Friday, September 18, 2009

Road to Recovery

Post-Op Day 1

Day 1 post-op was another very long day. Jacob spent most of the day in the PICU. I returned to the hospital around 8:00 am to find a very hungry, grumpy Jacob and a tired TD. Jacob was unable to eat the breakfast that dietary brought him because his jaw, teeth and head were causing him so much pain. The left side of Jacob's face was starting to swell and he was unable to see. The nurse started him on Motrin and Tylenol and was only giving him Morphine and Zofran if he complained. Finally after hours of waiting the nurse brought in packets of seasoning to make broth and red and yellow jello (I called Jacob's dad at 7 am, on my way to the hospital and asked him to bring Jacob soup and jello. He said he would, but didn't show up until 3:30 pm because his wife was sick.). Jacob was so happy to finally put something in his tummy and I sat and fed him several bowls of broth and many cups of jello. Not being able to eat was a huge deal for Jacob. He loves to eat and gets excited about what he is having for lunch and dinner, not to mention the hospital nursing staff was constantly asking us how much has he had to drink, how much has he eaten and measuring his pee. Which brings us to another subject. Jacob was unable to get out of bed the night of surgery and he wasn't catheterized. They provided Jacob with a lovely bed jug. It became quite funny by the end of the day... even Jacob was laughing, and crying because it hurt so bad to laugh.

My Mom and Dad visited, Nana and Papa Ken. Their visit was very nice. Papa Ken fed Jacob mashed potatoes while I tended to Gavin and TD took Brie to eat lunch. Thank you for coming to visit us on Friday!

Jacob was moved to the regular recovery floor, which surprised me b/c his pain wasn't under control and he was still throwing up.

Jacob's dad showed up at 3:30 pm and stayed until 7 pm. During part of this time TD, Brie, Gavin and I went and checked into the Ronald McDonald and went to Target to get the things Jacob asked for to play with while he is in the hospital.

Jacob got a roommate that night and TD spent night with Jacob because Gavin was so grumpy.

Brie, Gavin and I stayed at The Ronald McDonald House. It was nice. I was even able to wash clothes!

Post-Op Day 2

It was a long night for TD. Evidently, Jacob's roommate's mom snored louder than TD, and between her snoring and the nurses checking on Jacob every few hours, TD got very little sleep. Jacob received his last dose of Morphine at 4 am because both of his IVs were "bad" and not working. Jacob's dad was supposed to come relieve TD (or me) at 4 am, but he didn't show up until 6:45 am, so TD just stayed until I got there at 8:30 am. Jacob did not want another IV put in, so he started receiving Oxycodone, Motrin and Tylenol orally.

When I got to hospital, I told Jacob that the doctors had told TD that he looked great and could get out of bed. We explained to him that getting out of bed would help the swelling in his face and head go down and hopefully make him feel better. Jacob got out of bed and used the bathroom. It was a slow process, but after the first few trips, it got easier.

Jacob's dad left at 10:00 am and didn't return because his wife had a fever. This was very upsetting to Jacob, but Saturday afternoon turned out to be a great day for recovery.

TD and I talked Jacob into taking a shower and TD did a great job washing Jacob's hair. It was really scary for both of them, but they got it done and Jacob said the shower felt sooooo good!

Jacob had a lot of wonderful visitors.

Part of our St. Pete family visited Jacob. Julie, Randy, BJ, Tim, Erin and Darbi drove up for the afternoon and evening. They brought candy and cookies, magazines and music, but most importantly, themselves. Julie, Randy and BJ were a huge help with Gavin, giving me a break. The girls played games and Tim and BJ took Brie to dinner so she could have nice outing. (Thanks for bringing TD and I back Outback too!)

Chason, Aunt Becky and Uncle Todd drove from Tallahassee to spend the day with Jacob too. Chason wrapped his arms around Jacob and walked him around the hospital floor. Jacob made room next to him in his bed for Chason to sit with him and Jacob listened to Chason tell stories. It was amazing to see Jacob smiling again and to watch the swelling go down on the left side of Jacob's face. He was even able to crack open his eye a bit and see again. The boys watched tv and talked about duck hunting and football.

It meant so much to Jacob (and to TD, Brie and myself) to have our family visit and be there for us during such a hard time in our lives. Thank you for helping Jacob feel better.

Saturday night was very calming for me. Jacob's roommate was discharged and TD, Brie, Gavin and me were all able to stay with Jacob in the hospital. The nurses still came in every two hours and the bed Gavin and I slept in wasn't very comfortable, but having all of my family together and safe gave me peace. I found myself able to breath again and I felt like the NF2 storm had passed for a bit.

Post-Op Day 3

Jacob's doctors came in early and said Jacob could be released. Being in the hospital gives you a sense of security and a feeling of safety. When you are there it feels like something could go wrong and help isn't far away. With that said, we were all very ready to go home....especially Gavin and TD.

TD left early to get all of our things from the RMH, do our daily chore, pay and check out. Brie and I cleaned up the hospital room and packed all of Jacob's things away. Mr. Dana and Mrs. Gina drove up from St. Pete to help us on our way. They brought our doggies and lunch! Thank you two for all of your help too. We couldnt have had our minds as focused as we were without you. You gave us peace of mind, which was a great gift.

Jacob was doing good for the most part. He was still very sore and swollen and achy from all of the activity the day before. His pain was mostly under control, but he was feeling very nauseous. As we were getting ready to go, Jacob became very sick and threw up a lot. I wondered how our ride home to Tallahassee would go....

Around 3:30 pm on Post Op day 3 we made our way home.

Jacob chose to ride with TD in little Sally Saturn. Jacob said he didn't want to ride 2 hours with the crazy dogs and crazy baby, lol. Jacob slept the whole way home and didn't get sick.

Once we got back to Tally I had a hard time getting Jacob's liquid perchocet filled. Our Walgreen's had to call 4 other Walgreen's and finally got it filled at the one on Tennessee Street West. Needless to say, it took another hour to get it home and to Jacob.

Jacob got settled in, took his pain meds and decided he was "starving!" Per Jacob's request we ate Firehouse Subs for dinner. Jacob pounded a steak and cheese sub and went to bed. We put Gavin's baby monitor in Jacob's room with an intercom in my room and in the living room. TD got up and checked on Jacob every 2 hours and asked him if he was ready for pain meds. Jacob slept all night and didn't take any meds until 8 am Monday...

Post-Op Day 4

Brie went back to school and we rested. Jacob woke up and realized that he shouldve been taking his pain medication as prescribed. He was in a lot of pain. We got him his medicine over the next few hours and Jacob decided that he would take the meds like he was supposed to for at least another day. Jacob was still in pain, but the swelling in his upper part of his face was moving down around his cheek and jaw and even to the right side of his face. Jacob also became very moody.

Post-Op Day 5

Jacob took his last dose of of Oxycondone at 8:00 am. We continued giving Motrin and Tylenol for pain every 4 and 6 hours.

Maks came and visited Jacob for the afternoon and had dinner with us. Maks' family put together an awesome basket of toys, candy and cookies for Jacob. Maks and Jacob took apart and put back together all of Jacob's Flick Trix bicycles. Thank you, Bob and Martha, for lending us your son!

Post-Op Day 6

TD returned to work - Thank you, Becky, for being so supportive and understanding. We also want to thank Becky and Jim for helping make our lives a little easier. We really appreciate your effort, support and prayers. It means so much to our family to have great people surrounding us!

Gavin learned to wait today, he didn't wait very patiently, but he did have to wait. I tried to explained to him that his big brother was recovering from a really big surgery and needed Mommy more than him right now, but I don't think he understood. We made it through the day though, with only a few tears.

I was a little concerned that Jacob's emotions were so up and down - resembling a roller coaster.

Jacob was thrilled to have Lani and Neal visit him. They brought him the biggest chocolate milkshake I have ever seen. Jacob drank the whole thing.

Post-Op Day 7

TD was still getting up every few hours to check on Jacob and listening to the monitor all night. Jacob was still taking Motrin and Tylenol for his pain. We were still washing his hair for him every night, and keeping his head elevated. The swelling was completely gone with only a little bruising under his left eye. It was hard to tell he even had surgery.

Things were getting back to normal.

Jacob was still cranky, and now he was getting bored. I was wondering when this moody post- surgery child was going to morph back into my Jacob (or when I could send him back to school!).

Thursday evening, Mrs. Melanie from our church brought us dinner and brought Jacob an itunes gift card so Jacob could get some new music for his ipod. We haven't been to church since Gavin was born so Jacob and I were really happy to see her and to visit.

We had made it through the week and hopefully through the hardest part.

I am so proud of Jacob for being so strong. I am, as always, amazed and in awe with Jacob. I am so thankful for all the people who love Jacob and our family so dearly. I am thankful for the prayers and God's love that have covered us in this time of need. It is hard to find the words...

Jacob will return to school in a few weeks, go back to Shands to see the Neuro Ophthalmologist on October 2, and have his post-op appointment with Dr. Pincus on October 21.

I will do my best to find the time to keep you posted!!

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