If at First You Don't Succeed...

go back to the hospital and try, try again!

Today, Thursday, 1/19 I am officially 15 days post-surgery. I have been back at Stanford in my same old E3 wing and now J and I feel like we are defintely on a first-name basis with all of the great staff here. I've been taking it easy, mainly just taking walks around the hospital, stretching and being really careful about what I add back into my diet each day. I am so happy to be narcotic-free for 3 days now, but still very happy for the invention of Tylenol and IB Profin. The deep pain for my surgery is slowly but surely subsiding, and Josh says he can barely keep up with my walking pace now. (Well, maybe I'm exaggerating just a tad.)   Although the docs and nurses are telling me that I look much better, when I look in the mirror, I still see my oversized hospital gown and clashing pj pants. I'm not sure when I'll be able to dress up again, but that desire is just me being a girl and I know that it is not important in the scheme of things. I've got to admit, though, it is harder than I ever imagined to be a recovering patient who really can't do things that it seems like everyone else can do.  I have never been so aware of what a privilege it is to walk fast and even run down a hall.  Never really thought about how wonderful it is to drink water. I have never wanted a salad or grapes or strawberries more than I do now that I can't have them.

Right now we are pondering making the leap to become totally unplugged (medically speaking, of course) and to head back home.   I can't tell you how much I miss our two precious boys.  It has been more difficult being away from them this time then initially because I had planned on being gone for the surgery, not for a relapse. The only thing that is holding us back is a sharp cramp in my side.  Since it was horrible cramping that brought be back here, we just want to make sure we are in the clear, but at the same time we are caught realizing that we can't wait here, worrying that something will go wrong forever. If you read this between 2:45 and 5pm today can you please pray for wisdom and for this cramp to go away? Thank you!

I wanted to leave you with the post that I began last Saturday when I had just come back home for the first time.  I didn't get a chance to finish it and send it out then, but I still wanted to share it with you. I'm praying and hoping that our second return home will be just as sweet.

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"MOMMMMYYYYY!  MOMMY'S HOME!"  Were the first words that I got to hear as I pulled into our driveway on Thursday evening after a bumpy ride home from Stanford. I immediately saw an adorable hand-painted," Welcome Home Mommy" sign on the door but no Eli or Brenden.  Where were those precious voices coming from? As I eased my car door open, the boys came running from the house that MH is letting our family use across the street (Or "Huck," as we affectionally call it for it's full name Huckleberry).  Ah, what a fabulous moment.  I just wished that I could have picked Eli and Brenden up and twirled them around, with a big bear hug, but luckily Eli was happy just to pull my hand and say "Come, on Mommy, I have something to show you."  As he brought me through the sparkling clean house, it was hard to believe that 8 days before I had left there feeling pretty strong.  E lead me to some flowers and beautiful balloons, which continued to make the moment so special.  Here is where I must give a shout out to some truly sacrifical people who were so amazing with the boys while Josh and I were at the hospital. These are the people that made my 8 days away so much more comforting.

That day my Aunt Annette and Mary both took the boys for some fun adventures so that my dear mother-in-law could have some time "off" after watching the kids with her brother, (Josh's Uncle Mark aka "Uncle Hum") for the entire week!! Uncle Hum was such a gift to us and the boys, because he is amazing with kids and actually sacrificed time away from his wife and kids at home in OR to help be Grandma Penny's sidekick. WOW. Thanks again to his amazing wife Joey and fantastic kids- I so hope that we can return the favor sometime soon!   I also have to say thanks so much to my Aunt Mary for being so willing and ready to help anytime, as well as my Uncle Guy who continues to stop by and beautify our porch with his amazing flower pots. Our dear friend Carol (who has been scheduding people for meals and other needs) also came by to help/relieve Grandma Penny and Uncle Hum by entertaining the boys on many occasians.  You might be wondering where my mom and dad were during this process- well they had the best job of all. 🙂  They were there with Josh and I at the hospital everyday. They were my cheerleading team (along with my wonderful sister Nicole and and bro-in-law Jer). My parents were there to help with just about anything; from washing my hair, reading to me, watching movies with me and bringing me any food that possibly sounded appetizing. Josh and my parents rallied me to keep up with my oh-so painful, very slow walks around my hospital floor. These walks eventually turned into walks down to 2 beautiful garden areas that were so helpful for me and my NEED to be outside. 🙂 We shared many scary, unknown, encouraging, gross, interesting celebratory and REAL LIFE moments together. Thanks Mom and Dad.

My parents encouraged Josh and I through the many decisions and were just the eyes and ears for anything that my very fuzzy brain and Josh's stressed and overwhelmed brain might have missed.

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Thank you so much for your encouragement and prayers. I'm feeling like I need them more than ever as I deal with the changes and challenges of my post-surgery self.

I am going to pray that God's words will seep deep into my heart and yours.

"I would have been without hope if I had not believed that I would see the loving-kindness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord. Be strong. Let your heart be strong. Yes, wait for the Lord."  Psalm 27:13-14 (New Life Version)

"May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit." Romans 15:13 (NIV)

Good News!

Amy's team of doctors came by this morning and said the CT showed no obstruction. Yay and praise God its nothing that could put her back in surgery! They say she has a postsurgical ileus, something not that uncommon with abdominal surgery. Basically her bowels are still somewhat asleep from surgery and haven't returned to their normal rhythmic processing of what she swallows.

So, we're back in the hospital for a few days while she slowly eases back into liquids and food. As of this evening, all is going well. Amy has better energy and is comfortable, even getting a little hungry. She did start to write a post about her experience in recovery and the few days we had at home, but it got interrupted as she worsened. I'll let her refine and post it soon.

Please Pray

I know you're wondering how the days have gone since surgery and may have heard rumor we returned home on Thursday. For now all I can say is it has taken every ounce of energy and focus we have to get through the days of recovery.

For now, I need to jump right to the present. We are back at Stanford in the ER. After a day of feeling worse and worse Amy has been throwing up and may have an obstruction in her small intestine or something else causing her system to back up and extreme pain.

Please pray it can be diagnosed and remedied quickly.