|This is the dressing and where the lumbar drain enters my spine.
You can also see a white (and red) safety valve just below my waist.
Here is a video from after the surgery. We had been in ICU for about 30 minutes or an hour (Time moves differently after a surgery sitting around a hospital).
So here is a video of Scott as he came out of post-op and got settled into the ICU. You can see that no matter how many drugs they pump into him, they can’t shut him up 🙂
I wanted to say “hi,” and not just type it. So I coerced Carrie into holding my iPhone and making this video.
|Image found at: http://www.canadianlutheran.ca/a-well-spent-lent-2/|
Today I invite my wife to be my guest blogger here on “virtues.” Rev. Carrie Carnes is the pastor at Chenoa United Methodist Church which is just 25 minutes North of Bloomington-Normal, IL. She will graduate from Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary next month, although she finished her classes last summer and has been serving at Chenoa as a full-time pastor since.
Scripture: Mark 16:1-8
Throughout Lent, we sang “Lord Who Throughout These Forty Days”. It’s a great hymn about Jesus’ time in the desert. The hymn reminds us that when we are in barren places- Christ is with us. When we find ourselves in those wilderness places we often feel alone and it can be difficult to see God walking with us. During Lent we inspect pain, suffering and sin with the assurance that God is with us- and with the knowledge that Lent ends with Easter.
Last night was not so easy. My roommate is in his 70’s or early 80’s and turned his tv on by evening. Oh my goodness it was blasting. I had already asked to move rooms because of a noisy roommate and was determined not to have to again. I asked for earplugs and arranged for my medicine to be well-timed. My roommate turned off the tv at bedtime and I….couldn’t sleep. I had earplugs. I had drugs. I had an adjustable bed with plenty of pillows and blankets, but I didn’t have sleep. Oh, I’ve slept for a few hours here and there, but it wasn’t deep restful sleep. Then this morning my roommate called for help as he had messed himself. They did the neurological tests where they ask his name, birthdate, where he is at, etc. it was a new person asking him and they didn’t seem concerned, but I’d been listening all day and his answers were a lot slower and he covered with humor, but he had to think for a long time on somethings. In fact, he got the year and days backwards on his birthdate before quickly correcting himself.
I don’t know if it was the right thing to do, but I went against doctors orders and got up and walked on my own to the nurses station so I could tell them. They came and spent time with him and I pray all is well, but I think they are going to keep a closer eye on him. I think that it is important to have an advocate with you in the hospital.
|Scott hard-at-work blogging from his hospital room. (That’s some great hair, Scotty) -Carrie|
You are probably getting tired of my hot air, but I have advice. I’m writing this, so if you’re tired of reading it, stop. For the rest of you, press on because it only gets more monotonous! Are you excited?
Monday I was finally able to have some breakfast and it stayed down. Whoo-hoo! The doctors finally came around and explained surgery and my MRI results and by mid-morning I had this new roommate who is a really nice fellow.
If you’ll remember my meals kept getting pushed back because they didn’t yet know how soon the surgery needed to be. The real question at hand was whether there was an infection and the MRI came back clean. More good news. The down side to this, of course, was that after all the waiting I was in for more waiting. Well, that’s okay. I’m not in a hurry to be under the knife again. I had breakfast and, even tho it was cold, gross and greasy: It was one of the best meals I had ever had. Oh boy was I hungry!
When it came time for lunch, though, (yes this is about to take a sad, unfortunate turn) they said I couldn’t eat for awhile again. They were going to do a procedure to reduce the pressure and swelling by using syringes to pull some of the fluid (and blood) out of my head. It wasn’t so bad. At first Carrie told me it was a spinal tap and that sounded excruciating, but it wasn’t a spinal tap, they just had to get under the skin, muscle and scar-tissue to pull it out. Now, don’t get my wrong, it hurt. I think I nearly squeezed my wife’s hand off, but it was bearable and I finally had some relief once I recovered from the procedure. They did the procedure right in my room and numbed the skin with lanocaine (sp?)
The rest of the day was super-exciting. I laid in bed all day. I had fun little moments like when dinner came, but it was a very long day. On Sunday I slept nearly the whole time, but by monday I found myself not sleeping all that much. You may know something about that yourself, I don’t know. But isn’t it increasingly tough to really rest in a hospital once the newness wears off? Well, it is for me. I think my buttocks begins to get sore from sitting and my nerves get worn by the staff, my family, and other patients and I have a harder-and-harder time truly resting!
That’s really all that is fit to print for the moment. After my minor procedure I was pretty well out of it for the next hour or so. It really left me tired and sore, but once I began to sit up I realized that I felt tremendously better.
Gosh, it’s weird and confusing to be here all over again. Here I sit at Barnes Jewish waiting for surgery. I’ve been through this once so you’d think I’d know what’s happening, but i don’t. It’s been a strange whirlwind sort of weekend and we are just getting to see the full picture.
These last couple of weeks have been harder on me than the initial recovery and last week it got real bad by wednesday when I woke up with terrible pain and headaches which caused me to throw up and then I continued throwing up all morning from about 4 or 5 am until noon and then I finally found a comfortable position and fell off to sleep and slept the rest of the afternoon. The next couple of days were rough, but no more throwing up until Saturday. Saturday was nearly exactly like Wednesday. I woke up earlier than usual and then continually vomitted, but it never stopped. We called the neurosurgeon, just as we did on Wednesday and they weren’t terribly concerned (they didn’t think it was surgical or related to my surgery). But the neurosurgeons said that we should go to our local ER if the pain persisted.
Finally around 3 pm or so we realized that I was getting no relief. The problem, though, for me, was that I couldn’t imagine having to go by car to the hospital. The light and motion seemed like they would just make everything so much worse that I delayed a fair bit before agreeing to go. Well, reason kicked in and my wife helped me to the car and drove me over to St. James OSF Hospital in Pontiac. We go to the hospital around 4 or 4:30 pm.
They got me right into an ER room and I we asked them to make it dark and quiet. They took care of it immediately and got me on some anti-nausea meds and morphine. Gretchen stopped by cause she was already out and about and sat with me while Carrie went home to pick up my MRI scans and reports from February and March (which we had left at home). The Pontiac hospital did a CT Scan and we waited until 2 am or so to find out that they believed there was bleeding in my brain from the surgery.
It was a long day, but finding out what was going on and finding out that I was getting to transferred was a load off. Sometimes just having a plan makes everything a little better!
I will share more a little later and bring you all up-to-date. For right now, I’m going to relax a little and wait for Carrie to get back from the waiting room. A visitor just came and she took them away from the room so that I could rest.
Thank you, all, for your on-going prayers and concern. We do appreciate your caring support very much!