Wednesday, October 17, 2007

October 17: Surgery Postponed

Today was a disappointing day for everyone. Jeff was originally scheduled to be the third surgery of the day. Something happened with the second surgery that made it last far longer than they anticipated and finally at 4:30, the staff gave up on the hope of having time for Jeff today and told us that he wouldn't have the surgery until tomorrow.

The disappointing part is that this resulted in a lot of discomfort for Jeff. He couldn't have anything in his feeding tube all day. They had started to sedate him and backed off his pain medication in preparation for the anesthesia so he was much more aware of the pain. It was especially hard when they had to change his dressings and scrub his wounds. He was in so much pain but there was just no way to avoid the unfortunate timing until it was too late and they just had to push through it. Plus, because he was technically supposed to be ready for surgery at any time, we couldn't see him for most of the day and that was hard since we all naturally wanted to be at his side, comforting him.

So by tonight, he was exhausted. We sat with him a long time and played all the voice messages but he was so sedated that he didn't respond to our voices or to the tape. We'll try again tomorrow. At least he was in such a deep sleep that he was getting solid rest and relief from the pain.

His fever remains a steady 103. I guess the good news is that it isn't climbing. The surgery is supposed to help bring that fever down, ward off infection, and help him heal more quickly.

The GREAT news is that if they can get him in surgery early enough tomorrow, they may be able to extubate him tomorrow afternoon, and then they'd stop backing off the sedative. The hospital's goal is to have him lucid and moving (walking!) by the weekend because they don't want his muscles to weaken anymore. I'll be honest and say that seeing him today, that sounds like SUCH a far away possibility that I can't see bridged in 2 days, but I have faith that God has entrusted him to so many wonderful doctors and nurses. If he's up, GREAT! If not, that's because his team has the wisdom to see that would be pushing too hard and we are grateful for that wisdom too. So, we'll see.

The recovery from the surgery will be very uncomfortable for Jeff. They said it's essentially like taking a cheese grater to his skin. I wince at that analogy and am just grateful for skilled doctors and medicine and care that will minimize his trauma. But if you'd pray for special mercies from the pain for him, during both the surgery and recovery, that would be wonderful. The great news is that if the surgery goes as planned, his recovery from it could be as little as 2 weeks!

We're really praying that he is able to have the surgery tomorrow. We're specifically praying that he gets to have the surgery early so that he doesn't have another day of no pain meds, no food, and prolonged intubation. So earlier in the day is better. They don't extubate after 3:00pm so ideally we want him out of surgery and stabilized by then. That's our specific hope for tomorrow.

I'll keep you updated. They don't have internet in the hospital so I can only get on when we come home for dinner or when we come home at bed time. On the right you'll notice that I added a box where you can enter your email address to be updated whenever I post something new--sign up if you like :)

An update from yesterday--Chris made it home safely! And Becky's mom made it here safely too. She's flying home tomorrow so please remember her safety in your prayers, too.

As always, our unending thanks go out to all of you.


Kristin said...

sending up huge prayers! i know that God is in control... my heart breaks for you all, especially Jeff, as he endures all this. Jen, you were there for me in so many ways when Abbi was in the hospital... I hope to be there for you, and your family during this time as well... please let me know if there is anything more I can do. HUGS AND PRAYERS, Kristin

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