Spine Stabilization Image/Sunday Update
(First published on CaringBridge, December 2018)
We are grateful that our old neurosurgeon broke up with us, because our new neurosurgeon ROCKS! Take a look at his handiwork. On top of doing great work in the OR, he possesses emotional and interpersonal intelligence. Imagine that. Dr. Liauw communicated more with us in two days than our ex did in almost a week. He even texted as he was about to start surgery and when he was about to close up. Dr. Liauw is one more demonstration of God's great care for Chandler and for us.
Today's update is brought to you by the letter A (the grade we assign to everyone on Chandler's care team) and the number 40 (the number we like to see on Chandler's monitor because it means he is resting comfortably). Got some great news today -- Chandler's movements are deliberate, not just reflexive. His heart rate went up to about 117 when I kissed him on the face and talked to him. Chip won points when he said the same thing happens to him.
I will share pictures of Chandler when he entered the ER last Saturday night, but not until I have an "after" picture showing my son awake, aware, and flashing his irresistible dimples. It is amazing the difference between a week ago and tonight. He no longer has one nurse 24/7. He is only on 40% oxygen. He is in a regular bed, not a spine stabilization bed. (Again, pictures will come in the days ahead) He is moving his arms.
So what's coming this week? Well, Santa Claus for one thing. But also, docs will begin pulling sedation slowly and looking at trying to remove the ventilator (breathing tube). He did say that he's not worried about Chandler not responding currently to commands because he is so heavily sedated. The sedation is to help with pain due to the injuries themselves and to the recent surgeries, and when they tried to pull it today, Chandler's blood pressure went up. I think my blood pressure would go up also if I had been hit by a car, had back surgery, had numerous tubes stuck in my body and head, had foot and leg surgery, and then had someone trying to pull my pain and sleep meds.
It is not easy seeing my boy like this. He is a strong, vibrant young man. In the moments when sedation is lighter, I can see the pain, anxiety, confusion, and fear in his face. I can't tell you how it rips at my soul. Those moments will be part of this journey. Your prayers and encouragement will help sustain me through those moments.