Wednesday, April 16, 2008

No Horror Movies Needed

Oh, my poor dad. First off, he looks great today, but last night, holy moly. Thank goodness he doesn't remember any of it.

We all arrived at St. Joseph hospital around 12:30 for prep. The surgery started around 3:30pm and wrapped up at 11:00pm. When they took him around 2:45 we, my mom, Norman and my dad's brother Jim, all stayed in the surgical waiting room. Anesthesia would have been nice for us too. It was a long day. The stagnant air in the hospital really doesn't lend itself to a comfortable environment. If I had a million dollars I would donate a Family Waiting Room, with Lazy Boys, fans, and many distractions, like a spa . . . or at the very least a wandering masseuse. I assume the hospital's first concern is not the waiting family . . . probably the patient.

We didn't realize they would be updating us on roughly an hourly basis, so when the first call came through we all freaked. It had only been about an hour and a half; being the pessimists we are we assume something was wrong. Nothing was, in fact it went perfectly. They called every hour just to let us know what was going on. We were really impressed by all the staff at the hospital and the hospital itself. Very nice.

Anyway at 1:00 am we got into to see him and he looked just horrible. The doctor had warned us that his bottom lip was quite swollen, because they had to use a retractor to get it out of the way. From the looks of it I assume they wrapped it around the backside of his head. There was quite a bit of blood. It was definitely nightmare inducing kind of stuff. I was pretty nervous about being the caregiver today, so my mom could go home, but he was a totally different person today. Awake on and off, able to talk, even joking around with the nurses. He's not on any pain medicine and so far not really feeling pain.

The surgery did not change his jaw line at all and they were able to get all the cancer out. He was originally supposed to lose three teeth, but they had to extract five. After a year of healing he'll have reconstructive surgery to replace the teeth. Sounds like it would be something permanent, rather than a partial, but who knows when it's all said and done. He has a scar running from the back of his ear, down his neck to the tip of his chin, where the lymph nodes where removed. The plastic surgeon said the scar would be barely visible once healed, about six months. Ummm . . . I wonder what he could do with my Achilles scar.

He was put in ICU for the first 12 hours, therefore my mom didn't have a fold out chair to sleep in. She was able to doze a bit at the hospital then went home when I got there and slept.

Afterward I came home around 3 and passed out. Thank God for take-out Chinese.


Laura said...

Kendrea, me love, you've had a tough year. I cannot conceive of seeing a parent in that state and even being able to talk about it. Blessings for you Dad, and good wishes for you and your Mom and the rest of the family. I love you. Call if you need to vent.

kid_curry said...

But your mom had a hip replacement. That HAD to be worst. Norm can still ambulate. He scared the nurse to death, though. She had just asked if he was having any pain, he replied that he wasn't. Then she took his temperature under his arm and when she put the thermeter in his pit, he screamed. She jumped a foot. So, funny. Maybe you had to be there, but I'm giggling thinking about it.

Heather Leigh said...

Glad to hear things are going so well with your dad and it sounds like he's back to his animated self. Great!