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Sunday, March 13, 2011

Sunday's Spirit

And God gave me the patience to wait for the surgery to commence, to continue, to complete.

And God gave me the extra breath to breathe while waiting to hear back from the O.R.

And God gave me the ability to rest in Him.

And God gave me the grace to relax about who went in to see Ian, and when. ;)

And God gave us the gifts of banter, laughter, and distraction.

And God gave me the voice to ask the tough questions and absorb the answers.

And God gave us the supernatural strength not to take our stress(es) out on one another in the waiting room.

And God gave me the peace to go home, for the first time in a week. To face an empty house and the shadows of past and future.  To attend worship services and bask in the love of the Body and return to the hospital refreshed and encouraged.  And God's angel is here to support and encourage.

Sunday Update:  Surgery yesterday started at 7, ended around 1230.  As was the case with his previous (10-hr) brain surgery, the time went surprisingly quickly in the waiting room.  I was blessed immeasurably by the presence of my best friends from all phases and time zones of my life ALL IN ONE ROOM AT THE SAME TIME.  I'd envisioned a beach-front retreat house with lapping waves and umbrella drinkies, but I'll take the hospital cafeteria and waiting room if I must.  Wholly uplifting and made me cry with joy.

The doctor said he was able to remove the clot and relieve the pressure on the brain stem.  He saw no obvious cavernous malformation (the raspberry-shaped goober thought to be causing all the trouble) but it's possible the offending party could have been swept away with the goo.  He wasn't about to go poking around and risk injuring the surrounding tissue.  Ok then!

Peripheral issues: pneumonia, a collapsed lung, a fever at one point, a slight tear in the trachea.  He has a feeding tube, a breathing tube, a pulse oximeter, leg compression pumps, chest tubes, an IV and a vascular access catheter (like an IV in the front shoulder/chest region).  He's taking antibiotics, food, blood pressure meds, blood sugar meds, anti-seizure meds, sedatives and sustenance.  All through the shoulder.  Whew.

pre-surgery, Friday
BUT.  Today he is the best he's been in days.  He looks better and stronger.  I was able to see him during a good response time for him (out of the anesthesia enough) and he did lots of responding; in addition to the cursory head nods, he shrugged his shoulders and wrinkled his nose and rolled his eyes (walleyed as they are) in response to questions and comments.  He was trying to tell us something we couldn't figure out, which I'm sure is incredibly frustrating, but: I GOT A HUG.  I'll take it.

Now what?  More prayer.  We have a long road ahead of us.  Ian is strong - physically, mentally, spiritually.  What happens over the next few weeks with his brain and body is going to hinge on all three.  I pray for relief of the hiccups, healing of the "minor" issues, and a return to swallowing as the first neurological progression.  He still might need a tracheostomy, which I think from the outside sounds like a setback? but is actually a measure intended to relieve stress on the whole throat system and make it easier to clear his throat of crud even if he can't cough or swallow.

After that, the hope is that we will have the slow return of feeling and use of his right side.  As anyone with any kind of deficit in this area knows, this will take physical therapy and a great deal of time and patience ... or, a miraculous healing - we'll take either one, really.

I'm back at the hospital for another overnight.  Preparing for the logistics of the future time ... too bad my beloved logistician is indisposed.