Thursday, May 10, 2012

back surgery [part 1 of 2]

Thank you to everyone that's prayed, thought of us, helped, brought meals, took the kids for a while, made me feel loved and wanted, let me cry on your shoulder, hugged me, bought me a drink...
thank you! We couldn't, I couldn't have done it without you.

I'm sorry I haven't updated. I feel like I'm wasting time if I sit down to write, but I've also realized that when I don't speak/write my thoughts & feelings I lose my mind just a little. So, here's the back surgery summary... you know how awesome I am at summarizing things... I just don't. What can I say? I'm wordy.

McCune Brooks Hospital Carthage, MO
Mathew is doing great. great! He was released by his physical therapist [every time I write or say the word therapist I think of it being the-rapist. I have a sick mind like that]. No more physical therapy! Of course he's supposed to still do things on his own. He's been walking a couple miles on the treadmill & cycling about 3 miles a day. Can you believe that?! I told you, he's doing great!!

sitting in the parking lot before going into the hospital for the surgery.
The day of the surgery was rough. I thought I'd prepared for it. They said it could be up to 8 hours long. I had my iPhone & the charger for it. Plus a few things to spend the night. The kids were at home with my mom, we figured they would be more comfortable that way. The pastor at the church we used to frequent was there even before they took Mathew back to surgery. He's the best! Caleb, one of Mathew's best friends was there too! I think that them being there really helped him get his mind off of things and even have a few laughs before they cut him open. When the 3 of us went to his room where he was waiting to get taken back to surgery we all laughed. He had a gown on that inflated, it had temp control... he looked like The Hulk. ha ha!!

At around 10 they told us it was time. I could tell he got nervous. I was nervous. SO many things could happen. It could have been the last time I saw him. He could be allergic to something, they could mess up. They might find something else wrong while they're in there.... I watch Grey's Anatomy people! I'm usually very paranoid in my head, I think of all the things that could go wrong. Usually I ignore them and put my tough face on, this time was no different. I just went through the day and waited.

Thankfully Mathew's mom came & stayed with me. So did his grandparents, and at the end of the day his brother. They helped keep my mind occupied & were all there when he came out of surgery.

That's when I thought I'd lose it. Dr. Ipsen showed me his xrays. they took his spine apart. they cut things out of it and filled it with stuff.... what the heck?! I felt like throwing up just thinking of what they did to him. Thinking about how they cut down his front, moved everything out of the way, then sliced up his spine. Then they flipped him over cut slits in his back, through his skin & muscles and shoved a couple rods & screws into him. HOLY CRAP!

It was almost 8pm when they came and got us so we could finally see him. I kept it together even though I could barely breath with that giant knot in my throat. He looked so... I don't know what word to use. I just know that in that moment I wanted to trade places with him. I wanted to take his pain away, to be the one there. I cant imagine how his mom felt. I can't imagine seeing my son go through that. but she did good, she kept it together too. All he wanted when he saw us was to hold my hand and for his daddy to get there. When his dad got there I could see the same feelings in his face too, but we all held ourselves together for Mathew's sake, for each other's sake. I know that if one of us lost it, all of us would've. I'm pretty sure I said some rude things when his parents started criticizing the way the nurses were doing things... I know that's just what they do, but I was a mess & didn't want to hear it. Everyone eventually had to leave, I can't imagine how hard that must have been for his mom. but I was ready to be alone with him. I made sure he didn't need anything, turned off the lights, then sat in the recliner chair thing in the corner.

Behind that picture was me, hyperventilating... trying not to puke, trying to breath, crying, but trying be quite so that he wouldn't hear. Trying to prepare myself for the next couple of days.

to be continued....