A few moments ago, I asked Jay if he thought I should post an update on his progress since surgery, since folks might be checking to see if we have any news for them. He answered by briefly opening his eyes to look at me quizzically; mumbled, “I think we’re ok, Honey”; and dropped back off into drug-induced rest. Such is the current state of our patient.
For those who do not already know, Jay underwent surgery on Friday to repair a complication from one of his previous six foot surgeries (but hey, who’s counting?). He has in the past had all his metatarsals on both feet broken and re-fused together, pins put everywhere, etc, etc, and in the midst of all this, one sad little toe healed in a curled-under fashion. For almost 4 years it has grown increasingly painful as it bends under, and the nail grows around the tip of his toe and presses into the ground every time he stands up. Graphic description aside, you get the picture, it equals pain! On Friday they rebroke the wayward toe, put it at a proper angle, and set a little pin through the end to hold the bones together as they heal again.
The surgery as a whole really went like clockwork. We arrived in the very early hours of the morning at the surgicare center, where amazingly enough you can park 15 feet from the front doors, and voila! inside the doors are the lobby and patient admitting area. So simple compared to previous experiences: all his earlier surgeries were deep within the recesses of large hospitals, so parking, walking, and finding appropriate places for patient admitting, recovery, etc, all took a lot of work. We were treated well, and the only hitch came when we were waiting to see the surgeon before we were discharged. Though we waited and waited, said surgeon did not show. As we’d dealt with this particular gentleman throughout all the previous surgeries and knew his routine for the most part, Jay felt comfortable opting to talk with him next week at his post-op appointment. So home we went.
Little Aside: I must mention one of the coolest parts of this particular surgery (for me) was that my brother Andrew, who deals with many different surgeons in several of the Dallas hospitals, was scheduled to be at our surgicare center that morning and not only did we get to visit with him prior to and after the surgery, but he took me to get breakfast and kept me company during the procedure, which was the best way I’ve ever spent the wait time during one of Jay’s surgeries. Thanks, Andrew!
Since arriving back home, there have been ups and downs. There is just always a fair amount of pain associated with post-surgical recovery, and Jay has certainly had some hard times in the past 48 hours. Last night he started running a fever which did not contribute to him feeling very well, and it was a rough night, full of feverish bad dreams, and little sleep. The drugs are interesting in that they deal somewhat with the pain, but do not necessarily allow for deep, refreshing sleep. So our patient is admittedly, fairly worn out, and drifts in and out of consciousness.
Earlier today he shaved and then braved the shower, caught some of the Masters’ Tournament on TV, greeted and visited with some family who came by, and even watched a little bit of Lassie Come Home with the rest of us on the couch. Such a full slate of activities wears him out at this stage, and back in bed he is now, resting.
Trying to be a good nurse to my patient, I have, for his pain and troubles, showered him with perks: lots of extra TLC; room service including Taco Bell, iced tea, iced cream; and a small collection of “guy” movies to watch in the comfort of his bed. The children are very sweet about asking how he is doing, and going back to “visit” him. But I sometimes wonder in this rather um, exuberant household, how much quiet he is really getting in order to rest up and heal. He is unquestionably a cheerful and good patient, all things considered.
For my part, I have certainly played nurse many times before, but not with three young children in the house to care for in addition to my patient, and another wee one on the way. Yes, well, this is an inauspicious way to break that little bit of news to our blog readers, but indeed, we are expecting another little Horne in very early October, and admittedly, I am still dealing with that first trimester exhaustion, which this time around has been stunningly debilitating. Despite my mentioning this, we are beyond ecstatic about the pregnancy, and truly grateful for this tiny life.
Many thanks to Grammy and Grandy and Aunt Sandra who between them hosted all three kids the night before the surgery, caring for them, and shuttling them to and from schools when we could not, to Grammy and Grandy and Andrew and Jamison for bringing food, and for the many calls and prayers and words of encouragement from so many others. Please do keep praying for Jay’s foot to heal exceedingly well. I would so love for him to not have this particular thorn to deal with anymore on top of other physical challenges he continues to face. We are very thankful he was able to have the procedure, and hopeful about the outcome. We’ll try to update you again in the near future on the patient’s progress. You might even get to hear from Jay himself, sometime, when we wean him off the narcotics!