Post-op updates

Saturday, January 12, 2013


I rarely post on the weekends, but I thought I'd give y'all an update on Clayton and his nose surgery. 

The surgical center was supposed to call us with Clayton's surgery time no later than 3 p.m. on Thursday and we finally got the call at 2:56 p.m. that day. Clay was scheduled to have his procedure done at 10:45 a.m. on Friday.

Clayton finally admitted to being nervous while we got ready to leave on Friday morning, but throughout the entire process, I'm pretty sure I was much more of a Nervous Nelly than he was. Once he was pumped full of his pre-anesthetic "happy juice", he was incredibly relaxed and ready to roll. He and I even high-fived a few times before he was wheeled back to the operating room (we're so weird). 

I honestly couldn't even tell you everything he had done to his face yesterday, but I do know the doctor corrected his deviated septum and then went to town clearing junk that had been stored in his passages and cavities for well over two years.

I had never noticed it before, but Clayton definitely has a pretty crooked nose. In fact, on Thursday night before we went to sleep, I held his head in my hands and looked down the bridge of his nose to see if the deviation was noticeable from the outside. And it totally is! It's nothing major like the unfortunate situation Owen Wilson has going on and you really have to stare at his face to notice it, but his nasal bridge definitely has an "S" curve to it's shape.

I was actually pretty worried that his nose was going to look different after his surgery, but it looks exactly the same ... much to my relief. I love his nose, I really do! Clayton thinks his honker is too big and is insecure about the bump in it, but I've never noticed any of those things. It's perfect and adds to much to his overall gorgeousness.

The procedure was expected to take about an hour and half, but after two hours of not hearing anything, one of the women at the front desk came over to tell us that it was taking longer than they thought (obviously). She assured us that everything was fine, but there was just a lot of gunk to clear our of Clayton's nasal cavities. 

When Clayton was wheeled into the recovery room and in the process of waking up, the doctor took his mother and I into a small room to let us know how the surgery went and to give me preliminary instructions on how to administer the plethora of pills and nose sprays he was going to be prescribed.

After over 3 hours, we were finally given the green light to go see our little patient and I was shocked to see how GOOD he looked. When people caught wind that Clayton was having this surgery, they came out of the wood work to share their experiences of what happened to THEM when THEY had this procedure done. So over the past several weeks I heard several horror stories about black eyes, swelling and blood faces and was honestly expecting the worse. 

He looked perfectly normal, but extremely pale and so totally out of it. The anesthesia hit him hard and it was touch-and-go there for awhile in terms of his nausea, but once I got his prescription for anti-nausea filled at the pharmacy, he was good to go.

Teresa stayed at the townhouse with Clayton while I made a quick run to Wal-Mart to pick up his medicine and get a few basic supplies for the next few days (I was operating under the assumption that I wouldn't be leaving the house at all this weekend). When I arrived back to the house, he was resting comfortably and his mom already managed to give him the first few doses of some of his nasal sprays (Seriously, did you see all the bottles and sprays in that picture at the top of this post? It's insane!).

Clay and I had a quiet first evening at home. He was surprisingly talkative and his pain was at a manageable level. We watched several episodes of the first season of Modern Family together and he had a good appetite. I was flat-out exhausted from such a stressful day, so I excused myself upstairs to go to bed a little after 11 o'clock. Clay said he was going to stay up and watch a movie and after tucking him into the recliner (he has to sleep with his head elevated for a few days), he started perusing the selection of comedies on Netflix.

When I checked on him this morning, I discovered that he hadn't even finished picking out a movie before he passed out in his chair. Thank goodness! He slept like a baby the entire night and didn't wake up in pain or needing anything. 

But despite things going rather smoothly, I've had to quietly sneak upstairs a few times today to push against an anxiety attack I could feel bubbling up in my chest. His nose is much more tender and sore today (as to be expected) and I'm actually making myself sick just thinking about what he's going through. It's sad that he's handling his surgery better than I am, but that's just the way it goes.

Clayton is the perfect patient. Despite being ridiculously uncomfortable, he still remains sweet as pie. He never complains and shows his appreciation for everything, including just refilling his water glass. My love is handling this like a champ. 

This afternoon I stole a little bit of time to go for a run (how could I not? It was 65 degrees today and SUNNY!) and afterwards I drove to Sonic to pick up a chocolate milkshake for Clayton. (Milkshakes really help ease the pain in his throat from the breathing tube they put in during the surgery. Thankfully Clayton can't remember having the tube put in or taken out, and that's a huge relief because that's actually the part of this whole thing that freaked me out the most!) While I waited for his shake to be made, I perused web forums and discussion boards on my phone and almost threw up reading about the pain and unpleasantries other people went through when they had a similar procedure done. I immediately put my phone down and made a mental note that I'm not allowed to Google anything but "cute puppies doing cute things" from here on out.

I'm nursing my little heart out and am trying so darn hard to take care of him, but I have a lingering fear that I'm going to screw something up. He has literally a dozen different medicines that all have to be taken at different times and I've had to chart them so I can keep it all straight. He's relying on me and only me and while that's a major turn-on for my wifey ego, it scares the poop out of me because I don't want to let him down.

Leave it to me to make his surgery more about me than it is about him. That is my way ...

Our friends and family have been incredibly supportive of this entire experience and while I was anxiously waiting for Clayton to come out of surgery, my phone kept pinging with text messages and emails letting me know that we were being thought of. What's most touching is that we've had dinner provided for us for the past two nights. Ireli made us a yummy meatloaf dinner with all the trimmings on Friday, and just tonight Dan and Emily had a pizza delivered to our house. These gestures meant so much to both Clayton and I, and I think I speak for both of us when I say that we have awesome friends. 

However, with the good comes the bad and right after I had given Clay a dose of pain meds and got him ready for a nap this morning, I received a phone call that his Uncle Mike passed away about a half an hour earlier. He had been in a hospice for the past several days and around 11:00 a.m., surrounded by family, his body succumbed to the complications surrounding his cancer.

Nancy, his daughter, broke the news so beautifully in her Caring Bridge webpage earlier this afternoon by saying that "his soul left the earth". I've heard that phrasing before, but something about reading it today really struck a chord with me. In the midst of tragedy and boundless grief, there is always joy in knowing that earthly goodbyes are not permanent goodbyes. Mike is with his Savior, free of pain, and we will see him again. 

So that's just a general update of what's been going on in our household the past few days. It's been trying, but all things considered, Clayton's recovery is going remarkably well so far. I pray that he continues to be in high spirits and that his pain stays at a minimal level. He said he can already breathe so much better and we're both really excited to see how much better it will be once his stitches dissolve and all the gunk clears out. 

Thank you all for your well wishes and messages and dinners over the past 48 hours. It means the world to us and we know that all of his discomfort will be well worth it in the end!

I hope you enjoy the rest of your weekend!



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