Gage's illness went away almost immediately after starting antibiotics - wahoo! He still has a little runny nose sometimes, but he is doing great. (knock on wood)
Eli did not have an ear infection when we took him in that Friday afternoon. Just a bad cold we determined. However, while Mommy was many miles away, the dreaded ear infection did strike a few days later and he was miserable. Craig and the boys were at Gma & Gpa E's in Davenport while I was in Iowa City with my dad. As his symptoms grew they took him to the Urgent Care and confirmed it was a double ear infection. What timing! A week later he is still not 100%, and is just starting to get better. Poor baby!
Craig miraculously got in to see the orthopedic doctor that Friday! It was answered prayer, we're sure of it. The MRI revealed 2 bulging discs and one herniated disc. The doctor always relies surgery as a last resort, hallelujah! He gave Craig a steroid shot and some steroid medication, with orders to rest as much as possible. A cortisone shot is coming soon! We're praying that his body will heal itself and no surgery will be needed!
He is recovering at the Iowa City VA hospital after an extensive 12 hour back surgery. I met him in Iowa City on Monday evening and we went out to dinner and spent some good time together. We were both up at 3:45am the next morning to be at the hospital an hour later. "Hurry up and wait" was the motto for us that morning...He wasn't checked in by a nurse until 6:00am, then taken to surgery at 8:30am. My throat closed and I could barely get the words out when it was time to say goodbye. I was amazed at how relaxed and calm he was and I didn't want to mess that up! So I gave him a quick hug and told him everything was going to go great. The OR nurse could see that I was struggling and she quietly told me with a smile that they would take good care of him.
I waited comfortably in the surgery waiting room working on my laptop and doing my Bible study and even met up with an old friend! (Long story short- through updates on FB that morning I found out an old friend who I knew worked in Iowa City, actually worked on the 2nd floor of the VA hospital! So she came up to see me during her lunch break. What a surprise blessing!)
I received an update from the OR at around 2:30pm that everything was "going great"! They anticipated a few more hours of surgery. At 6:00pm I was starting to get restless. I found out that everything was still "going great" but it would be another 2-3 hours until they were finished. I left to get some fresh air and something to eat. I hurried back to the waiting room, only to wait another 3 hours. I was starting to worry and panic. Is it safe for him to be sedated that long? I called the OR in tears and found out that they were "closing" him up and I could wait in the ICU waiting area where I would see them wheel his bed down.
At 11:15pm, alone, exhausted, and so emotional, I finally got to see my dad. I saw him get wheeled right past me, but I didn't notice the tube down his throat and I didn't see how swollen his face was until I went into his room. I immediately started sobbing. The nurse put a hand on my arm and assured me that he was fine. Being face down for 12 hours would do that to a person! They weren't going to take the breathing tube out because they needed him fully awake for that and they wanted him to rest through the night.
I couldn't sleep very well that night. I had a room at the Heartland Inn down the street. It was so lonely being there by myself, and I couldn't get the post-surgery image of my dad out of my head. When I got to his room the next morning he was just starting to wake. He was cringing in pain and was confused. I was right next to his bed talking calmly and letting him know I was there. He started opening his eyes and was mouthing "help me" and "I can't breathe" to me. I couldn't take it! I was trying to have a relaxing and happy face for him but I just couldn't stop crying. He had to go through that until he was fully awake. They wanted to make sure he could breathe just fine on his own when they removed the tube. We all (the nurses, respiratory therapist, aides...) breathed a huge sigh of relief when they got the go-ahead and removed the tube.
My strength returned full force when my dad could now breathe on his own, talk to me, and even smile! Just a few hours later when the nurse offered him a cup of coffee, he smiled big time! He was cracking me up with his "loopiness" (like looking at the clock thinking it said 4:30 all the time "Something just isn't right" he'd say). By 6:30pm when Craig and the boys were there to get me, Dad was doing well. He was very sleepy so I felt ok about leaving. Oh I couldn't wait to see the other favorite men in my life! But I was torn. I had been my dad's "little mother" for the past few days and I felt so close to him. I have really felt like such a mother to him as I have called every day, sometimes twice a day, asking questions and informing the nurses on various things about him. I want them to think, wow that girl really loves her dad. And more importantly, I just hope my dad knows that.
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