Wednesday, June 17, 2009
The first 24 hours
The kids are all in bed, the house is utterly quiet, and I am wiped out.
I went to the hospital to see Michael twice today: this morning I stayed for about an hour and a half, and this afternoon I went back after Finn and Lilah were down for naps and stayed for a couple of hours. All the going back and forth is hard, but really that's the least of it.
So Michael is doing . . . okay, I guess. He is definitely having pain management issues. His pain level was quite a bit higher all day today than they had expected it to be. He's got a self-controlled pump for pain meds, and they even increased the dosage, but he's still in a lot of pain. When I was there this afternoon, the nurse said she was going to talk to the doctor about changing to a different pain med because this one just doesn't seem to be bringing his pain down to a manageable level. It's really, really difficult to see him like this, and I spent a lot of time there fighting to keep my composure (and not doing a very good job).
His coloring is bad - just pale and ashen looking. He's still got a nasal cannula for oxygen because the pain is preventing him from breathing deeply enough to keep his oxygen sat at a high enough level.
He was in and out of consciousness all day. It seemed like he was falling asleep and waking up in 30-second increments. He would fade off in mid sentence and then either startle awake, or fade back in and try to pick up the sentence where he left off, but having lost his train of thought, he would just mumble. At one point he said something about making his own garlic bread, which I took to mean he was talking in his sleep. A lot of this would have been rather amusing if it weren't so awful to see him like this.
Somehow, they got him up and walking a bit twice today (I wasn't there), which blows me away because just trying to shift himself and inch or two in bed was bringing on excruciating pain. So it just makes me cringe to imagine how they got him out of bed and upright.
I left the hospital in time to feed the kids dinner (leftover pizza from last night . . . I feel terrible that my kids are eating pretty much nothing but crap right now, but I just don't have the energy to cook - maybe tomorrow), give baths, read stories, and put them all to bed. Before bedtime, they all sat down and made cards for Daddy (Kevin even had Finn scribble on a piece of paper), which I'll take to the hospital tomorrow. I know he misses the kids terribly, and they are really missing him. And I miss him too. Really, there is just this void here.
I am trying to think of all the things to be grateful for: that the surgery is over and he made it through, and that the surgery marks about the halfway point in his overall treatment; that Michael's sister has been such a big help, and that so many friends are sending support and well wishes. But the tears just keep coming and coming. This sucks. It just absolutely sucks. And there is still such a difficult road ahead.