It's been one long day in the hospital!
Our parents all offered to come up and help in any way, but even though I told them all it wasn't necessary, Harris's mom really wanted to be here for the surgery, so she made the drive with Leona, a friend of the family, and they sat with us throughout the afternoon, which was really nice. We arrived at the hospital at noon, checked in, and eventually we were escorted to a room where they got Harris all dressed up in a gown. Even though we had done all the preadmission stuff ahead of time, they still had different nurses coming in and asking him all kinds of questions and making sure he was who he said he was and that he could spell his name and recite his birth date. Would anyone really fake something like this? The only real mishap of the day was when one of those nurses "blew a vein" with her first attempt at getting his IV in, but the second time around went much better. He HATES needles, so this was not a good way to start his day, but a cold washcloth on his forehead and the sniffing of some rubbing alcohol made things much better for him. The nurses kept assuring Harris that his surgeon was one of the absolute best, and he kept asking them if the surgeon was having a good day. Just double-checking!
Finally they wheeled him away at 2:30, and we were shown where to wait. We found ourselves some free coffee and hot chocolate and indulged ourselves with that, even though we felt a tad bit guilty since Harris hadn't had anything to drink all day and nothing solid to eat since Sunday night. My friend Barb, bless her heart, brought over a tray of salami, cheese, and crackers, and that was just the perfect little thing for us to munch on while we waited.
At 5:30 the surgeon came in and reported to us that everything had gone very well. He said that the part of the colon that he removed was very soft and said that that's a very good indication of it being benign. However, we won't know the pathology results until Friday, so we'll keep right on praying (but with a little extra hope!). Praise God!!! The surgeon didn't tarry long, and of course, we thought of several questions later on that we should have asked. Hopefully I can catch up with him tomorrow.
When 6:30 rolled around, they called us out of the waiting room and told us they were ready to take him from the recovery room to his room and that we could meet him there. His first words, which were repeated to us several times throughout the night, were "My gut aches." We were glad when the pain medication finally seemed to kick in a little more because he was very uncomfortable for the first little while especially. He said it felt as though his butt weighed 300 pounds and that he'd been slugged by a baseball bat really hard. Our friend Dave, who's had a very similar operation, stopped by, and he was silently telling me that the pain is really, really bad for quite a while, but we didn't bother sharing that little detail with Harris.
Amazingly, though, he seemed much more coherent the entire night than what we expected him to be, but we'll see how much he remembers of the night tomorrow. He wasn't wide awake and super chatty or social or anything, but he definitely amazed us with the comments he would make and the questions he would ask. We would think that we'd be saying something quietly or somewhat secretive, and he had this ability to pick up on whatever we were saying and comment on it.
Heath and Jenny arrived in time to see Mom and Leona at the hospital, but then Vance came and took Mom and Leona back to our house just in time for them to see Haley, Kelsey, and Keaton before they even left for the hospital. They came rather late because of Haley's work schedule, but the nurses were gracious and said that we could fill the room with kids as long as we kept it quiet. They had made cupcakes to bring along and brought me a sandwich, so all was well in the food department. It had been a very long day for me, so when Haley offered to stay a little later than the rest of us, we all headed out and left her alone with her daddy. She texted me a little bit ago and said that they had gotten him to stand up for just a little bit, so that was very good news, even though he evidently flashed the outside world through the window. I highly doubt that he really cared! ;-) I'm so proud of how the kids all pulled together today and took care of getting each other where they needed to be and handling things on the home front and even having the house all tidied up when I got home! They are the best!
Thank you so much for everything thus far! Your words of encouragement and prayers are appreciated more than you can imagine.
P.S. If you really want to win Harris's heart, feel free to come massage his feet all night like Jenny did! She had won his heart a long time ago already, but she was offering up the best medicine anyone could offer -- next to morphine, of course. She's training to be a nurse, and what an awesome one she will be!