Thursday, March 23, 2017

My Diary of a Successful Out-of-State Surgery and the Power of Prayers

I had my first colonoscopy in preparation for surgery.

Dec. 3
On Saturday, we were able to go to Mass and receive the Eucharist, I got to go to Confession and received the Anointing of the Sick at St. Benedict Church, so at least I took care of some important spiritual preparations before we flew down here.

Dec. 4
Our flight arrived safely and on time in Louisiana.

Dec. 5
Thank you to all who have been praying for us! Two back-to-back appointments including pre-surgery instructions/ preparations, and possible outcomes which took a couple hours each have left Kevin and I completely overwhelmed. I was in tears by the middle of the second one. Tuesday is a rather taxing pre-op prep, then Wednesday morning is surgery. Please keep those prayers coming!
  
Dec. 6

Visiting with Dorothy and her two adorable little ones was definitely the highlight of our day! I remember years ago when she was discerning her vocation. Clearly, being a prayerful wife and mother are how God is being glorified by her. Dorothy, thank you so much for bringing some sunshine into our day along with chicken broth, coconut water, and flowers. You're so thoughtful!

Dec. 7
Kevin and I just prayed the Rosary and did the Mass readings for today while waiting for the anesthesiology team. I'll be in surgery for several hours, likely all morning. Thanks in advance for sending love, hugs, warm wishes, and fervent prayers our way! Lord, You are the One through whom all true, lasting healing comes to us in mind, body, or spirit. I lay my life before You, past, present, and future. Amen.

A dear sister/friend Kami sent me this prayer yesterday in anticipation of my surgery this morning: May God bless the surgeons, nurses, technicians and all those who care for Trisha tomorrow and the coming days. God, please give them the wisdom, skill, and compassion needed to provide the best care possible for Trisha according to your will. God grant her a successful surgery and speedy recovery. God please bless Kevin with the grace and nurturing needed to support Trisha through this difficult time. God bless them both with patience, hope and your enduring, all-encompassing love! Amen. ­čô┐
Dec. 8
My mom sent me flowers. Aren't they beautiful?!

My surgery lasted 8.5+ hours. Endometriosis was growing on pretty much all of my organs from below my rib cage to my hip bones from the front to the back.
They did robotic surgery, then they had to open me up (do a mini-laparotomy) because they couldn't reach the rest, then the general surgeon was called in to remove a lesion from my colon (biopsy, more endometriosis, no cancer) and fix damage to part of my intestines. They removed my appendix since that was covered, too.
Last night I was in excruciating pain, very discouraged by all of the damage, but finally they got me sufficient meds, and I started doing better.
I'm making progress today: getting to and going to the bathroom on my own, took a short walk in the hall, drinking clear fluids, and more alert.
Because of all they had to do, they're going to keep me in the hospital until at least Saturday.
Thanks for the prayers! Please keep them coming. I've got a lot of healing to do.
Dec. 9
They're saying I definitely won't be discharged from the hospital before Sunday or later, and they'd prefer I stay in town for a week out from such an intense surgery before it'll be safe for me to travel back home. I'm not sure how we'll ever manage to afford this on top of a much more serious, extensive surgery involving 3 surgeons, but no way out of it but through at this point. Lord, have mercy on us and help us weather the rest of this storm we're still in the midst of. 

Dec. 9
I feel as though I'm holding up pretty well emotionally though these are the two things on the wall across from my bed in the post-partum ward where I am recovering.
I was too out-of-it right after surgery to look closely at the board with the extentions for nursery/NICU and Lactation are listed. How I wish this pain were from delivering a baby instead of related to health problems making it more likely we'll never have children of our own. Lord, Your Will, not my own!

Dec. 10
I have already achieved my main goal for the day. Woohoo! I've honestly never been so excited about being able to fart in my life. Finally, making more progress towards getting solid food, being discharged, and going home. Praising the Lord and thanking Him for the amazing prayer warriors who are carrying us right now!

Dec. 11
This afternoon, they let me go outside for a walk with Kevin, and my doctors are saying that if all goes smoothly now that I've had a couple soft solid meals that I will likely be discharged tomorrow evening. 

So excited to be making progress so soon that will allow me to continue my recovery outside of the hospital. Thank you all for the tremendous prayer cover. God's working all things for good in our lives and I'm able to feel and enjoy that more with less pain now.

Dec. 11
Great news! I got a good night's sleep last night, and I've done everything they needed me to in terms of bodily functions to graduate to solid foods sometime in the next couple of days. I'm back to walking more than waddling, and I've been cracking jokes more often, so I haven't completely lost my sense of humor in all of this. Praising God for major progress and signs His hand has orchestrated the timing of all of this, right down to the date of my surgery being Dec. 7 instead of Dec. 28.
Dec. 12

Hello from the outside! 


Kevin and I are heading back to our home away from home (Country Inn and Suites) together. Bye, bye Lakeview Regional Medical Center. Thanks for everything!

Dec. 14
I'm trying to remain positive and optimistic in the midst of some setbacks, and sometimes I'm more successful at that than others. Nothing major has gone wrong, but added side effects and symptoms piled on to the overall discomfort and dreariness of this trip are wearing on us both.
I've determined two days of feeling crummy while staying at a hotel several states from home, family, and friends are worse than two days of being sick when you can sleep in your own bed and have someone other than your worn-out husband bring you food or medicine.  Kevin's sick of running to the store and the pharmacy to get me supplies and medicine especially in such crazy traffic.
Lord God Almighty Father and Mary, Mother of us All, help us be loving and patient with one another even when we feel we have nothing left to give. Amen.

Dec. 15 
Fortunately, today has, thus far, been a much better day than the previous two. A visit from Dorothy and her two cuties brightened our morning, then a late lunch at Cracker Barrel allowed us to get some good food while using the last of the restaurant gift cards a couple of friends gave us for the trip. We came directly back so I could rest. I finished the book I'd been reading and took a nap.

Dec. 16
Last night and today have been very rough physically and emotionally. I'm hoping and praying our travel home tomorrow goes much smoother.
Lord, have mercy. Christ, have mercy. Please give us safe, uneventful, and as pain-free as possible a trip home. We are so worn out.

Dec. 17
We made it safely to the airport, returned our rental car, and they provided transportation and a wheelchair so I wouldn't have to walk too far. So grateful to be heading home finally!

My mom picked us up from the airport and brought us home.  She provided us with some groceries. Not only that, but we arrived at our door to find a beautiful Christmas floral arrangement as well as one of my favorite meals: salmon and green beans.  Gina, one of my Christ Renews His Parish sisters had been by recently with the delicious dinner and holiday cheer.

We made it home safely and without any trouble. Thanks for the prayers!
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