Life is not about waiting for the storms to pass- it is about learning to dance in the rain.

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Here are my sister and I after her all night vigil. (She'll shoot me for publishing this one!)

At Last, my body will sit in a chair in an upright position, and I think my mind can stay focused long enought to write this. I shall post no matter what, although if I don't finish, it will mean things are out of order. I'll try to put dates inside the blog.

Day 0: Wednesday: Arrival at Hospital
My sister and daughter-in-law accompanied me to the hospital. I decided to go in joy. I wore hot pink with hot pink suitcase and my orange furry coat. It actually felt a bit like a baby delivery. Somehow the idea of life coming was there. The advantage was, at that moment in time, I felt wonderful (No labor pains!)

Day 1: Thursday: Surgery
I woke up a bit late in the evening. I'm barely conscious of faces I was and I remember waving. The surgery took longer than expected. A four hour surgery turned into a long 8 hours for my family anxiously waiting. They opened me up had my liver ready to move, but it to much longer to prep Victor. He had had a previous resection to remove tumors and additional work had to be done. My liver had to remain connected to me to remain viable. But...8 hours later I was back upstairs. Victor still had some hours to go. Because I haven't asked Marta about giving more details with Victor, I'll need to keep that to the essentials.

During the night, My sister sat by my side. I have no idea how often I opened my eyes and whisperered "ice, please" or some other small request, but every time she was alert and awake. I don't think she closed her eyes all night.

Day 2 - Friday: Medication sets in. I can't tolerate codeine, and we now know I don't tolerate morphine either.

Days 3-4- Saturday, Sunday: I remember headaches and my loving family by my side. My head hurt far worse than my stomache. More morphine gave more headaches. So did other meds. Those days were a blur of changing nurses (Most of whom were THE most wonderful people on earth!), headaches, and backaches. But...I was getting up with assistance and eating a liquid diet by Sunday. I should say, they allowed me to eat a liquid diet. I would take only a sip of this or that. Mostly I ate ice.

By Sunday night (Day 4) The medication issue came to crisis for me. Morphine was removed and after that, the headaches were better. My back spasms came into full play. I had only three minor (per doctors) medical issues going in: myofacial disorder which causes muscle spasms, sinus difficulties with post nasal drip which makes me cough (Not good after major sugery) and migraine headaches which usually occur only one or twice a month. After the morphine was discontinued I had a bit more pain from surgery, but the headaches lessened in intensity and with walking, back pain subsided.

There were a couple of days there when I wondered if I had really heard from God. The usual depressive thoughts when one is very ill and in pain. But at the last prayer meeting before surgery God had given me the 23rd Psalm to hold on to, specifically: "Yea though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil for thou art with me." I'd say that to myself over and over. God never left my side. And...he sent human angels to minister to me, sometimes nurses, sometimes friends and family.

Day 5-Monday: The Doctor shocked me my asking if I was ready to go home tomorrow. I responded with something like, "If you think I'm ready". But I was stunned. I decided I had better practice getting around on my own, maybe try to eat something (They started solid foods that morning...eggs and turkey bacon -- and see how much mobility I could gain.

Day 6 - Tuesday: On the am visit, he said we'd try for discharge the next day. I was both relieved and disappointed. However, with God's help I continued my regimen of improving mobility. I did discover that the more I moved, walked, etc., the better the back pains were and it did not cause additional pain from the incision site. Onward and Upward.

Day 7 - Wednesday: I was more than ready to go when the doctor arrived on morning rounds. Thank God. Arrival home was quiet, but in the evening the kids and grandkids came over. The Daily Herald took some pictures and issued the third story the next day.

For now, I'm going to stop. This is as long as I can sit. I'm going to try to go to church tomorrow for at least worship time. It will be so refreshing. Everyone has been so kind. Thank you for all the flowers, cards, emails and prayers.

Please keep praying for Victor. As of today he continues to progress with no setbacks. Every day is a victory of life. His is the greater struggle. He is drinking water, is no longer on a respirator, but breathing on his own with an oxygen mask. God is good! He's giving Sammy back his Papi!

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