MamaDog Woofs

Monday, November 13, 2006

Weathering the storm of life

Sometimes, events seem to stack up on us a bit. Every have one of those months? It feels like you just stop sliding on the ice and get your feet under you....and then you feel one of them sliding sideways again. I have images in my head of that poor burglar in "Home Alone" that slips and slips and slips on the ice at the doorway.

This is the first day in about a month that things have been 'normal'. Robert's back at work, Connor is doing well, and I'm home on my very own computer. I just looked at my calendar and realized we missed three birthdays, one anniversary, several other major appointments, and never even carved the pumpkin with Emily that we so carefully picked out as a family. But I'm getting ahead of myself.

A couple years ago, Robert had a cataract removed from his left eye in a quick, relatively simple procedure. He healed well, immediately had perfect vision restored on that side, and life returned to normal. About a month ago, he realized that he was seeing 'flashes' on the right side. A couple days of no improvement sent him to the eye doctor on Friday. About 11am I answered my office phone and was surprised to hear them saying "GOOD, she answered!" Robert's eye was in trouble and they were rushing him to a specialist in Greenville, and hour away, 'as quickly as I could get there without getting hurt'. His OTHER eye, on the right side, had developed a tear in the retina requiring immediate repair. Several hours later (and a bill I didn't even want to think about) they'd done an in-office laser repair that would hopefully stop the tear from progressing into a full retina tear and displacement. That was a really uncomfortable, scary thing for him but he did really well and the doctor felt like that would hopefully take care of the problem. A followup procedure on Monday show good improvement.

Friday morning he says his field of vision 'looks strange' so back to the doctor he went. This time I get an even more frantic call, this time from the SECOND doctor they'd sent him to on the same morning. This time it was a major tear in the left retina. It was detached, had fluid behind it, and now we had more tears in the right eye as well. We fly back to Greenville where they've had to call in a surgeon for him. They do emergency repairs on both eyes involving some fairly invasive, painful treatments that include removing fluid from the eye. That made room for a gas bubble that was inserted to gently press onto the retina and hold it in place as it heals.

For the next five days we stayed in with Zoe to comply with the doctor's orders. Robert couldn't walk up and down stairs (impossible to get into our house!) and was required to stay in bed or sitting all but 10 minutes every three hours. He was given very specific angles and positions we had to put his body into that would place that air bubble in exactly the proper place to keep it in the right spot.

We made it through til Tuesday, one more good progress report, and he was allowed to return to sitting normally. That was followed by another laser treatment last Friday. He goes back again this Friday again-- hopefully nothing has moved or torn again.

THEN, we launched into Connor's surgery. On Wed morning, our grandson Connor received necessary procedures to relieve pressure on his brain. His skull plates have fused too early (sorry, can't remember the name) causing his growing brain to be squeezed harder and harder instead of expanding normally. Obviously this must be relieved surgically in a truly miraculous set of surgeries that involves cutting the bone into plates and repairing the scalp by a plastic surgeon. Robert has just returned this evening from staying with him in Charleston so I'll post more about that after we've had a chance to catch up on more details. The reports are good though-- Connor is in a regular room, eating, and most importantly....laughing again.

While all of this was going on, our lives somehow slipped right past us. Kristen Cynthia, and Stacey, I've missed all of your birthdays! I beg your forgiveness. I even had posts written out to blog for you which still sit here on my computer and feels pretty lame now. I'm so very sorry, that's a pretty slack birthday present, but please know that I was thinking about you. This all happened so fast that we never even carved the pumpkin Emily picked out with us. Cynthia, I hope you got rid of it by now. (laughing) I honestly just thought about it as I started writing this post.

Hopefully things will stay calmed down and I can get caught up. Quiet never felt so good!


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