As I sit beside the hospital bed of my husband, it feels all too familiar. We spent 11 of our days in this wonderful Genesis East Hospital earlier in the year, and now we're into our 2nd of another 4 to 7 days again. For a split second yesterday, I thought about trying to convince myself that it would be like a little mini vacation for us, but that didn't last long. There is nothing picturesque or yummy or fun about it. It's just a little room that is too cold for me and too hot for him, the bed isn't wide enough for the two of us, and there are enough gadgets surrounding him that even trying to lean over for a kiss on the forehead seems a little difficult. The only food we've seen yet are the ice chips he's been given and the food that's been brought here for me from home. The view out the window is pretty drab and cold. Definitely not the vacation spot we need!
But the service is really pretty good, my man is stable, and we're on the other side of surgery! Ever since May, we've known that this little season of our lives would be coming, and we chose to wait it out this long on purpose. It's not easy having the provider of your family be out of commission three months out of a year, so we wanted to make sure the timing was ideal inasmuch as we could help it. This is typically our slower season anyway, so we figured we could just as well spend it in the hospital if spending time in here was necessary and we could pick our time.
Monday night we fired up the grill and made sure that we had a good meal because once midnight rolled around, he was only allowed clear liquids and laxatives. Yesterday he had nothing but a few ice chips, and when he asked for a popsickle this morning, he was greeted with another cup of ice. We arrived at the hospital yesterday at 10, and they finally wheeled him off to the operating room at 12:30. We were surprised to learn that the doctor's intention was to first try and remove the stent from his colon without opening him up, but we were also told that there would be about a 20% chance of that being successful. It wasn't. Around 2:30 they told me that they needed to go ahead and cut him open, and by the time he was out of recovery and settled into his room, it was around 6 p.m. The doctor met with me and informed me that the surgery had gone very well. They took out another 8 inches of colon where the stent was embedded and then he hand-sewed the ends together. While he was doing that, he somehow made the determination that when he had the surgery done in April, there must have been a leak where the colon had been stapled together and that there was probably infection and that the body's way of dealing with all of it was by forming scar tissue. There was so much scar tissue formed that that's why the stricture happened, but if it hadn't formed and shut off the leak, that would not have been good either. All we can do is hope and pray that his body heals properly this time.
His night was long and painful, and his recovery seems to be going a lot slower this time. Last time he was so proud to be up on his feet and walking around rather quickly, but he has yet to do that this time. The nurse tried to get him to do it this morning, but he was ready for more pain medication, so that was prescribed instead. He's sleeping peacefully now, but I have a feeling they'll at least have him sitting up before too much longer.
Yesterday was a long day for me. The kids were all here at some point throughout the evening, and I was so grateful for their company. This morning I prayed that God would bring some friends today, and between 10 and 2 we have already had five visitors! It's been quite the party room! He dozed off and on throughout their visits, but it was sure a welcome treat for me. I'm debating whether or not I should slip home for a couple hours or just stick it out for the duration of the day and evening. I have plenty of things with me to keep me busy, but the thought of a little power nap on my couch right now sounds really appealing. Thankfully supper is being delivered to our home, so there are no meal concerns for me tonight. Ah, "vacation."
And in the last two minutes, he's asked for the door to be closed because of all the noise in the hallway, and as soon as I got back from doing that, he suggested maybe it was time to go for a walk. I guess I'll be sticking around a bit longer!
He's sitting up!
P.S. Well, my decision has been made. I'm staying right here beside my husband. Right after I pushed the button to publish this post, I was asked by the two attending nurses to push the red "staff emergency" button because he was light-headed, dizzy, falling over, and having a very scary-looking spaced-out moment. I've never seen so many nurses flood a room so quickly! He's laying back down now, and I guess we'll be trying that again after a while. Your prayers are greatly appreciated!