Praise God Forevermore! Jerry made it through the surgery just fine. It didn't take as long as they thought it would -- only an hour and a half. The very enlarged spleen has been removed along with a piece of the end of his Pancreas. The end of the Pancreas kind of points into the Spleen, and one of the tumors in Jerry's Spleen had grown into the end of the Pancreas. The doctor said he often has to remove part of it when removing a Spleen.
I, of course, got this laptop out of its bag and googled "Pancreas" immediately. It was a very clear picture of exactly what the doctor described, and I was consoled to see that a whole bunch of the Pancreas is still inside him. He had to have 3 immunizations against some awful diseases, and those made him very uncomfortable this morning. I figured once they knocked him out for surgery, he wouldn't notice that anymore.
They took him away from me at 1:00 -- 2 hours later than planned -- and I didn't see him again until 5:00 where he was in ICU. Honestly, Tammy and I both thought he looked so good that he didn't even need to BE in ICU.
Jerry is a totally different person on drugs. Actually, he turns into me! The night nurse last night had brought in one of those breathing devices and explained to Jerry that he was going to have to blow in it several times every hour after his surgery. Tammy had told him the same thing.
When I got to ICU tonight, the nurse fiddled with all the machines and made him comfortable in the bed, and then she disappeared.
Jerry looked at me and said,
"WHERE is that breathing machine, Joy?! And WHERE is the nurse!? Isn't this ICU? Aren't I supposed to have a nurse!? FIND OUT where that breathing machine is!"
I searched around in the tangled up mess of our belongings that were THROWN together by two of the nurses in Room 429 -- tossed onto a cart -- and given to me with a young lady escort to take to ICU. I had NO IDEA where anything was, never mind that breathing device, but I finally found it. I took it over to him and opened it up. Jerry put it in his mouth and started breathing into it as hard as he could time after time after time. He blew as hard as he could 6 times. He actually was moving the indicator inside up higher than he did BEFORE his surgery when the nurse demonstrated it last night.
Suddenly, some machine went crazy and started beeping saying Jerry wasn't getting any air. I told him maybe that was enough, and I took it away from him. The nurse showed up at last to see what all the beeping was about. I told her Jerry was concerned that he wasn't using the machine properly. The nurse said, "He doesn't really have to use it when he is asleep!" Duh! I asked her how many times he was to use it and how often. She said 10 times -- once an hour. Jerry asked me to give it back to him so he could blow in it 4 more times for a total of 10 times. It's a wonder he didn't blow his stitches out. The pain meds must have been doing their job!
I lifted Jerry's "skirt" to see his tummy. Tammy agreed with me. It looks GREAT! No more bulge. It is flat. You can sure tell the spleen is no longer there. He will be so thrilled when he sees it!
Tammy, our daughter -- the OK Heart Hospital nurse -- has been there for us at our beck and call! She brings cupcakes for the nurses, chocolates for the nurses, chocolates for me, a blanket for me and one for her Dad, Chapstick for me and one for her Dad (a wonderful gift, by the way), a book for her Dad that he read half of the day she brought it, a tube of lotion for me to put on his dry skin, and other things.
NO WONDER the cart was overflowing!
I asked Jerry to take our picture yesterday. He was lying down in the hospital bed, so it isn't the greatest angle.
I was there all day yesterday -- all night last night -- and all day today until Tammy showed up at 6:00.
I TRIED to sleep in the chair-that-turns-into-a-bed last night, but it was IMPOSSIBLE! It was basically 3 pieces. The head piece was one height -- the middle piece was lower -- the foot piece was higher. It was like sleeping on stair steps! I could NOT get comfortable. Every time I ALMOST fell asleep, someone would come into the room to see if we were alright. I HATE that, but I suppose it has to be done.
ICU makes us leave from 6:30 to 8:30, so Tammy and I went out to Olive Garden to eat. I came home where I am sitting on my very comfortable bed about to turn out the lights, and she went back to spend the night with her Dad. If she wasn't there, I would be. I may not be a nurse, but I can sure get one in a hurry!
I am so thankful that the Spleen full of tumors -- whatever they are that the doctor says he can't say -- is OUT of my husband. That was immediate removal of over 95% of them, I would say. The Spleen will be dissected and biopsied, and we will soon know EXACTLY what is growing in Jerry that doesn't belong there and Dr. Keefer, the Oncologist, will figure out a recipe to kill it.
My husband is alive and in pain, and I thank God with every breath I take!!! The pain will leave -- his body will heal -- and I will continue to be his grateful wife for as long as God allows it. I wish everyone could know how truly AWESOME Jerry is. I could write a book about all the things he has done to help sick, crippled people and how he has gone above and beyond what is required because he truly cares about these people. He loves God FIRST and then me, and I couldn't be more blessed! I don't think even Jerry can imagine how much I love him -- or maybe he can. I hope so.
I've GOT to get to sleep.
Thank you so much -- all of you -- for your prayers and your comments.
They have helped me through this more than you'll know. I look for them every morning, and I read them to Jerry. He can't figure out HOW I know such nice people on the internet.
AND A GREAT BIG THANK YOU AND HUG to Phylly for bringing me lunch from Subway today. I didn't even think to pay you, Phylly! I'll buy next time.
AND A GREAT BIG HUG to Margaret who came in horrible weather to see us at the hospital yesterday. I am always SO DELIGHTED to see Margaret.
Special thanks to Candi. She should probably be in a hospital herself right now having severe pain in her leg treated, but instead, she is concerned about Jerry and constantly offers to do anything to help us. She makes sure everything is done and has worked many hours of overtime to cover work not done by absent employees. Instead of sending work to me that I should be doing, she just does it herself with not a single complaint. She is the Manager of our store in Kingston, but more than that, she is a true friend. We love you Candi!
And you all remember Lu, the Manager of our Oklahoma City store -- the one I made a blouse for and matching necklace. I don't know what she did, but Jerry's phone might as well be non-existent for all it has rung in the last few weeks. It used to ring non-stop. I know Lu is taking all the burden she can off of Jerry, and that takes a huge burden off of me. We love you, Lu!
And my apology to Robert who is a great friend to Jerry. Robert knows to read my blog, but I suppose, being a man, it isn't at the top of his "To Do" list. I texted Deanna, his wife, about the surgery, but didn't think to text Robert. Deanna is down with a terrible cold and bronchitis, and I'm sure she wasn't up to repeating texts to Robert. Actually, I didn't even know his number until today. I sent a practice text earlier, Robert. Hope you got it! And I'm praying for a speedy recovery for Deanna!
Times like this are so hard, but on the other hand, you find out how good people are and how much they care. All our employees have been so thoughtful and concerned. Honestly, it warms our hearts and speeds the recovery. Even our CPA who just went through a melanoma surgery himself offered to do anything he can to help us. I hope all of them know, we would do the same for them.