Monday, December 15, 2008

One... Plus Duke L. post.

Jake's Surgery

Thursday night, Jake didn't get much sleep. He was very anxious for the coming day's activities. Michael stayed up with him until he was ready to sleep...around 12:30 am.

Friday morning came quickly. The family was up and around at 5:45, and since Jake wasn't able to eat anything, he was VERY hungry! We left for the hospital around 6:30ish, dropped Chris off at our neighbors house (thanks Fosters!), and started the half hour drive. All the while, Jake was dealing with an empty stomach and nerves. His tummy wasn't very comfortable.

We got to the hospital just in time to see the sunrise and for his procedure to get underway. We were greeted
by a less than friendly receptionist, and were escorted to a room with 5 full beds. The curtain around Jake's bed was pulled closed so he could put on his hospital gown. After he got his gown on, we had to meet with the anesthesiologists and sign consent forms.

They then wheeled Jake back to the
operation room, and Michael went with him until he fell asleep. Jake took a few minutes to fall asleep, and then he was off to surgery.

The surgery was supposed to last 3-4 hours, so Michael, Mom (Grandma Deeter), and myself went down to the cafeteria to grab some yummy (ick) hospital breakfast. We were given a pager, so they could contact us if needed. We spent a couple hours in the cafeteria, and around the 3 hour mark, I headed back upstairs to the waiting room in hopes that he'd be done soon. An hour went by, and no word, and another half hour went by, and Michael and Mom came up to see if there was any word. Nothing yet. Michael asked the receptionist if she knew anything, and she made a phone call. A few minutes later, a nurse came out to tell us that they were just finishing up, and he'd be done in about 20-30 minutes.

About a half hour went by, and one of Jake's doctors came out to talk to us. He greeted us with a "Good news, bad news" info. He informed us that they were able to get a lot of work done on Jake, and were able to block 75% of the blood flow to his AVM. The bad news of that is they found that instead of just one artery feeding the AVM, he actually has 3 of the 6 arteries in his head feeding the AVM. Since the condition was 3 times worse than they were expecting, the surgery took longer than expected (it lasted a total of 5 hrs). This would also require an additional 1 or 2 surgeries to correct, and there was a chance that his birthmark might actually get bigger in the coming weeks. (very disappointing to find out!) He told us that Jake was going to be taken upstairs to the "Post Anesthesia Recovery" area, and we can meet them up there.

We all got in the elevator, and went up the 2 floors to the recovery area. They called us in, and we were taken into the Pediatric Post Anesthesia Recovery Room. It took Jake about a full hour to be released to his room. During that hour, he intermittently said things and tried to sit up. Unfortunately, because of his procedure, he was required to lay flat for 6 hours. When he first started to wake up (before Michael and I were in the room) he sat straight up. The nurse told us that "he's surprisingly strong!" She said it took 3 nurses to lay him back down, and another nurse to hold his leg straight. The first thing he said when he woke up, was to tell the nurse that his birthmark hurt, and his throat hurt (he had a breathing tube during the surgery). About a half hour later, he was starting to be a little more lucid, and I made a comment about how big his hands are getting, he said "I'm a tough guy". Once Jake was able to answer a few questions about what his name and birthday is, and what month we're in, they moved him down to the 2nd floor to the pediatric unit.

Once in his room, Mom and I went to grab some food at Subway to bring back to eat. (It was 3:00 by that time, and the last we had eaten was 8:00 that morning). Jake slept most of the day, which was actually a blessing for him. Since he had to lay flat, being asleep helped. The few times he woke up, he was pretty groggy and went back to sleep quickly. Mom went home to spend the afternoon/evening with Christopher around 4:00, and Michael and I hung out in Jake's room for a bit, watching him sleep. Around 5:30 or so, Jake's doctors came in to talk to us about the procedure. Thankfully, this second talk with the doctor was filled with a lot more information, and was a lot more encouraging.

He said that they were able to get 75% of the blood flow blocked, which was a lot considering that it was being fed by 3 arteries. He said that the AVM will swell a bit for a week, but after that, we shouldn't be too surprised to see some shrinkage occur (yay!) and there should be a lot less bleeding (double yay!). He said that after the first of the year, he'll have to do another embolization angiogram, but at the same time they'll also attack it from the outside doing the direct puncture procedure. He's very confident that this upcoming surgery will be the final one. Since they've already taken care of 75% of the problem, this next one will be a lot less to deal with. Jake will still have to lay flat for 6 hours following the procedure, but he won't be under anesthesia as long, so hopefully he won't be out of it as long following the procedure. He also said that they would have gone longer and tried to attack the AVM more during this surgery, but 5 hours exposure to x-rays and contrast material was all that Jake would be able to handle without getting sick. Another bit of unfortunate news was that the doctor wouldn't clear Jake for skiing this month, so we're having to postpone our trip to Denver to go skiing.

Jake was still pretty out of it when the doctors came in to talk to us, so he didn't get to hear a lot of what was said. He was in and out of sleep most of the evening. He'd wake up enough to tell us that he wanted some water or ice chips, and wanted to watch a movie. We'd get the laptop out and ready to play a movie, turn around to ask Jake a question, and he'd be asleep. He finally woke up fully around 6:30...a half hour before he was able to sit up and move his leg. The nurse was nice enough to raise the bed a little for him, and help him flex his ankles periodically, so that when he was able to move, it would be a shock to his system. He was able to keep down a few bites of apple slices, and a few spoonfuls of spaghetti-o's. The nurse gave him some medicine to help with his nausea, and by then Jake was able to move about (slowly) and keep more food down. Grandpa & Grandma Thornton and Great-Grandma Jensen came to visit him shortly after, and he still wasn't 100%, so he wasn't feeling up to chatting for too long. After Grandpa & Grandma left, he slept a bit, woke up a bit, and slept a bit more. He finally rolled over to his side to call it a night around 10:00.

Michael and I stayed with him that night, and endured the most uncomfortable night of sleep we've had in a long time. I slept on a chair that folded out into a VERY SMALL bed, and Michael slept in a recliner (not a lay-z-boy by any stretch of the imagination). Jake was being monitored throughout the night, so we were greeted with bright lights periodically through the night. Around 6:30 Saturday morning, Jake said he had to use the bathroom, so Michael helped him with his IV pump into the bathroom. We were up for the day at that point.

Jake was still somewhat groggy, but he was a little hungry, which I saw as a good sign! He had half of a pancake for breakfast, but that was a bit much for his tummy to handle. Michael made him some toast, and he downed that pretty quickly. It was just right! We all waited around the room, waiting for the doctor to come and give us the okay to go home. The doctor came in around 10:00 and talked to us a bit more, telling us what to expect during his recovery. We got our discharge papers around 10:30, and headed home. Jake was still a bit out of it Saturday, spending most of his time in bed. He got up periodically, and walked around the house some, but most of the afternoon was spent in his bedroom. He wanted soup for dinner, and that seemed to be just what he needed. After dinner, he was a lot more himself. He was able to be downstairs in the family room and we all watched a movie together.

Today, Jake is even better. He's gone 48 hrs without his birthmark bleeding (WOW!!!), and he's joking and being silly with his brother. We went out to eat lunch today at his favorite restaurant, and he had a really great time! It's still up in the air whether he'll go to school tomorrow or not, but it's nice to see him getting back to being himself. My parents brought him a sketch pad and pencils while he was at the hospital, and he's just now getting to be himself enough to pull those out and start using them - that's a great sign that he's slowly getting back to normal.

We'll find out in the coming weeks when his next surgery will be. He has mixed feelings about having to go through this again. He's looking forward to being done, but not looking forward to the recovery, and especially the having to lay flat for 6 hours! His birthmark is still quite painful for him, and we're told it will be that way for about a week.

Thanks to everyone for the prayers! We really appreciate them. Please continue to pray, as he's not out of this yet. Once again, I'm amazed at how he's handling the situation. What an awesome gift he is to this family, he's taught us so much! I'm excited to see how God's going to use him further! :)
Go get them... Jake!

It's funny, I could have like him, youthful, when I got treatment.
The first time, I had my headache I was 19!
I don't know that it was caused by my AVM but it should did feel that way.
That explains my depression kina...

I hope Jake does not suffer that.

Okay, it is tie to wright some Duke Lacrosse ... on another blog.
(It is adult... if you get my drift)

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