Three weeks ago at this time, we were anticipating Harris's colon surgery to remove the mass. I wish I could say it's been an easy recovery process, but that has not been the case. At first he was dealing with a rash all over his body that we had to get rid of on top of all the normal pain that accompanies a surgery. The second week ended up being a little tougher than we anticipated it might be, and now the third week has been even worse.
On Easter Sunday we had his brother Vance's family over for lunch, and we cooked up the biggest meal we had all enjoyed in a while. Harris had just a little bit of it, including a very small piece of pork steak. Before lunch was even over, he was back on the couch, and the rest of the day and all day on Monday, he suffered severe stomach cramps. The kind where he would just grab his midsection and wince in pain until they passed. Tuesday and Wednesday of last week brought a little bit of sweet relief, and he even got dressed to go to the office both days. However, he never made it there either day because when it came right down to it, the energy level just wasn't there yet.
Thursday morning he was bound and determined that he was going to the office that day, even if for just a little bit, but the first thing on the agenda was his follow-up appointment with the surgeon. After a nice long visit with him, everyone decided that Harris was right on pace and that he was progressing nicely, and the doctor joked with us that we shouldn't have to meet again unless Harris wanted to have another surgery. Harris told him he'd be fine with just running into each other in the grocery store or something.
When we walked out of there, Harris decided that he just really needed to go home and take a nap instead of going to the office, so I took him home. He started experiencing stomach cramps again, and Thursday through Sunday ended up being pretty miserable for him. He didn't sleep well at night. The pain was excruciating every time a wave of cramping would come over him. The sight, smell, taste, and even thought of food was becoming more unappealing all the time. We called the doctor on Saturday, and he encouraged him to go back to a liquid diet and try walking more and then to call back on Monday morning. Yesterday his diet consisted of a popsickle, a couple very small servings of Jello, a little Gatorade, and about a third of a serving of oatmeal. He could barely make the walk around the block, and even the sight of someone's "puke green" shutters made him want to throw up.
Today I had planned on going on a field trip with Keaton, but I knew the doctor needed to be conferred with first. Just as I suspected, he ordered up some tests, so it was a really good thing I had stayed home. Harris ended up having a CT scan done of his abdomen and pelvis, and they ran some blood tests as well. While waiting for results, we sat in the waiting room watching news accounts of Bin Laden's death, and then the doctor eventually called and talked to Harris. The look on his face told me it wasn't good news. Evidently the CT scan showed that the two sections of his colon that had been stapled together after the removal of 10-12 inches had somehow narrowed and was restricted. We have no idea how that happened or if it's common or anything. All we know at this point is that he needs another colonoscopy done, and at that time the doctor will attempt to dilate or stretch that section out, and if that doesn't work, then he may have to endure another surgery.
The mood was pretty somber after that. Not that it was good before but it got exceptionally somber.
Our GI doctor can't do the procedure tomorrow, so we're scheduled to be at the hospital on Wednesday morning at 6 a.m. That means more time on a liquid diet and another day of rigid instructions to get the bowel prepped. It means another trip to Wal-Mart for more supplies. More time spent drinking yucky stuff and more time in the bathroom. And another day of waiting and recovering and not being able to move on with normal life.
On the "bright" side, since he couldn't have it done tomorrow, that means we could still keep Heath's follow-up appointment with the seizure doctor in Iowa City tomorrow. Thankfully Haley has the day off, so she can be here to help get kids to school in the morning and be here with Harris while Heath and I make the trek west.
Meanwhile, life goes on for all of us. Kelsey and Keaton have been fighting colds. All the end-of-the-school-year stuff is filling every nook and cranny of the calendar. Heath successfully made it through finals week and is coming to grips with new work obligations and schedules. Haley's graduation party just keeps getting closer and closer, and all my expectations of what I wanted to have done before her party just keep flying out the window. We did manage to get the invitation ordered up this weekend though, and it's awesome!! Only by the grace of God will we actually be able to pull off the party that I have envisioned in my head. We're certainly looking forward to celebrating something around here, but I guess if my deck isn't stained or her scrapbooks aren't done, no one will really care but me, right?
Once again, your prayers are so very much appreciated. As I told our parents on the phone over the weekend, "I just want my people to be well. Is that too much to ask?" To be honest, I'm feeling a little weary of it all, but someone has to hold it together around here, and that someone has to be me right now. Thankfully there is great comfort in knowing that even in my weakness, God is on the throne and has everything under control. He will get us through this and promises to never leave us or forsake us. Oh, how I'm resting in His arms tonight.