Thursday, January 8, 2009

An unexpected and relieving phone call... surgery # 2.

What a day.

To get everyone up to speed... I'll explain what led up to today.

Jacob has an AVM on the back of his head.

He had surgery on December 12 to have most of it taken care of.

During Christmas break, it broke and bled badly... then again it bled last Tuesday (Dec 30). We called the doctor and they scheduled a meeting for Friday (Jan 2). The doctor said that everything looks good and scheduled a second surgery for Feb 14.

However, Jacob had bleeding episodes on Sunday, Monday, Tuesday (3), and Wednesday. We communicated with the doctor on Monday & Tuesday that he was continuing to have problems with it bleeding... we even posted a video of the AVM on our server and e-mailed a link for the doctor to view. We wanted to make sure that the doctor understood what was going on and to confirm that we were handling everything properly. Initially, the doctor said that everything is okay and we may want to expect some issues. But after Jacob bled again at school on Wednesday, I e-mailed Heather and carbon-copied the doctor to let them know what had happened at school.

Bring us to Thursday morning.... 8:20am: everything seemed like a normal day: Jacob had beed dropped off at school and I was just settling into "project mode" at work... Heather and Chris were getting ready to head out for school/work when Heather got a phone call from the doctor's office. The nurse said that the doctor felt that, even though it wasn't an emergency, the bleeding is causing enough disruption to have his surgery moved up a bit -- "will today at 1 or 2pm work for you guys," the nurse asked. Heather didn't know how to respond at first.. after a quick moment to absorb the question, she told the nurse that we'll do whatever it takes to get him in today.

After giving me a quick call to confirm that we should go through with it, she hurriedly called the school and instructed them to not let Jake eat or drink and that she was going to pick him up around 11:30am to take him to the hospital for his second surgery... YAY!

I twittered (http://www.twitter/mdeeter) about the developing story before 9am. Minutes after posting the twitter (which also updates my Facebook status) I received a call from my mom called and said that she'd leave within the hour to come help and watch Christopher overnight. Thanks mom.

Christopher's curiosity (as well as a bit of feeling left out) spurned his request to go to the hospital with us. Heather and I had just discussed the night before that we wanted to make sure that Chris doesn't feel neglected with everything that's been happening with Jacob (regarding all of the attention that we've had to direct towards Jacob lately) -- so we were happy to oblige his request.

We got to the hospital and met with the doctor at 1pm. After a quick review of what was going on and what should happened it was determined that we would proceed with surgery at 3:30ish. So we roamed around the hospital a bit. The boys wanted to look out of the windows from the top floor (#8) to see how high up we were.... they found it not to be too high. However, we found that there's a small medical museum on the top floor and decided to take a quick stroll through it. It was interesting and worthy of visiting if you're trying to find a way to pass the time waiting for surgery (if you only need to wait 20 minutes... it's only two rooms of displays and artifacts).

Once the time came, Jacob began to get a bit nervous but had some comfort in knowing what to expect this time around. He ready to do just about anything to get the AVM taken care of, this surgery was a small price to pay for some normalcy in his life.

He is such a trooper - we are very proud of him. He's such a strong fellow. Heather and I have been wonering how this experience will benefit him later on in life... he's made a few comments about becoming a nurse: "I don't have any problems with blood," he commented.

Once again, he went into surgery and we waited...

and waited...

what was supposed to be a two-hour surgery ended up another mini-maraton... 4 hour surgery.

When they were finally done, the doctor talked with us and expressed his encouragement from the procedure they had completed. The blood flow is now 99% removed and Jacob will be ready for plastic surgery remove the mass within weeks. They even scheduled a consult with a plastic surgeon for Friday morning (before we leave the hospital). Yay x 2 = Hooray!

So currenly he's sleeping and seems to be feeling much better. His progress has seems easier this time around and we are all very-much looking forward to going home tomorrow.

Thanks go out to all who have prayed for us and remembered us through these tough times.