OK, so Joanne had ankle surgery on Tuesday at a very nice, new facility in downtown Denver. We got the kids off to school, came home and packed an overnight (or over-two-night) bag and headed to pre-op at 10. I thought it seemed awfully early to head to the hospital for a 12:45 surgery but that's what they told us to do. And I'm glad because it takes a lot of time to get prepped for surgery! They mush have asked Joanne 100 questions about her stroke, her health, her diet, etc. She answered them all. My favorite was when she was asked, "What side effects have you experienced due to your stroke." Umm...you know she's in here for surgery right? I got a chuckle out of a number of the questions--the answers were so obvious! "When was the last time you drank anything." Answer: five minutes ago when you brought me some pills to take and gave me water to take them with. Not the answer they were apparently looking for. Anyhow...
At 12:45 on the button she was wheeled back to surgery and Gran, Papa and I started "The Long Wait." They have this cool monitor int he waiting room that shows the patients progression through the process. There is one color for pre-op, one for in-procedure, one for recovery, and one for completed, so we could track along with what was going on. After about an hour and a half the surgeon came out and told us things had gone well. He said that instead of three small incisions, which he had hoped to make, he ended up needing to do one 6 inch incision from her heel up her ankle. We waited (impatiently) for another hour or so before they told us where we could see her.
The time actually passed pretty quickly. Jaime and Kristin came to sit with us and that helped a lot. They have been such faithful friends and we have all spent too much time together in hospital waiting rooms.
Joanne was up in her room when we got to see her. She was...how do I say this...completely stoned. The anesthesia was lingering and she kept saying, "I feel funny." She was also pretty hungry since she hadn't been allowed to eat for a 18 hours before the surgery. So her "reward" for all this was a grilled cheese sandwich and some tomato soup. She polished that off and was shortly after off to sleep. Sister Kristen came for a visit around 7 and Joanne was awake for about five minutes of that.
Sleeping in the hospital is the pits! I stayed down with her and they had this chair that turned into a "bed." Not so much. It was more like a sheet of plywood with a scratchy, non-breathable fabric cover. I got a pillow and some blankets and tried to make the most of it. But anyone who has stayed int he hospital knows, the nurses are ever present. They came in almost hourly throughout the night to do this, that and the other. They changedIVs, took blood, took vitals, etc. All in all it was a long night, but Joanne remained pain free.
Wednesday was a day of waiting. We waited for PT to come show us what we needed to know about doing life with an almost knee-high, non weight bearing, non waterproof cast. We did some transfers and they were convinced that we weren't going to endanger Joanne. So that went in the report. Then we waited for the surgeon to come in and check on things and clear us to check out. We waited almost all day. He made it to her room at 4, told us she was cleared to go home and that was that. It took another hour and a half to get her released but by 5:30 we were on our way and we pulled into our driveway by 6:15.
Nana had dinner ready for us and for the girls. She had come up and spent time with the girls while the rest of us were with Joanne. Anyhow, we had a great dinner and the girls were very happy to have us all back together under one roof.
Joanne had a long night. We made a great bed up for her on our over sized living room couch but she was cold, dealing with leg pain, trying to figure out were to put her large cast, etc. But she made it through.
Today we figured out how to do life. We have eating, sleeping and bath needs all taken care of! This is a huge deal as we all dealt with some fear and anxiety about how we were going to take care of all these things. But we did it! So now we know roughly our plan of attack for the next 6 weeks until she gets her walking cast.
Joanne is very relieved and had her smile back today now that this surgery is behind her. I think we are all feeling relieved. Joanne did two rounds of PT in the garage/gym today. Her dad took her for a nice walk/roll around the neighborhood. She planned some menuswith her mom for the next week. We had chicken sandwiches with Wade the boys too. Now at last she is on the couch/bed in front of a roaring fire with her iPhone in hand--the perfect picture of rest and contentment. Love it when that happens.
Tonight we'll have great grilled cheese and tomato soup--a favorite of ours and then maybe watch a movie or something with the girls. Then sleep. I hope.
1. Sleep and rest for Joanne. The day goes much better after a good night's sleep.
2. Please pray for the girls. I think all of the events of the last few days (and the last 10 months) have been harder on them than they let on. Please pray for their hearts that they will be able to survive this season and come out better for it on the other side.
3. Praise, praise, praise that Joanne's surgery went well, that we were only one night in the hospital and that we have things well in hand here at home. God is so faithful!