Saturday, November 8, 2014

Happy Anniversary

I'm a bit behind in getting the updates out, but I'm taking advantage of the time that Jamie is taking a nap and get everyone caught up. 

To start, I want to say a big "happy anniversary" to my precious wife of 18 years! It's been a great time working with each other, loving each other, raising a family together, enjoying a lot of laughs together, and enduring some hard times together. Whether it be working full time jobs on some crazy shifts, following open doors to new career opportunities, closing doors to career opportunities, a hospital stay, a LifeFlight helicopter ride, a couple babies born in ICU, remodeling a house, last minute getaways, raising three great kids, unemployment, starting and running a business, then two, a move across town, playing hide-n-seek every day after work, doing dishes in the tub until the sink was fixed, a drive across the state for a 5 minute doctor's appointment, blood transfusions, meetings with new doctors with a new plan, a lot of new doctors with no plans, pacemakers, g-tubes, j-tubes, ng-tubes, new lines, new procedures, vacations, no vacations, times of plenty, times of questioning, life threatening infections, chest tubes, testing, more testing, more of the same testing, no answers, family moving away, kids are sick, kids in the hospital, kids in school, church activities, kids in the youth group, late night talks, dreams born, dreams lost, in home care, taking a wheelchair wherever we go, working our best to keep going, trusting God, believing in His plan,'s been a pleasure to share moments like these and many more with a great woman. No matter what life has thrown our way, my love for my precious wife has never changed because she has never changed. A walk with God and a walk with my good wife never cease to amaze me. Thank you, Jamie, for loving me. Thank you for always being real. Thank you for being there for me. 

Now, back to what this update is all about...Jamie's health. Jamie's recovery has been outstanding! She had been up and sitting in a chair numerous times yesterday and even took a short walk to the restroom this morning! After her afternoon nap, we're planning to take a walk down the hall and call the kids. They started the intestinal feedings last night at a pretty slow pace, but the nausea was almost immediate. They've now stopped the feedings and strictly TPN (central line) nutrition. According to the doctor's plan, that's okay. Now we need to work on pain control. She's still on the epideral, but once the nausea settles down, they will slowly taper that. If all goes well, discharge could come as soon as Tuesday!  She will still have a two week local hotel stay, but that'll be one step closer to home. 

Thank you for all of your concerns and prayers. It looks like Jamie's up and ready for a walk!

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Surgery completed

From Shane...

The excitement and the usual jitters accompanied us on our trip to Cleveland on Sunday, though we knew we were in good hands....God's hands. The weather was beautiful and the time that we had together was long overdue. 

The staff at Cleveland Clinic were top notch upon arrival on Monday morning for the pre-op meetings and paper work. Everything went smooth and we were surprised at our last meeting when the head surgeon unexpectedly came into the room. Such a down to earth and caring individual that gave us whatever time we needed and there to answer any questions. 

Tuesday morning. The big day started off early with a 5:15 arrival at the surgery center. As soon as we checked in, they had things moving right along without hardly a wait at all. They started the pre-op procedures and prepping and suggested an epideral for post-op pain control. Jamie never had an epideral with any of her pregnancies and this was a big first step in an already big day. Looking back, I'm so glad she went with it. By 7:00, we had said our prayers together and our goodbyes and they had her off to the operating room. 

By 7:46, the status board in the beautiful and comfortable 2-story waiting room said that Jamie was in surgery. Jamie's parents, our Pastor and his wife, another friend from Ohio, and I all knew this was going to be a 5-6 hour procedure. After about two hours, my pager went off and the head surgeon came out to talk with me. I wasn't expecting this visit so soon. He left the operating room to let me know that the large intestine was pretty much just 'mush' and that the small intestine was better, but not by much. He also found a large cyst on her ovary that was undoubtedly causing some pain. That cyst and part of the ovary were removed. The large intestine was removed and a portion of the small. The sphincter at the bottom of the stomach was also cut in order for the stomach to drain better. The gastric pacemaker was to be removed as well. The stoma at the intestine, surgical drain tubes, a J-tube for future intestinal feedings, a G-tube for stomach decompression, catheter, and a central line will all be a part of the external plumbing that will be a part of Jamie after surgery. After a few days of recovery, he is hoping to test the intestine with tube feeds and hopefully wake up what is left of the intestine. If nothing happens, then we should consider the transplant. A lot of information for me to take in, but I was glad to hear him say that there were no complications and that his team of surgeons were endeavoring to get this all completed. 

After almost 8 hours of surgery and 3 hours of recovery, her mother and I were able to visit her for 5 minutes. She was still pretty out of it, but you could tell that her pain levels were increasing and that nerves were becoming more alive. I was so proud of her. And so thankful to God for bringing her through. 

It was still another two hours later before she was moved to a room on the floor where we could be with her. Just in that two hours, you could already see an improvement in her recovery. Some of the first words out of her mouth were to ask how everyone that had been waiting were doing and making sure everyone had plenty of food throughout the day. That's when I knew everything was going to be alright and I had my Jamie back!

Jamie had a bit of a rough night last night with nausea, primarily due to the stomach drain tube down her throat. So, other than being tired when I showed up this morning, she was doing pretty good, all things considered. This afternoon was a bit of a different story. I don't know if organs are waking up from surgery or the gases are on the move or all of the above, but Jamie was in a lot of pain and felt like the stitches were about to pop. After some praying and some additional pain meds, it seems now that things are settled down as long as we stay on top of the pain control.  As I'm writing this update, she is beside me resting well right now. 

Thank you all for your concerns and prayers. God has been so good and has kept us through all of our low valleys and brought our family to higher heights in experiences with Him and with each other. The kids are at home during this visit to Cleveland and are doing so well with keeping up with school and with life without mom and dad. The oldest text me last night and said that they had a little prayer meeting at home and the power of God swept through and she said it was like having church at home. Praise God! I am so glad that our kids know how to touch God in their younger years, and that they know how to let God touch them.