Friday, August 28, 2009

I Think We're Getting There!

Since coming home from the hospital, Jon had been complaining of fever-like symptoms: achy joints and muscles, headache, etc. We kept taking his temperature, but if anything it was on the low side. This concerned me a little because I thought he was due to resume work on Sunday night, and he still couldn't be up for more than a few minutes at a time. Last night he woke me up (accidentally) around 3:30 and all of the achiness had left, including his headache! He looked better than I'd seen him look thus far, despite the early hour.

When we actually got up for the day, he had a minor headache that's been an on-again, off-again thing, but there is definite improvement. He even watched the boys while I turned in a job application for him (I'll let you know the results of that in a few weeks). He also told me this morning that his boss gave him the whole work week off, so he's not due to start work again until next Thursday night. His week of paid vacation will cover most of his missed work nights, which is a huge praise!

The boys spent the morning in our room visiting with him, which they loved. You should see the pile of toys they brought in for him to play with in case he got bored - it is beyond cute! My biggest concern now is that he doesn't try to do too much too quickly, but so far he's been taking it very easy.

I'm still exhausted and cannot sleep much. With everything going on lately, I've not been very diligent to remember my iron, and my insomnia gets pretty unbearable as a result. Thankfully I've remembered the past two days now. Lauren has been less fussy today, but it's so warm in the living room that she's having a hard time sleeping. Even though she's not fussing, her wiggling and cooing (although adorable) doesn't help me get the rest I need. Now that Jon's feeling better, I shouldn't have to sleep on the couch next to her anymore.

We cannot say how much we appreciate all the prayers; it is so encouraging to know that we are continually being lifted up. !

Thursday, August 27, 2009

Next Update

Jon's been home for a whole day now, and I think he slept about 20 of those first 24 hours. For someone who averages 4 to 6 hours of sleep a day, this is quite an accomplishment! He still cannot remain upright for long periods of time because he develops headaches whenever he sits up. We're told that this is very normal for a CSF patient, but if his headaches become severe or cannot be alleviated through lying down and medication, he'll have to return to the hospital and have the Lumbar Drain reinserted. Thankfully, his headaches have been mild and disappear as soon as he lies down again. Please pray that this continues to be the case and that the headaches disappear completely by the time he is supposed to return to work on Sunday night.

Today was a bit wearisome for the kids and me. It got pretty warm, too, which never helps. All things considered, the boys have behaved fairly well. Depending on how Jon is feeling, we may get to go for a walk tomorrow, which will help them expend some of their pent-up energy. Right now, we're all cooped up in a hot, sticky house without much outlet for busy toddlers.

Please continue to pray for restful sleep for all of us. Right now, I'm sleeping out on the couch so I don't further aggravate Jon's many bruises and needle pricks. The pull-out bed is quite comfortable, but since Lauren's crib is next to the couch, she wakes me up several times a night. I'm definitely looking forward to being back in my own bed again!

Jon said today that he finally feels like he's beginning to heal, and he also started smiling a little bit. That's a huge step since he's been so uncomfortable until now. The boys have gotten to visit with him several times, and they're very relieved that Daddy is getting back to himself again. They don't understand everything that's going on, so they've been very concerned for him.

Hopefully the next few days will continue to bring improvement for all of us. I am so glad to be this far past the surgery!

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Second Recovery Update

Jon's home now! This is really great; his doctor thought it would be at least 5 days before she could discharge him. He's extremely tired and cannot stay upright for more than a few minutes at a time (the 20-minute drive home was pretty draining on him), but he's fairly talkative considering everything he's just endured.

He slept for about 4 hours as soon as he got home. This was the first decent sleep he's gotten since getting to the hospital Monday morning (I don't think 6 hours of anesthesia counts). He was in NOC (Neuro-something-Care), which is a step in between regular recovery and ICU, and as a result he had to be more closely monitored (read: disturbed) than he would have been otherwise.

Thankfully he has several more nights off of work so that he can adequately heal. He has to be especially careful with his back since he had the Lumbar Drain; it could easily be injured, so he has to take everything very carefully. The nurse said he shouldn't even lift Lauren for the next two weeks.

Our biggest prayer requests right now are for quick healing; no setbacks; and sleep for the entire family. I'm exhausted. I didn't realize how physically and emotionally draining it would be to watch him go through this. Lauren was amazing while we spent all those hours in the hospital with him, but tonight she fell apart and was very unhappy.

My mom was able to go home today, and tomorrow Jon's mom will take the boys for the night to give us a little more time to rest. We are so thankful for all the offers and help we've received.

Well, I've finished my glass of milk and am off to bed. Goodnight to all!

Jon's Post-Op Update

We arrived at the hospital around 8am Monday morning. The hospital staff was very accommodating and permitted me to stay with Jon until he was taken to the operating room around 9:45. The surgery was supposed to conclude between 2 and 2:30pm, but the surgeon didn't get started until about 11:30 and it also took about an hour longer than expected. No one told me about any of this, so when he didn't come out of surgery until about 5pm, I was a bit nervous!

His surgeon came out and told me that everything had gone really well and that she was pleased with the results so far. She was able to close both CSF leaks, alleviate the sinuses, and remove some polyps that they had not previously discovered. All of this should go a long way toward helping him to feel better, that's for sure!

I got to see him around 6pm, right before they took him up to his recovery room. He was pretty groggy and seemed to have tubes, wires, and monitors everywhere. The doctor and recovery nurse were fantastic and kept me well-informed from then on.

He was pretty miserable the whole first night, but by the time I got back to the hospital yesterday morning, he was starting to feel quite a bit better. He was able to eat all day yesterday, and he tried to sleep as much as hospital interruptions will allow.

He has a Lumbar Drain that is being monitored; people with a CSF leak produce too much spinal fluid and the drain is helping to regulate that before they send him home. Depending on how he's doing today, he may even get discharged this afternoon! This will go a long way toward helping him recover. He can only sleep about an hour at a time before a staff member wakes him up to take his vitals, change his IV, etc. The IV is also really bothering him. He feels much better every time they stop the fluids. Once he's home where he can rest and be rid of the IV, he should really start to relax and heal - provided the kids don't pounce on him too much!

My mom's been great - she's watched the boys this whole time for me and has even managed to keep up with cooking, dishes, and laundry! She'll be tired by the time she goes home. Lauren has been a dream baby. She's not fussed at all while we've been with Jon. The hospital staff have been very willing to let me take her wherever I need to, and I've been really grateful for this.

I'll post another update when he's home. Thanks for praying!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Growing Pains

My dad had terrible growing pains as a child, so I was not surprised when I ended up suffering from them as well. Most of mine were in my feet and legs, and they were uncomfortable to say the least. In one year, I went from being the second-shortest player on my soccer team to the second-tallest. A person cannot grow that quickly without some sort of repercussions!

One thing that helped me endure the pain was the reminder that at some point, I would stop growing and the discomfort would eventually go away for good. It was only for a relatively short season of life that I had to face this problem. And, indeed, I finally stopped growing just before I turned 17. How glad I was to be rid of those awful growing pains!

Then something happened, something I never expected: the growing pains returned! Of course, these new pains were not related to the physical expanding of my body, but instead I developed spiritual, mental, and emotional growing pains. The down side to them is that they will never go away completely. They may subside for a season, but as long as I'm alive, I will face growth spurt after growth spurt as I learn more about about the Lord, more about life, and more about love.

These growing pains are just as wearisome as physical growing pains, and I find that I deal with them just as poorly as I did the physical ones. I moan, complain, whine, and fuss about the hardships that cause them. I pray for them to go away. I do everything I can to alleviate them. In all honesty, I hate them.

That said, I am also, very slowly, trying to learn to appreciate them. There really are some blessings that come from them. For example, they mean that I am alive. Pain cannot touch a dead thing. I am physically alive, spiritually alive, and mentally alive. They also indicate that I am growing (no duh!), and my hope is that I am growing in a positive way. They keep me from complacency. They stretch me. They teach me. They strengthen me. And once they're gone for the moment, they reveal relief in their absence.

Growing is not fun, and I of all people am the least gracious during periods of growth. The Lord is teaching me, though, just how much I need these growing pains and that I need to appreciate them. I find it difficult to admit to that, but I'm learning that a renewed attitude toward them helps me to more deeply benefit from them. Ironically, it also helps them to disappear more quickly.

I doubt that I will ever truly enjoy growing pains. I am, however, thankful for them and for what I am learning as a result of them. Someday, I'll be able to look back and see even more clearly the many ways that they have enriched, strengthened, and shaped my life.