A lot can happen in a week. Good can go to bad and normal can be made abnormal. Last week I finally opened up and told you about the health battle we have been dealing with concerning daddy, Chad. This week, I want to update you on all that has happened.
First, I want you to make sure that you are all caught up, to do that, you will want to read the first post right here.
Since I wrote this post, a lot happened. I don't know where to start, but I will just start. Daddy ended up undergoing emergency spinal surgery on February 4th. This is a Saturday. The University of Minnesota does not do surgery on Saturdays. This alone is scary!
Ok, backing up a few steps. After numerous MRIs, it was found that there was a syrinx in daddy's spine. A syrinx is a fluid filled sack. Well this sack was filing with spinal fluid. This, this is not good! At the top of this syrinx, they noticed a cyst. Once again, not good. The plan of action, immediately go in and find a way to drain the syrinx and possibly put a shunt in the cyst. Immediately meant on a day when they don't do surgeries. But it had to be done.
Now, I am a country girl, born and raised. I don't do the big city driving…ever! Not even as a teenager and going to the mall. I always rode shotgun, never the driver. Not this night. This night, after the phone call, I was at daddy's side without the help of the GPS and I was ready to go.
I did not sleep well for numerous reasons. Number one…have you ever tried to sleep in a hospital chair? Now, I have to admit that the numerous teething nights with the babies have helped me sleep in chairs, but this was still different, there was no cute baby to cuddle while trying to sleep. Number two, sleeping meant the morning would come, and the morning would bring the scariest day of my life to date.
Why was this the scariest day? There were a lot of if's when it came to this surgery. They did not know for sure what they would see when they opened daddy up. They had an idea and had scheduled a 4-hour surgery, but told us to prepare for up to 10+ hours. This is not fun, the not knowing. Not only that, but they were opening his spine. This alone is scary, but here we are listening to the doctor tell us about the what ifs when it came to the surgery and the possible paralysis from it.
We had the talk right away in the morning, telling us about hooking up sensors all over daddy to make sure that his body was still sensing and functioning where it needed to. So, we got all the facts, and we went at this thing head on, together.
Now came the wait. I waited, in a waiting room alone. There were no other families waiting, just me. My mom was at home with the kids, so they could have a "normal" day, so I sat, and paced, and sat some more. I tried to eat and I waited. I tried to watch T.V. and I paced some more. I got updates from a nurse in the operating room every so often, but this wasn't the same. Yes, I was told daddy was doing good, but she was the nurse, and I knew she wouldn't be able to tell me anything until the doctor talked to me.
After waiting for over 6 hours, I finally saw the doctor. I was told the good and the bad. We came out 90% where we wanted to be. There was no shunt put into the cyst. After trying twice, the risk of paralysis was too high. But they were able to take out some arachnoid webbing, yes, just as it sounds. It looks like spider webs, and is something that is normal in our body, but this section went overboard on daddy and blocked the flow of spinal fluid. Once it was removed, the flow returned.
Now we had to replace the 3 vertebrae that were removed from daddy's back and wait for him to wake up. All signs looked good, and the doctor was happy with what they had done. Guess what I did? I fell onto my knees, alone in the waiting room, and I thanked God. My husband was alive, he had sensory in his body, it did not look like paralysis would be a thing and it looked like all would be good. I was so thankful; all I could do was kneel and thank the Lord for what He had done.
It was almost two hours before I was able to see daddy after this update from the doctor. I raced to meet him at his room, the elevator could not move fast enough for me. But even though he was in his room, he was a long way from being better. The pain of moving and just coming out of surgery was hitting him. There was a lot of commotion, trying to move from one bed to the other and trying to make him comfortable. This is not fun, no matter what kind of surgery you have.
The hardest thing is watching someone you love be in pain, even if it is pain after something that is supposed to make them feel better. This is how I felt watching daddy try and get comfortable, even trying to eat, as I had to feed him this simple meal before leaving for home.
I don't know what was hardest during this time, watching daddy in pain, or trying to be in two places at once. I was happy when we were told he could come home on Tuesday night. I was also scared. I was bringing home a heavy dose of medicine that I would need to oversee. Now, I was adding personal nurse to my already full list of titles. I would have it no other way, no matter how scary it was.
For the past week, we have been handling a lot at home. We went and got a hospital grade bed to have in the living room. It is not ideal, but daddy is not able to make it up the stairs. We have Occupational Therapy and Physical Therapy stopping by the house numerous times a week and we even have a nurse that is stopping by once a week. This is great for daddy, and mommy can still try to get some work and school work done.
During all of this, we have been worried about finances. We are waiting on short term disability to kick in, but they are saying this could be pre-existing…I don't understand as this is something new, but it is insurance and I don't understand a lot about that. We could use your prayers that this gets figured out quickly. While we have a little set aside, we will not last the 6-8 weeks that this surgery has for a recovery period. Also, if you are able, and/or feel compelled to, we have a funding site set up. This is set up by my cousin Mama Kautz to help us get through until everything is set up and running.
We get to see the doctor next week. This visit should tell us how the healing is going and hopefully we will hear about the pathology report. This has been another stressor, not knowing how this will turn out. We could really use your prayers on this as well. We are hoping for good results, but we will take this one step at a time.
We want to end this update with a huge thank you to everyone who has helped in any way, shape or form. From the prayers, to the meals or the financial help, it all means the whole to us! Thank you!!