Monday, September 8, 2014

September 8, 2014 -- Post Op Day 6 -- We're Home!!!

We are all so thankful to be at home!!!  We arrived home today at about 4:30 pm.  Here's an update on today and continued prayer requests as well as praises. . . 

Hope had a pretty crummy sleep last night.  The nausea and abdominal discomfort continued.  We tried several attempts at what has worked best in the past for constipation, and we had no success. . . so please be in prayer for us as we make decisions of what to do from here. 

Hope has had worse dizziness and vertigo today (possibly the cause of her throwing up).  Not too much we can do about this. . . it is related to her brain injury, but also probably tiredness, exhausted traumatized body, and medications.  We just have to take things slow.

The surgeon ended up wanting to do a dressing change after all today before we went home.  The dressing change was very uncomfortable for her. . . the tape being removed was the worst part.  The nurses worked so carefully, but efficiently, two at the same time, with a third assisting as well, to try to help our girlie get through it. . . such sweet people that God has surrounded our precious girl with to help her through this journey and the suffering that can be a part of it.  As much as it was unpleasant, when it was all done, to hear Hope roll onto her back and say, "Ahhh, that feels so much better!" made the suffering seem a lot further away!  To have a proper dressing, now a water-proof dressing that needs to stay on until our follow up appointment in 2 1/2 weeks, is a huge blessing, and mostly because it is much more comfortable for Hope now.  It was also good to see the wound and be able to see that the bloody fluid drainage had stopped.  This significantly decreases the risk of infections and aids the healing of the wound!  For those with stronger stomachs, here is a picture of some of the wound (had to cut it short for modesty reasons!). . . 

No wonder she is in so much pain.  But the incision looks good as far as no infection, closed well, and no further bloody drainage!  She is one tough cookie!!!

Leaving the hospital!  Notice Hope's choice of  T-shirt to wear home!!!

The drive home was hard on her with the nausea and every bump causing pain, but she was a trooper and said she was going to be quiet and focus on getting through it.  She ended up falling asleep!  : )  God is so gracious! 

Sleeping Hopey and happy Gabi!!!  : )
Hope's NOT so "warm welcome" home today!!!  I would love to say that this is unusual for September in Canada, but it is not!

Hope's pain has also been increased again today. . . another "bump."  She has been having more back and shoulder spasms.  Tonight it left her screaming in pain.  It is so hard to be so limited in what we can do to help her, but God has been giving her incredible strength to lean into being comforted by mom and dad.  I am so thankful!  We are using anything we can think of. . . hot packs, position changes, massages, essential oils, cool cloths, distraction, music, singing, stories, etc..  Nothing takes the pain away, but it does seem to help her cope with the pain better.  Her neck pain is a little better today, but her back and spasms are worse.  In order to come home, per the surgeon's wishes, Hope needed to come off all the breakthrough pain medication.  If we had known sooner, we would have tried to do a slow wean, but by God's grace, she has done better than we expected.  So we chose to go ahead and get her home where she is more comfortable and more able to rest.  We are thankful to come home on less narcotics, as we were concerned with coming home on too much narcotic.  Hope's unexplained respiratory and then cardiac arrest after a tonsillectomy/adenoidectomy, now almost 3 years ago, was the last time Hope came home with prescription pain meds, and then much less potent Codeine.  So we want to error on caution's side.  But her oxygen sats have been good since Saturday evening, when last she complained of shortness of breath and needed oxygen.  Another praise!

Hope's nausea progressed to throwing up today, so she also came home with a prescription for her most effective anti-nausea medication, Ondansetron, which thankfully has no sedating side effects like Gravol and so is safe to use with her seizure medication and history.  She has not needed it yet though since coming home.  In fact, after not eating one bit of food all day, she had a decent meal at supper today. . . not her usual amount but probably more than triple what she has been eating!  So thankful and praying that her nausea stays away!  : )

Our surgeon is leaving tomorrow for a week long conference.  There is another orthopedic surgeon who covers in his absence, but we are thankful that we were able to finish up Hope's hospital stay with the one that we know and he knows us!  We are going to take the next couple days to get Hope settled into her recovery at home, with lots of attention from mom and dad to help her through this next "bump."  The surgeon said to plan to be home with her for the next 3 weeks, until her follow up appointment, and then plan on modified return to activities. . . meaning do what she tolerates.  This aids her healing/recovery, but also helps prevent infection.  And another big concern the surgeon shared with us today, is that if Hope were to have any falls or accidents, or just twisting or moving the wrong way, then the hardware in her back could come loose or break.  This would require another surgery, so that is why they want her to take it easy and be careful and limited in mobility for a while.  He said to plan on 6 months of recovery before Hope will say that she is glad that she had the surgery, where the pain is less than before, and the gains outweigh the losses.  He also said that the spine will take about a full year to actually fully fuse and heal, so to keep in mind that until then, all strain and pressure is on the hardware to hold her together!  We are not stressing about this, but we just wanted to share these as a few more things to keep in prayer.

Well we are all looking forward to having a better night's sleep at home, as a family tonight!  Praising God for that!  We have been so blessed by our dear church family bringing us meals both in hospital and now at home.  Thank you so much, dear friends, for your love and heart to serve us in this way.  Thank you, as always, for your faithful prayers for our girlie and the rest of our family!  Thank you for praising God for all His mercies and comforts, and the strength that only He can provide.  He is so faithful!  I am going to go and join my sleeping family. . . I am looking forward to a better rest tonight!  I will continue to keep you posted on her recovery.  God is so good, and you are so loved, dear ones!!!

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