Monday, September 1 – Tuesday, September 2

Day Before and Surgery Update

It is so hard to believe it is September.  Jackie has been in the hospital straight through the back half of winter, all of spring and the entire summer.  It is a very long period of time comprised of many missed memories with friends and family.  I spoke with a Mom today who lost her son two days after he was assaulted.  She made me realize that there are always people suffering way more than yourself. It also made me realize that God has given Jackie a chance at recovery and we will continue to do everything we can to give him the best chance possible.  Tuesdays surgery will be yet another mile marker in the marathon.

Even though Monday was a holiday, Jackie was scheduled for three therapy sessions.  His first session started at 8am and was an ADL session with an OT therapist.  It was good timing because Jackie woke up with bad muscle spasms.  Nikki did some stretching exercises in bed and that relieved some of Jackie’s pain.  She then helped him get dressed and start his breakfast.  Jim and I took over when the session had ended.  After breakfast we went out to the second floor terrace for some sunshine. We reclined Jackie and he enjoyed feeling the warmth of the air as he closed his eyes and fell asleep.  We woke him after a short while and went up his room.  Erin was back and Jackie’s PT session was next.  Not long after Jackie went to the gym, Lindsay and Florent arrived.  We had a chance to catch up while Jackie finished his session.

After the session, Florent said goodbye and headed home.  Lindsay was spending the night and taking the train home on Tuesday night post surgery.  It was so wonderful for all of us to have Lindsay here.  Jackie especially loves her company.  The rest of Monday followed the same routine of naps and meals.  We were heading to the hospital at 4am Tuesday morning so we wanted to get Jackie settled into bed as soon as we could.  Once again he was struggling with muscle spasms, but the warm shower helped to calm them.  We were so glad we were all together as we were facing a big day on Tuesday.

The transportation company arrived at Magee on time and allowed all three of us to ride in the ambulance with Jackie.  This does not happen very often and we were thrilled to all be able to go to the hospital together.  We were the first to arrive in the pre-op area, this was short lived as within an hour the room was buzzing.  After a little over an hour here, we moved to the surgical floor where an IV was placed and we met with the anesthesia team as well as our neurosurgeon.  We had made it to the surgery and were anxiously ready for this next step to Jackie’s recovery.

If you have ever waited for a loved one while they are in surgery, you know that minutes seem like hours.  Jefferson has a large surgical waiting room and a notification screen similar to airports that gives you the progress of the patients.  You can track them from the OR through to recovery.  They also call the families with updates along the way.  We finally got the call that surgery was over. Our surgeon called us himself to let us know the surgery went well.  PTL. We took turns visiting him in recovery.  We wanted Lindsay to be able to visit as much as she could.  Jackie held her hand and wouldn’t let go.  The fact that she was there was a huge comfort to Jackie both prior to and after surgery.  It was getting close to the time Lindsay had to leave and Jackie was sleeping, fortunately the nurse had to wake him up so Lindsay could say goodbye.  It appeared that he almost started to cry and when she gave him the sign for I love you, he signed back. PTL.

We all shed tears.  Mostly tears of relief but also tears that Jackie continues to have to go through tough times to get to the finish line.  Grandma, Grandpa and Nana also took the train home.  The remainder of the night was restless for Jackie.  We are hoping Wednesday will be a day of healing.

I know so many of you said extra prayers yesterday and they worked.  Jackie’s surgery was a success.  We now go hour by hour and day by day as we set the new recovery plan that will hopefully get us home soon.

Thank you for your love and support.