit after she was taken in. To see such strong men so worried about their wife and mother was heartbreaking. By 1pm the kids were starving so we headed a block away and got them lunch, some for my father in law and stopped to get Linda some flowers and a balloon. Shortly after we got back to the hospital Howard's brother Todd got there, he had to work all morning. It was approaching hour 3 when we got a phone call from the OR I ran to the information booth and took the call. She was doing great, surgery was a little more complicated than they had expected but she is doing great and they should be done in about an hour. Vague, but positive.
At 3:15 her surgeon came walking through the door. Told us that she did great through surgery. They were able to get everything they wanted to out (full hysterectomy) but during the surgery her bladder got in the way and got nicked. They called in the hospital urologist and he came in and assisted with the rest of the surgery, sewing her up and making sure that there was no leaks in her bladder and they fixed her back up. Her doctor was very angry at himself. In his whole career this has happened 5 times, this made the 6th. He kept apologizing and said that God decided to challenge him that day. He said that they were just weaning her off anesthesia when he left her bedside and it would still be a while before we saw her. He said he was going to go home and have the evening with his family and then come back up and see her. Howard breathed a half sigh of relief an said "I'm half better, now I need to see her."
At 5pm  we had checked many times and been told they were still dealing with pain management in recovery which we understood but just killed the 3 men in the room to hear that she was in pain. The surgical information desk closed so we were left wondering now, with no information or no one to ask. We kept checking with the ER to see if she had a room yet. Finally, at 6:20 she did.
We practically ran to her room to see her. We were there until almost 8. She was groggy, drifting on and off to sleep an very disoriented, pretty much what you would expect from a person who just had major surgery. The first question from me was, "Now tell me the truth, is my hair flat?" God, I love that woman. I answered her honestly (yes it was) and she groaned with annoyance. Her hands were freezing, but she felt warm. Her eyes opened the most when we told her what time of day it was. She was cramping quite a bit and it took me a while to explain to her what the big glowing green morphine button would do and that she needed to use it. She was concerned of getting to much pain medicine and not pressing it enough, like I said, took me a while but she gave in. I told her everything that happened in surgery, and she understood as best a person who just came off anesthesia can. She was not happy that she had a drain in her side still (that should come out in a day or 2) and that she had to wear a catheter for a week...actually she was pissed about that, in all honesty.
She was munching on ice chips, being snarky to her sons and husband, telling her grand kids to settle down and holding my hand, we were a happy bunch. She kept telling us to hurry up and move back, how much she loved us, and kept a hold of our hands the whole time. After praying over her we left her to get some rest and to drive back to Austin and cried half way back home. Some in relief, some in guilt for not being able to stay with her but mostly because we were so thankful for God's amazing grace, love and protection.

Today she has walked, eaten, talked, been clear headed, watched TV and spent time with extended family that drove in to see her.

It's going to be a long road of recovery for her, but the point is she will recover. Please keep her in your thoughts and prayers.

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