Nic's surgery was Tuesday. He is doing pretty well. Thank you to those of you who have texted and emailed. I'm sorry I'm not always the best at getting back to you in a timely manner but I am trying. Being a wife to one and mother to six on a perfect day is challenging. In less than perfect times I do what I can do and try to hang on. If you message me or call me during those times it may take me a while to get back to you but it doesn't mean I don't appreciate you. I do!
We've had a nutsy kind of week. On Sunday night, my 7 year old gal started with a stomach bug. All day Monday, the day before the surgery, she puked. At almost exactly 24 hours she was all better. As I thanked God for making her better I prayed that no one else would get it. Especially Nic, and especially me -not to be selfish, just to be real. If I were to get it everything would fall apart in our family. This is not a knock against my husband, but my husband is a man. He just has no idea how to be a woman. You get that, right?
Tuesday morning the family was up early, everyone was well, and we began packing for the hospital. Our oldest son had to work but the rest of us were going to the hospital with Nic. He wanted it that way and we wanted it that way. We got him checked in, set up, met with the doctors and anesthesia. New information was given to me that threw me for a loop but I tried to remain calm. My honey and I traded time with Nic (due to a stupid rule that only one parent could be in his room) until finally we had to kiss him goodbye. I did the best smiling face I could manage and made it through the swinging doors before I allowed any tears to spill out. I had those tears wiped up and gone by the time I walked to the end of the long hallway and went through another set of swinging doors where I would see the rest of my family. A surgical nurse promised to call me half way through surgery to let me know how it was going.
After about an hour and a half the nurse called us and spoke to one of my sons. Things were going well, she said. Thankfully things were going well in the operating room but they were not so well in the waiting room. Our two year old had turned and odd shade of green and was complaining that she didn't feel well. We tried to comfort her. She kept looking worse and worse and we knew what was going to happen. My husband made the decision to take her home. It was a hard decision for him but we knew she was sick and needed to be home and I think my husband knew that I was not going anywhere. It's a mama thing and thank goodness he understood. I could not leave my boy.
Surgery ended up taking two and a half hours. The phone call came from the nurse and she said all was well. A phone call came from my husband also. They had made it home but not before our two year old had thrown up all over herself, her car seat, and various other parts of the van (even though I sent her with a bag). He was heading into the house to bathe her. He said he would clean the van up after he got her squared away. He had our still pretty weak 7 year old with him, as well as our 11 year old son. I had our 16 year old son with me, who had also made the declaration that he would not be leaving his brother. Our oldest son was still at work.
Nic was in recovery for a really long time (seemed like an eternity to me). I kept asking to see him. They kept telling me it would be a little bit longer. Suddenly they tell me he can go home! I had no vehicle. Soooo I called my husband and he came back to the hospital to pick us up - a short 30 minute drive once again. We loaded our pitiful boy into the van and he rode home on a vomit soaked seat in our van. Nice, huh?
I cannot explain the anxiety attack I had after I got home. That's one for the professionals. The surgery was over and I was battling panic. I managed to hide it from the kids and stayed in my bathroom until I could pull it together. I called my sister and she talked me down from the ceiling and promised to pray. She has scraped me off the ceiling numerous times before and will no doubt do it again.
That first night was rough. We happened to arrive home at 6:30 p.m. - prime dinner hour. There was nothing fixed for dinner. Why had I not thought about that? I don't know. The kids, minus Nic and Clare, were hungry but I just couldn't think about fixing food. Our oldest boy arrived home from work and took charge in firstborn fashion. We managed some noodles for those who wanted to eat. Nic's pain grew worse as the night went on, as was to be expected, and our littlest gal threw her guts up. I slept on an air mattress in the living room floor so that I could be near Nic where we had set him up on the couch. I chose to keep Clare with me so I could help her with her stomach bug. I think I slept 30 minutes that first night. The next day my back acted up all day and I was in terrible pain. I am still paying the price of sleeping on the hardwood floor on a leaky air mattress.
Wednesday and Thursday were pretty horrible. Nic was in a lot of pain. He barely moved at all and when he did he turned the worst color of white and experienced horrible nausea. I'm not sure I've ever seen anyone look like he looked. It was really hard. By Wednesday evening our 7 year old gal was not feeling well again. She ran a fever off and on and so did our other little gal. I didn't sleep, neither did Nic, or the girls. It was overwhelming. Thursday night Nic was hurting oh so bad and both of my girls were burning up with fevers. We had run out of everything...Sprite, Ginger ale, even food. Nic was trying to be strong but was really a mess. Olivia (our 7 year old) starts this coughing that sounded like a cross between a dog barking and screaming. It was SO weird. She was working entirely too hard to breathe. Our oldest son asked if I should take her to the emergency room. I prayed. My honey was at work. Nic was struggling. We covered her throat and chest in vapo rub and then I headed off to clean the dining room. The dining room, you say? Yes. Our cat had run circles around the dining room while having an apparent attack of diarrhea. Yes, way!
Somehow we made it through the night. I don't really remember how. My husband arrived home the next morning thinking he is going to bed to sleep after working 14 hours and I meet him at the door with the news that the cupboards are bare and that I would be taking our girl to the doctor. He leaves for the grocery store. Olivia and I leave for the pediatrician's office. Our oldest sons agree to look after Nic and the two year old.
At the pediatrician's office we find out Olivia's blood oxygen level is a little low and the doctor orders up a breathing treatment. I think we were there for a total of two hours. We left the office and headed to the pharmacy for an inhaler and antibiotics. I picked up some more groceries and got home as fast as I could. When I arrived home I was happy to see there was color in Nic's cheeks and he had eaten some lunch. I was so happy to see him like that! I got Olivia dosed up and put her down for a nap. Things seemed good. Sort of. I mean, the house was a WRECK and there was A LOT of laundry and I was pretty behind on our school stuff and everything else, but in the big picture things seemed good.
I said goodnight to Nic at 12:30 a.m. I put a cell phone next to him (he's still sleeping on the couch) and I made the executive decision to sleep in my bed. Ahh...
I woke up every couple of hours and looked at my phone just to make sure I hadn't missed a text or a call from him. All clear. Ahh...he was sleeping through the night. Wonderful!
At 7:30 a.m. he woke up. He was in mind jamming pain so I gave him a pain pill. Oh. my! The pain just kept getting worse, and worse! He buried his head in a blanket and the tears poured. It took us until noon to get it under control. It was horrible. I will not let him go a long stretch like that without pain medicine again any time in the near future. We got behind the pain and it was awful trying to catch up. I will be setting a 4 a.m. alarm for myself tonight.
Nic has a long way to go. We have been told to expect about 16 weeks until he is completely back to normal. He has three screws in his knee and an allograft implant. We will be headed to the doctor's office this week and we'll find out more about physical therapy and such. Nic, as well as the rest of the family, will be learning important lessons in patience and in taking things one day at a time. I've written for a little longer than I had planned tonight but I think this just about sums it all up. On that note, I must go fix some dinner for my family. Thank you for your concern and prayers for Nic. I hope to get back to a normal blog schedule this week. Blessings to you, my faithful readers!
Oh! I can't believe I almost forgot this...Nic started a blog the night before his surgery. You can find him at http://mympfl.blogspot.com/. You can leave him messages there if you are so inclined.