Tuesday, August 28, 2012

Loved

Today I felt many emotions, but most of all I felt very, very loved - for the simple reason that we are incredibly blessed to have wonderful friends.

Today was surgery day, but even before our day began we were getting notes and messages from many  people letting us know that we were all being lifted up in prayer. I can't tell you what that meant to me. All across the country people were chiming in, and letting us know they cared. Amazing.

Our day began early. Jason needed to be at the out-patient surgery center by 7 a.m. - enter: The Carters. They were kind enough to let us show up in the wee hours of the morning and drop Abby off, so that we could get Jason to surgery on time. Abby was more than excited to leave the house at 6:30 a.m., in fact, I believe she was the first one out of the door, telling us to get moving, after all, she had Carters to play with.

Everything went as planned, and soon enough Jason was ready to be wheeled off to the OR. After checking that the surgery would only take about an hour, I dashed out for a quick coffee. I was back in record time. Strangely enough only about a half hour into the procedure they called me up to the front desk. The receptionist must have seen the concern on my face, because the first words out of her mouth were, "He's okay." She wanted to let me know that the nerve block that they'd given him hadn't taken, so they needed to switch to a general anesthetic. All this meant is that it would be about 40 more minutes before they called me back to see him.

Okay, I could do this, after all I did have an assignment due today for the class I'd started last week. So I got out my books and got to work. It wasn't that much longer when a nurse came out and asked for his c-pap machine. Jason is one of those "lucky" people that has sleep apnea, so I ran out to the car and got it for them. The nurse was smiling, so I didn't think anything of it. It wasn't until later that I found out they were trying all sorts of things to help him breath at that point.

Before long I had my homework done and commenced waiting in ernest. The surgeon had come out to explain the surgery, and how it had gone. The infection didn't look as bad as they thought, and even though he could see that several of Jason's nerves were badly bruised, none of the "casings" around them were damaged. The assumption was that there may have been some tearing, but since the casings were good, the nerves would heal in time. He also mentioned that Jason had had some trouble coming out of the anesthesia, but he was calm and not concerned, so I wasn't worried.

Another hour of waiting.

This time one of the nurses came out to let me know that they were still getting him breathing right and that now there was some concern about fluid in the lungs. They needed to wait for the x-ray to be brought over and then they would take a look. She told me that if I hadn't heard in the next half hour to ask the receptionist to let me know what was going on.

35 minutes of waiting.

I went to see the receptionist. She very kindly said she would go and check for me. At this point, I still was not too worried. Everyone else was calm, so I should be too, right?

Minutes later a door off the waiting room opened and the nurse motioned me in. Ah, yes, time to see Jason. Instead, I was ushered into a small conference room and asked to have a seat. As the nurse shut the door behind me she told me the anesthesiologist would be right in to see me. That was when Panic climbed up out of my stomach, and sat right down on the lump that had formed in my throat.

I tried, I really tried to concentrate on what the doctor was telling me. I asked questions, I filtered out the jargon and I tried to latch on to what had happened. Apparently, when they removed the breathing tube from Jason's mouth, and told him to take a nice deep breath, he'd choked somehow. He began coughing and his vocal chords spasmed. This caused them to close up and cut off his airway. Later Jason told me that they had to give him epinephrin in order for them to relax. This happened a couple of times, and they needed to keep him on oxygen. This choking had caused negative pressure, which then led to some fluid "leaking into where it shouldn't be". The solution? Weaning him off of the oxygen slowly, monitoring him closely, and time. In order to do this, they would be admitting him to the hospital for observation through the night.

I was proud of myself. I only got a bit weepy, and I held it together pretty well. Soon enough I was able to head back to see him. He looked beat - so very tired, but like the trooper that he is, he soon perked up and was even joking around with the nurses. Since he needed oxygen, he needed to be transported to the hospital (across they street - a whole 400 yards or so), via ambulance. Waiting for that took the longest.

While all of this was going on, the waiting, the stressing, the waiting, I kept getting notices that people were praying. Since Carters had to work, they so kindly dropped Abby off at child care. I was checking in with our wonderful child care director through out the morning, and she would keep up the assurances that Abby was fine, and that they were praying. Amazing.

Once I found out that Jason would be staying, I was able to talk with those wonderful Carters, and they assured me that Abby was taken care of. I wasn't to worry - and I didn't. They would pick her up, take her to their house, and wait to hear from me. Amazing.

Soon enough Jason was settled in his room, and there was a steady parade of doctors and nurses that came in, each time asking a variation on the question, "So what brought you in today?" Jason was amiable as they poked, prodded, and as he told the same story over and over. It was round about 5:00 when Jason looked at me and told me he was tired and in pain. He needed rest, and I needed to get a few groceries before I picked Abby up. It was time for me to take off and leave him to rest.

It was in the parking lot of Meijer that the day caught up with me. I'd just gotten off the phone with my mom and she'd given me one "Awww, Sweetie..." too many. I probably sat in my car (parked far from the entrance) for a good 10 minutes, trying to regain my composure. That was when the offer came in from The Carters, for Abby to stay for dinner (those wonderful friends had even gone out and gotten some gluten free spaghetti, just for Abby), and they would bring her to our house later in the evening. She was having a blast and I was not to worry. Amazing.

And still the messages that prayers were being said kept coming. Amazing.

Now, Abby is fast asleep, after a super fun day for her, Jason let me know he is in pain, tired, and missing home, but good otherwise, and as for me? Well, right now I'm feeling a bit spent, a bit tired, and, very, very loved.

Abby trying out Carter's new "motorbike", she's
looking pretty "bad" here, don't you think?

I asked "Rachel's Mama" how that pasta was.
The consensus was that it had a bit of a grody
texture, but Abby didn't mind - she literally
licked her plate clean - lovely!

The Carters. Amazing.
Thank you to all of our friends and family who lifted us up today. We are so thankful for all of you and the blessing you are to us!

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