Thursday, August 27, 2009

Living Life on Overdrive: the surgery

To continue this drawn-out saga:

As I was saying, that little nurse just snatched my Mister right up and dragged him kicking and screaming down that long corridor to the surgical prep area without even letting him hug me or kiss me. Or tell me how much he loved me. Or hated me, because I had pretty much threatened him to have the surgery.

Okay. Not really. The traitor went willingly without uttering one word of protest.

I sat down and tried to read my Bible, sitting there by myself, praying they'd come get me soon so I could see my love. All I could think about was seeing him and touching him again before they split him wide open.

Finally, they called me back to see him. After getting to spend about 1/2 hour with him, they came to tell me that they would be carrying him back to the surgical area. It was really, really difficult not to cry. But I didn't. At least not outwardly. I don't remember what we talked about. Probably mostly the IV in his arm, the surgery itself, and some mushy stuff that I won't share.

The rest of the day can be read about in my April 29th post.

After the surgery and Sugar Lips was released from ICU into a regular room, I thought things would be smooth sailing from there.

Dream on, sister.

We ended up spending three more weeks in the hospital. After all of our planning and praying, not much ended up working out like we had hoped. Because Mister's valve had significant damage and calcification, it was replaced with a mechanical valve. This meant that he would have to be on coumadin for the rest of his life.

Unfortunately for my husband, he was too healthy. I've always known that he had a rebellious side and it showed like crazy during his hospital stay! To make a really long story short, it was taking longer than usual for the coumadin to work, and his body rebelled against the heparin that he was on. This caused all sorts of very serious problems, some quite scary, and we were practically back to day one. It would take ten more days for his INR to get to the correct range.

In the end, it worked out that we entered Piedmont Hospital on April 10th and left May 2nd.

And truth be told, we don't have one complaint about the entire experience. God is too good to us to do that. Even though many of our prayers were answered in a totally different way than we'd hoped, God was still good.

For one thing, we were blessed by an amazing support system back home. My mom and mother-in-law took care of the kids, our friends fed the animals (the chickens, dogs, and rabbits . . . NOT the kids!), and another friend drove our daughter back and forth to school so that she could be here for the surgery.

After we got home from the hosptial after being there nearly a month, we fully expected that everything would return to normal right away. Will we never learn?

One thing I did learn from all of this is not to really have any expectations of how something will turn out, especially when you pray and ask God to take control. Once I get something set in my mind, all I am doing is setting myself up for disappointment when it doesn't turn out like I want it too. But only God knows what is best in each of our lives. If I would learn to set my mind to follow God's will and purpose, then I would be more content. It's been a hard lesson to learn but I am glad He is a willing, patient teacher. I'm just not so sure if I'm a willing, patient student.

One of the most disappointing things about being in the hospital that long was missing our sons' 18th birthdays and our daughter's first prom. But the kids were really understanding about it all. I think we're all just glad that we'll have their dad around to celebrate other important events in their lives.

And even though there was a period of adjustment when we got home, we had some amazing people providing meals for us for THREE weeks! Do you know what this means? I did not cook a meal from the first of April until nearly the beginning of June! We had so much food! It was just overwhelming the amount of time and effort other people put into ministering to us during this time.

Tomorrow morning will mark the twentieth week since our lives were changed and a long-time prayer of mine was answered. A year ago I was very angry and bitter towards my husband because he would not take care of himself and had not made any effort at getting his valve repaired. Last December, when he became so ill with that virus and was forced back into the doctor's office, I had prayed only days before that God would restore our marriage and make it better than it had ever been. I confessed my sins of anger and bitterness to Him, asking Him to take care of my husband's heart for me. Little did I know that by humbling myself before the Lord like that and confessing my wrong attitude, He would answer my prayer so quickly.

Life this summer has been a strange mix of having my husband home until July, getting adjusted to my new job, not having my boys around much since they have graduated and are working now, and lots of other changes.

For so long my life just went along gently down the stream, like the song says. Things will never quite be the same again. But that's not a bad thing.

Mister has been back at work for eight weeks, has lost forty pounds, and will have another sleep study soon to see if he can come off of his CPAP machine. And though there are still some scary times with him being on the coumadin, I am glad to know that God's hand in at work in our lives.

Thanks for reading all about our many adventures over the past year. If you're still awake, drop me a line and let me know what's up with you!




Deborah said...

Wow! That's quite a saga. I'm so glad things have gone well with your husband's surgery, and really glad to see you back! I hope you'll keep posting, even if it isn't regularly.

The Maid said...

It's been a while since I dropped in....apparently I have missed a lot. :)

I am so amazed at your attitude of acceptance and grace...and gratitude! I want to be like you when I grow up! ;)

It is good to hear that things are well (as can be) for you now...and I will be back again soon!

God Bless,
The Maid

Deborah said...

Hope you had a great Christmas! Wishing you a blessed and peaceful new year!