Monthly Archives: July 2012

Oh, happy day

1. We slept.
2. A lot.
3. T’s rash is still there but his surgeon made rounds this morning and said he suspected it was a reaction to surgical prep soap that didn’t get properly rinsed.
4. No fever through the night.
5. His IV has been discontinued.



Day 2

Long day but we made it through and if Travis would just close his eyes for ten seconds I know he’d fall asleep. And I need him to fall asleep so I can fall asleep because it’s really all about me and not poor T who got his leg bones sawed in two and then steel-plated back together again.

Word to the wise: Don’t ask exactly how they do that procedure unless you want to get really wigged out

We practiced transferring him from the bed to a reclining wheelchair with an elevated leg rest. Tomorrow we will practice transferring him in and out of the car in a practice setting in the physical therapy room. If all goes well, then maybe we can go home tomorrow evening.

Or not.

Because this afternoon he started looking a little flushed and his blood pressure was elevated and he developed a weird rash on his belly and was having some problems emptying his bladder so I of course, assumed flesh-eating bacteria because I am not at all histrionic and do not jump to conclusions. had the resident on call stop by this evening an take a look at him and he thinks that it might all be traced back to side effects from the narcotics he is on. We are going to keep an eye on him tonight and if he starts running a fever then we’ll do more investigating but for now it’s wait and see.

Fun things today: Gretchen brought me Starbucks, Kellie brought me a burrito from Cosmic Cantina for lunch, and I got a nap that may have been a bit of a lifesaver since I’ve slept for 3 hours and 45 minutes since Sunday.

Also? I figured out that you can use a plastic fork to comb your hair. That was festive.



Surgery went as expected – It took about four hours and we are now in the PACU and T is sleeping.

The nurse told us that as he started coming to he began retching so they threw something into his IV and he went back to sleep. We’re waiting to see what happens when he wakes up again.

Please pray against nausea and for adequate pain management. Because of previous spinal surgery they could not use an epidural and had to use a femoral nerve block. They could only block pain below a certain point on his leg so he will be feeling pain above that level that will need to be managed through oral meds. The nerve block will wear off over the next 18 hours.


Six on Sunday

1.  Last week was a bit interesting. I had to run into work for a couple of hours for a meeting and left the ferals to their own devices.  Upon my return home, I discovered that one of those devices turned out to be a can of spray paint.

And one of my children discovered that a) Mom has new decibel levels of loud and b) allowances can be spent at Home Depot buying primer.

2.   Said child also learned that when playing hide and seek, you don’t turn the lock in the closet in Mom’s bedroom and then shut the door behind you as you exit because then Mom wakes up in the morning and finds out she can’t get in to access any of her clothes and shoes because there isn’t a key to the lock and she has to call the handyman to come drill it out.

On the bright side, replacing the door handle was just the excuse I needed to convince the husband that it was time to start switching all the hardware in the house from gold to silver. 

3.  Craig learned to not call home when he’s out of town. (See 1 and 2)

4.  We went to Duke Friday morning for our pre-op appointment.

Travis was excited to go and said hello to everyone he came across.  The nurse checked him out and pronounced him fit, strong, heavy (he weighs 117!) and ready for the big day.  We spoke with a nurse who gave us the usual no food/no water instructions and special soap for his shower tomorrow morning  and then we spent some time with a child life specialist who gave T a kit of surgical masks, syringes, supplies, etc. that he could play with over the weekend so that nothing is a surprise when he’s wheeled back to the operating room.

5.  We check in tomorrow morning at 6 a.m. (that’s before Starbucks opens in case anyone needs to know) and I expect  he’ll be back in surgery by 7.  His doctor said it would take four hours  – after that we’ll be in PACU until a room opens up.  It will probably be late afternoon before we are assigned to one.

6.  Someone’s very ready.


Have a nice day.


One week from tonight I’ll be in a hospital room and, if the past is any indicator, I’ll be holding a plastic bucket as Travis heaves away the post-surgery remains of the day.

He and anesthesia don’t get along very well.

They like to part ways, violently.

I’ve been in a Very Quiet Place for a couple of weeks. I’m not anxious, worried, depressed, or despairing. If forced to pick a few words they would be “focused” and “tense”. My jaw stays clenched most of the time and the massage therapist I saw last week told me to come back in a couple of days so she could spend more time on the shoulder muscles that I’m wearing up around my ears.

My brain is constantly churning. I can be cooking dinner, watering plants, washing clothes, shopping at the grocery store, but my head isn’t there. It’s somewhere next week, and the week after that, and the week after that. I’m doing my best to do “today” and not “tomorrow” and some days I’m successful and some days I’m not.

What if they can’t manage the pain very well?
What if he rips his IVs out?
What if he gets an infection in his bone?
How will we keep him clean?
How will I change his pull-up with a full length cast?
What if I accidentally hurt him trying to get his clothes changed?
How are we going to transfer him into and out of the car?


I don’t have any answers.

I feel like I’m looking at this big, gray, concrete wall smack dab in the middle of my path and for the last two weeks I’ve been sitting cross-legged in the dirt looking at it.

Can’t see through it.

Can’t see past it.

Can’t go around it.

Yesterday, though, I read a quote by Elisabeth Elliott that has helped bring some clarity and, more importantly, resolve to my disquieted spirit. She was talking about obedience and said “Sometimes when we are called to obey, the fear does not subside and we are expected to move against the fear. One must choose to do it afraid.”

That was the gentle nudge that I needed. It’s okay if I’m tense and concerned and don’t have a clue as to how this is all going to work out. I’m not called to have the answers. I am called to be strong and courageous for the Lord is with me wherever I go. I am called to cast my cares upon Him and I am called to trust even though I can’t see what’s on the other side of my obstacle.

This I do know, He is there.

It’s time to stand up, shake the dust from the seat of my pants and start walking towards the wall. It’s not going to move and I’ve got some climbing to do.

Have a nice day.