Saturday, March 31, 2012

On Being Away from Home....

  The last trip was only 5 days. This time it stretches to ten whole days. I am feeling odd, disconnected, unsettled. I also feel guilty. Guilty for leaving my sweet, adorable husband to deal with everything. Guilty for enjoying quiet time to read and knit. Guilty for being able to crawl into bed early and hog all the covers to myself. Just plain guilty. Comes with the territory of being a mom.....sigh.
  My Dad is coming home this morning. We decided to let him stay one more night while they got his oral pain meds under control. He is a bit uncomfortable, especially as he is getting up and down (using thos core muscles is HARD) but overall he is quite content. Now he is just anxious to get out of the hospital and get some uninterrupted sleep, eat what he wants and get comfy in his big chair. His incision runs from just below his breast bone to just above his pubic bone, I estimate about 15 inches long. It covers a bit more distance because, as the surgeon says, he has a fat belly. LOL!
  Ahren, my silly beautiful boy, turns out he got into trouble at school because he thought Seth would get all the attention for acting up while I was gone, so he decided to try it too. He told me so! The next day, he not only did super well at school, he got a special behavior award called Sparkle. They award this to a child who has had a perfect day and also showed some special kindness to another person. He was much happier to get the positive attention for Sparkle than the negative attention for the day before. That kid is way too bright for his own good. He even laughed about his little plan!
  Seth is hanging in there really well. What a champ! I still expect some fall out, but also a certain pride in himself for having done so well. There is going to be a big celebration with my boys when I get home! Funny thing, though, Levi has been very sad the last two nights, just missing me. I can't forget to show him extra attention just because I think he is doing OK. He still misses me and gets sad too.

Have to run! A big blonde Viking with a stomache full of staples is waiting for his ride!

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Men, Men, Men, Men

I have so much to update on! Right now I am in Iowa, my Dad is recovering from surgery, and my Hubby and little men are hanging out in Texas pretending they are fine without me. (Well, yes, they are fine without me, but I am sooo needed ya know!)

My Father: On Monday we were at the hospital at 5:30 am, ready for the big show. My Mom, brother and I found a secluded table with electrical access and plugged in all our electronics and camped out for the duration. They took him back at 7:30 am and then updated us every hour on what part of the surgery they were on and how things were going. Everything went well but the aneurysm turned out to be much larger than they had thought. When they clamped it off and cut into it they sucked out all the blood, filtered it and returned it to him. That monster held 2.5-3 liters of blood, half the volume of a normal adult! With that much blood returned to him he ended up not needing a transfusion. In essence, that huge aneurysm was his very own blood bank reservoir. It took about an hour to sew in the graft. During that time the blood flowed freely through all of  his body except below the graft site. His legs were without blood flow for that hour, but they can go without blood flow for up to 6 hours before permanent damage starts. The closing took quite a while and then they immediately transferred him to ICU, still intubated and completely sedated. That was at about 3:30 pm and we got to go in and see him right away. We were prepared for how terrible he would look, tubes everywhere, severely puffy from all the fluids, and scary looking. Instead, he was pink and warm and not puffy! His feet, for the first time in years, were warm and pink instead of gray and cold.
  They were not going to start weaning him off the ventilator until Tuesday because of the extreme amount of fluids they had pushed into him, but he and his kidneys had other ideas. The nurses were happily grumbling about how often they had to change his urine collect bag. They ended up getting him off the vent that evening, then onto CPAP (pressurized air through his nose to keep his lungs inflated) and then onto a nasa l canula by morning. When I called at 6 am they had him sitting up in a chair and were already ordering a bed in a regular room for him!
  It is now Thursday morning and he is eating food, walking, driving the nurses crazy and scheduled to go home tomorrow. I can only believe that the prayers and well wishes of so many people have effected this miraculous recovery. He is 77 years old, a poorly controlled diabetic, has breathing problems, arthritis, overweight and out of shape and yet he came through this surgery like a 30 year old in the best of health! The surgeon called him his hero.
  The next week at home will bne hard. He will be in pain and he does not tolerate pain well, but is highly allergic to many narcotic pain meds. It's going to be hard. He knows it and he is prepared for it. I will be here until Monday to help and by then he should be pretty mobile and in good shape.
  One funny story: Yesterday the aide came in to give him a sponge bath. She got all set up and then laid a small towel across his lap before she removed his gown. He immediately blurted out that she was going to need a bigger towel. Didn't she know he was a Viking? The look on that woman's face was priceless!

The boys: I thought Seth would have the biggest problem with me leaving again. He was very clingy before I left and quite sad. Instead, he is acting like a Champ! He told me on the phone last night that he had a strange feeling. He realized he was worried I would not come home, but then he told himself I loved him and of course I was coming back and he was OK. AMAZING!!! He felt the emotions, was able to understand what he was feeling and then realize it was going to be Okay. It brought tears to my eyes and a huge swell of love for my brave and sweet boy!
  Ahren is struggling. He cries every night forme when he goes to bed. I talk to them a couple of times each evening, but at bedtime he needs to send me one more text to say goodnight and then he can lay down. He has had problems with his behavior at school. Yesterday he was one warning away from being sent to the Principal's office. He has NEVER been in trouble at school for more than talking.
  Levi is good but missing me. He is lucky because he is so completely secure and confident.

I will keep y'all posted!

Wednesday, March 07, 2012


I only have a little bit to post so will make it short and sweet. The kids did amazingly while I was away. Everything went smoothly for Daddy. The first 4 days I was back, things also went well. There was some extra clingy-ness and insecurity but I thought we were dealing well. Then by Friday it began. Not nearly as intense as times in the past, but lots and lots of tears. Crying because he got water to drink, crying because a brother might take his toy, crying because I was eating my breakfast and didn't jump up and get him clothes that second. Long, sobbing, moaning, crying jags where the hurt just poured out of him. That's my little RADish, a deep well of hurt and sadness and a hole so large no amount of love can fill it back up. We talked, we hugged, we rocked, we talked more. It lasted 4 days and now he is back to a happy, sunny, still annoying child!

I am leaving again for 10 days at the end of the month. We will talk, talk, talk about it, try and set him up for success and deal with the fallout afterwards. Each time he has to work his way through an anxiety ridden situation like this, he gets a little stronger, a little calmer, and a little more trusting. I have high hopes for my boy!