We are finished with brain surgery #5. Tara is now in her own room recovering. The plastic surgeon did a good job on her horseshoe on her head. He cut away the purple, scabby skin, pulled her skull free from the bone for awhile, and re-did her entire opening; not just an inch or two. It does look like it will heal this time - we will pray hard that this time her head does in fact HEAL. I was surprised to see such a large incision again - which in my mind, equals PAIN. It's hard to watch her lie on this bed again; but I know this too shall pass. She's on regular intervals on morphine right now; and I will make sure the nurse never is late on the dosage! She woke up in quite a bit of pain; but we had a good nurse in recovery that was quick to distribute the pain meds. Dr. Jo (nickname for plastic surgeon) shaved around on the bone some - said it was protruding in some places; so now it's shaved nice and clean and won't irritate the incision anymore. He also removed 2 metal plates and 4 screws, so now there's only 2 or 3 small titanium plates in her head. I think her head actually will look better now instead of worse; although she did lose some hair around the incision area; but she doesn't really care about that anymore. It's tough for her to rest well after these surgeries because she can't move her head at all without it bothering her. But, they'll keep her pretty doped up for the first 24 hours so that helps alot. My grateful list for today:
NO catheters are coming out of Tara's head
There are no signs of infection; they are culturing some samples now to double check
She still has her bone and now it's all smooth underneath her scalp
We had a very smooth ER process - smoothest ever. I prayed specifically this morning that things would go smoothly in the ER and it was an amazingly quick, smooth, relatively pleasant ER experience. We got into a nice comfy room within the hour - no moaning people next to us and our own private room where Rachel & Tara happily watched MasterChef together on the bed. No Nazi nurses to kick me and my projects out of the room, either. I feel like this was a direct "tender mercy" of the Lord, letting me know that HE knows we're here today.
That's my grateful list. It's hard to watch her in pain again... that's the worst part. We're starting to recognize nurses, residents, admitting people, etc. We're starting to put names with the residents .... one of the residents today wasn't sure he liked my nickname for him "Dr. Staple Gun" - we quickly memorized his real name instead. Another was the resident we talked into letting us out of the ER a few weeks ago so Tara & Josh wouldn't spend their anniversary in the hospital. I reminded him that Dr. Smith said it was the right decision to go home instead of lie around in the hospital waiting for an MRI when one was scheduled in 2 days anyway!! A nurse just this hour said she thought she recognized us - Tara has a very distinctive appearance - beautiful brown eyes, cute short hair, and a large horseshoe on the right side of her head. Hard to miss Tara - she sticks out in so many wonderful ways! Her pleasant personality endears her to all in the hospital. Plus, we have been here on a regular basis this year - surgeries in Feb, March, April, and June with ER rooms visits inbetween. I feel like we're going to move on now and just finish treatment and stay out of the hospital. I think Dr. Smith will likely say Tara can't have chemo in July; but we'll see. Tara will want it; crazy girl. I love her so much it hurts... we will get through this yet again. Thanks for your prayers. You are all the BEST!