Friday, January 31, 2014

Survival Skillz

Dear Tanner,

We've had an exciting twenty four hours, and as a result I am not sure how my usual letter-writing habits will be affected. Thus, I will write while I can! Your father came home in the middle of the day yesterday, and said he needed to lay down. He then went back to work. He came home later, and needed to lay down again. His diverticulitis flares up now and then, and we both thought that was what was happening. But all evening he was miserable, in a lot of pain, and having difficulty standing. Because of his nap, he stayed up, so I stayed up until midnight...but he was so miserable he went to the emergency room about 3:30 a.m. Since those rooms are notorious for being so long and slow, he wanted me to stay home with the rest of the family until he found out more.

I'm SO tired! Who can sleep after their better half leaves them? I got up and showered, and tried laying down, but the night was over. I called him around 6 a.m. and he said that he was waiting for a surgical consult, but hadn't been told why. (That's why you never go alone! You're not able to think clearly when you're in pain! Always bring your advocate - me!)

I called the Bishop and Jamie Wolfe and asked them if they could administer to him before they went to work. I taught seminary, packed lunches, called Larry, and when the boys went to school I left your sister with Larry (who was excited for a new morning routine!) and drove to the hospital. Hunter drove the older boys to school, and will bring them all home. Larry took Miller to school, and babysat Breyer. He also let me borrow his truck to drive to the hospital. And our other neighbor, Melanie, who saw me coming outside to Larry's truck, will be providing dinner for the boys.

Your father was diagnosed with a incarcerated hernia, in that he had a small portion of his small bowels outside the hernia. Easy fix is to sew up the hernia, a more complicated procedure would involve using mesh. If there is any tissue or intestine that had the circulation cut off, and is dead, then the fix would be a little more complicated.

Knowing your father, he who was, a hospital-free zone, and has no known allergies because nothing's ever happened to him was very brave going by himself. I know that was not easy for him to do. But sometimes we have to do hard things. He was in a room when I arrived, and I tried to make him laugh. Not just to see if it hurt to laugh, but to lift his spirits which were lower than normal, mostly from being alone. They have a new procedure in our hospital, which I nor you didn't do but Cooper and Jarrod did, which is to wash with an anti-staph, anti-mersa soap. So Dad had to take a shower. What man likes to put on those open-backed gowns! Grampy doesn't, and always asks for pants. That's a good piece of information I'm tucking away. Give me pants any day! After showering he asked for help with the ties, but wouldn't let me take a peek. Whatever! At least the nurse was LAUGHING!

We had a few teary moments, which are those defining moments wherein you know you will be stronger together because you're going through them together.

I was getting COLD, and tried to climb in bed with him, but after laying on his blanket, and bumping him, and squishing him, I got the hint. But I got a few more smiles.

What else do you do while you're on your 8th hour of waiting for the surgeon? A few kisses, a few arm rubs, a few emails to work colleagues, a few sneaky sips of nuts and water so you don't make the patient remember how hungry and thirsty they are...and a husband/wife selfie...

They finally took him back to surgery about noon. I told the team that this man has six boys and a little girl who need him back home, so perform with precision!

And they did. He was done in an hour, and qualified for the easy fix. I found out later that Stephen's father had called to have his name put in the Louisville temple. What kind of wife doesn't think of that?

For having to wait eight hours for the operation, and going on two hours in recovery, for an one hour operation, seems a little top heavy. Too much middle management! Too much paper work! I can't even begin to tell you how many questions he answered by so many people, over and over again. By 7 a.m. day shift began, and by noon, everyone was changing for lunch. But no matter who was tweek-ing the paperwork, they all loved your dad.


Wholly Duncan said...

So sorry to hear that he is down. I hope his recovery is quick. We'll be thinking of him.

shirlgirl said...

So sorry to hear about Jarrod's surgery. Now the recovery, and with all the love of family and friends and prayers, he'll do fine. I laughed when you said you tried to get into bed with him. I would love to have done that with Uncle David, but the bed was too small, and he was in the middle of it--I'd have been on the floor! Just to snuggle once more would have been great. Give Jarrod my love and a wish for a quick recovery. I'm sure he'll be waited on hand and foot in the hospital and at home. Much love to all. Aunt Shirley

LL said...

WOW! I rarely sit down and go through blogs these days. Sounds like you guys have had an exciting month over there.
Hope he is feeling better!