Saturday, December 16, 2006


Posting from: Harborview Hosptial

Dad went into surgery at about noon. The surgeon says 4-5 hours. The anesthesia staff said 12-15. We are averaging the estimates.

It is expected that he will be too swollen to remove the breathing tube until 24 to 72 hours after surgery. This means that they will continue to do his breathing for him and that they will have to keep him sedated it in order to make this work properly. So he will be groggy and unable to talk post-op; definately ICU. We are expecting that he will be down here for weeks healing and learning how to live his new life.

Please hold mom up in your prayers, as living away from home during this is very draining. We are staying in a lovely inn a few blocks from the hospital. They have a shuttle service to the hospital which we really appreciate. Even so, home is better for restoring one's fortitude.

The surgery, as I understand it, is to tidy up the bone fragments from the crushed vertebrae (#6) so that they don't make trouble elsewhere. There is a teeny tiny hope that this surgery would mitigate (only a little bit) his condition. My personal prayer is that it would lower the line of loss (current midchest) to 6-8 inches lower, which would give Dad the use of his abdominal muscles which would help him a lot. The medical staff, here and in Bellingham, have been consistent in telling us that even this little improvement would be statistically rare and not to be expected. So if you are thinking that the surgery will make him walk again, this is the reality check. Do join me though, I ask, in praying that it restores some useful muscles.

Surgery is in the basement where we get no cell phone service and no internet. We come up to the entrance to check messages now and then.

Do feel free to post or email your questions. I'll answer as I can.

We are clearly in a crisis and I keep wanting to call my Dad and have him come swooping in to the rescue, or even to just talk me through it. It's so weird to have him not in his role.


Ani said...

Suzanne - once again, please know that you and your family are in my prayers. May God grant you all, and especially your dad, the strength you'll need to get through these next days, weeks and months. Keep the faith.

DLB said...

Barbara, Christy, Suzanne, Tim and families,
Please know that I am crying, hoping, and praying for Don and you all. May you sense God's presense every minute during this anxious time, as He puts Don back together again. May His design exceed all of our expectations. DLB

Carol said...

This is just a trial - not sure how to use this comment part to respond!
Love and prayers to you ALL,
Aunt Carol