Beloved Family and Friends,
Well, it is the morning after the day before, and the Clot is joyous…and a little tired. But it is the first time we have had a wake-up sans mass, and we are ready to party on!
Dennis got through the night with a little help from his friends…strong narcotics and a conscientious nursing staff. Ally, his main nurse, came in at regular six-minute intervals throughout the night, which was very reassuring to me, because this was no time for a well-intentioned but hysterical wife to be in charge of his post-op care. I was spared any sleep, which was good because I could monitor every event from my corner on the couch. I was a little tired from the day yesterday, which greatly inhibited my ability to articulate anything intelligent (situation normal)
Dennis is hooked up to a PCA button which allows a patient to squirt pain killer as needed. This is good in theory, but Dennis is so conservative that the nurse had to encourage him to get liberal with his button, or she would award custody of the button to me and I could sedate him into next week.
During the night, we had a sphincter-control drill when Dennis’ blood pressure dipped to 82. Now I don’t have to be the surgeon general to know that isn’t good. There was a whole lot of shakin’ goin’ on in the room. The doctor lowered the head of his bed. That, along with harsh language, ( my contribution) seemed to do the trick, and he got stabilized, and we were able to return to wide-eyed vigilance. (Sleep was a no-show, but that’s ok. I didn’t want to miss a single play of THIS super bowl)
The nurse turned off the epidural drip, and the commotion subsided just as I was about to go into “concentric circle” mode. I was able to reassemble my composure and the episode passed.
Lights are blinking and bells are ringing, and I have had a lightning course in technology. When the red light goes on, I yell, “Breathe deeper, Dennis!” When the orange light goes on, I yell, “Up your blood pressure!” You can probably imagine what his response is. Dings that occur with vengeful regularity, trigger a personal bladder response, and I just run to the bathroom. We managed to pass the night with minimal “Oh Crap!” moments.
Dr. Fenton came in this morning with a little more clarification on yesterday’s events. Apparently Dennis was fitted with some “grenades.” I wasn’t exactly certain just what that referred to. This was rather unsettling in light of the latest news from Baghdad. I hoped they hadn’t taken me literally when I said I wanted to blast the little %*&#$ to outer darkness. But Dr. Fenton said his grenades looked good, so I stopped asking questions and ceased worrying that Dennis was wired and could blow any minute.
Speaking of blowing any minute, Dennis’ task for the day is ”flatulence resurgence.” Talk about gas prices – what we wouldn’t pay for some rumbling down under. The doctors admonished us that it doesn’t count if he gets proxy assistance from the Clot, so we promptly cancelled our room service order for chili. But we all keep an ear to his nether region and are currently placing wagers as to when the silence will be broken. In the meantime, the Clot is doing our best Dallas Cowboys cheerleader imitations: Give us an “F!” Give us an “A!” Well, you get the idea.
By the way, I would be a miserable failure as a coach of anything, especially breathing. Another task for the day is working out on the spirometer. Dennis must use it ten times per hour per day to keep his lungs clear and working. So in an effort to help and encourage him, I went into rowing team meter mode. In perfect rhythm I repeated, “Suck in…Suck out” at regular intervals. He came out of his narcotics-induced stupor to inform me, “You can’t suck out!” We laughed, he breathed. Mission accomplished!
There was so much positive stuff that happened yesterday, but ironically, one of the best was Dr. Fenton’s assessment of margins – “grossly negative.” Isn’t that wonderful? It’s interesting what causes euphoria for the Clot these days: a mass that is no longer with us, the confidence of highly-skilled doctors and technicians, and the love of family and friends.
Yesterday our family went into the battle of our lives with a formidable 3 cm. foe. I must admit it was daunting, knowing we have a chance, not a guarantee. But I also know we did no to into this war alone. We could not have done it alone. You were with us, and there was never a single moment when we didn’t feel your presence. That operating room contained a multitude. We were blessed by prayer warriors who circled the wagons and covered our backs. There are no words to express what is in our hearts. We pray Heavenly Father’s sweetest mercies will be with you always.
Dennis is resting right now. There is some pain, but it is manageable with his squirt button, massive doses of narcotics, and the reading of your comments from the blog. He has such a peaceful look on his face. He is rather bony still, but his spirit is morbidly obese. We have not won the war yet, but we won the conflict yesterday. You all are a part of that victory.
How you have blessed our lives. We will blog regular up-dates as we count our blessings and try to enumerate the miracles. Know that you are counted among them both.
We love you all so much,