Thursday, October 24, 2013

Kristine's Back Surgery

This morning Kristine went in for surgery on her back.  She has been in a great deal of pain for a long time because of her spine pinching the nerves.  She has constant pain in her left leg and has had to be on heavy pain killers for it.  With surgery, there is risk from the anesthesia that it would diminish her mental capacity, so we waited.  Her discomfort got to such a level that we decided it was worth the risk if it would help her to not be suffering all of the time.

Last week John took her to appointments all day long in preparation for the surgery.  He said that several times during the day she asked him why HE was getting surgery.  She kept forgetting they were there to check her out.  The doctors gave the OK and scheduled her for this morning.  John took her in and got her all set.  After seminary, I stopped by the hospital.  The nurse that would be helping with the surgery came in to have a final run through on the details of what was planned.  Kristine was once again surprised that she was having surgery on her back.  

The surgery lasted about 4 hours and the doctor said that everything went well.  They did a little less than they had planned, but felt like they accomplished what they needed to.  They bolted together 2 of her vertebrae, replaced the disk between them, and decompressed her lower spine (at least that's how I remember it).   After she woke up and was taken to her room, John called me and I took Jebb and Jackson down to see her.  She seemed really alert and aware of what was going on.  She asked us what we were going to be for Halloween.  She was so much better than the last time she woke up from surgery (when she had her gall bladder removed).

She asked for more pain killers and said that her back hurt.  I don't know if her leg was still sore, it didn't seem to be bothering her.  The PT came and made her get up and walk around.  They said that the more she walks and moves after surgery, the less pain she will be in later.  She has a corset that they put on her so that she can get up and walk around.

She will spend 2-3 nights in the hospital and Jebb is very excited we get to dog-sit Chuey.  The staff at the hospital is very good and my visiting teacher is even a nursing aid for Kristine-which is nice because I know she will get good care.  John is still at the hospital and will stay there until bed time.  I had Parent-Teacher conferences and kids to pick up from sports, so we left the two of them at the hospital. John is an excellent son and is so good to his mom.  I know I always say this, but it is so true.  I am amazed at his patience and kindness, and the huge amounts of time he dedicates to his mom's comfort.  I am glad my boys see his example so they will feed me my jello after my surgery when I am old.  I know she would be really confused as to where she is if John's familiar face wasn't there.  Hopefully all will continue to go well.  I am very pleased to see that the anesthesia didn't seem to make her more cloudy.  I think that's a really great sign, as the doctors said that it might be a huge issue.

We sure love Gma Kristine and appreciate all of your calls and prayers for her.  We will take good care of her and try to keep you posted. :)

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