Tuesday, July 8, 2008

Two tough weeks in the books!

Well, the 4th of July holiday came and went. While Michelle kept it pretty low key on the 4th, we did get the chance to watch some fireworks (albeit from our apartment window). Wasn't too big of a disappointment, though, as the weather wasn't very good, mostly rain.

Let me bring you up to speed on how Michelle's feeling. Her pain hasn't receded at all since the surgery. Unfortunately, our surgeon told us that Michelle should expect at least 3 weeks of this type of pain before she would start feeling any better. Dr. Bolognese tried to help us understand what Michelle is feeling. He said, "Imagine going to the gym for the first time in several months." Then, "working out with very heavy weights." "Remember how much your muscles hurt, the couple days after your workout?" For those of you that have spent anytime exercising in the gym can certainly relate. He said, "Well, take that pain level and multiply it five fold." The muscles around Michelle's neck were all completely severed during the surgery and are in the painful process of healing. That in addition to the actual surgical steps taken two weeks ago are contributing to Michelle's pain.

Being home has been a blessing and a curse. Michelle is home and able to relax in familiar surroundings. She has gotten to spend time with her two cats, that she loves. And, she has gotten to eat some of her favorite foods: egg white omelets w/ cheese, lots and lots of fresh fruit, multiple combinations of smoothies, and the ever popular jello. The flip side of the equation is that Michelle still gets the urge to clean the house, even though she needs to be getting as much rest as possible. She is definitely getting very antsy to get out of the house, after a couple weeks in relative seclusion. And, the day that she got to come home from the hospital, she had to deal with a nervy husband. I might have gotten unnecessarily panicked after watching Michelle's reaction to her pain medication regime. Michelle was only slightly communicative after I tried for several minutes to rouse her from her sleep. In hindsight, I should have just let her keep sleeping (as the doctor told me over the phone). Instead, my emotion level made Michelle nervous and we mutually decided to go to the ER. We spent several hours at the ER and Michelle received two liters (or bags) of IV fluid, two potassium dosages, and anti-nausea medication. All in all, not a fun night at the hospital for Michelle. "Oops! My Bad"

A couple days after the ER visit, Michelle returned to the hospital where she works to get the stitches out. This day couldn't have come at a better time, because the skin began growing over the stitches. For the most part, the stitches came out without much effort, except for the half a dozen stitches at the very bottom of the incision. The scar seems to be healing very well. There is one small spot that we are keeping our eyes on because it is a little swollen and red, but hopefully that area is just healing a little more slowly than the rest.

Since then, Michelle has been pretty stable at home. She sleeps when she can, which usually isn't more than 2 to 3 hours. Michelle's brother, Frank, planned a little gathering of friends and family at his place this past Saturday to give Michelle a little time away from it all. Unfortunately, Michelle wasn't feeling up to getting out of the house that day. The party went on, and in a classic Frank moment, he said, "Oh well, we'll just do it another weekend. It just gives us another reason to party!" You got that right!

For all that have sent flowers, or balloons, or cards, Michelle deeply thanks you for bringing rays of light into her life. The apartment is filled with signs of love, thank you!

More to come in a few days.


Anonymous said...

Oh Michelle,

What you are going through hurts to think of. I wish things could be easier for you. You will get there, I know you will. You are so full of life and faith. Mom and I got up to our lake over the 4th with some cousins and we had a wonderful time. We saw fireworks, heard the strong winds through the pines, and waves building to white caps from the cabin deck. We continue (Mom, and the Risvolds)continue to send our prayers of faith to you.

Much Love to you both,

Mom and Dano

Anonymous said...

Michelle and Aaron,
We missed you so much this 4th of July. Port A is not the same when family is missing. Michelle, we continue to keep you in our thoughts and pray for a speedy recovery. Keep up the good fight! We love you guys!
The Drennan's

Anonymous said...

I can relate to the seclusion...I broke my foot yesterday and will spend atleast two weeks on the couch, provided I don't need surgery. You just feel so yucky, and I have nothing like your pain/recovery to go on top of it!! Hang in there!!

Faith said...

It didn't put my name on my post, but Faithee Bullinger wrote the above post!!

Anonymous said...

Well I finally got a chance to catch up on you two. Sounds like you are doing the surgery two step, which is two big steps forward and two small steps back or with variations of two little steps forward and two HUGE steps back.

Go slow. Fight the urge to clean. In the grand scheme of things what is a little dust or a lot for that matter. Watch TV, write in a diary (I wish I did this more), play Majong, play Seduko, if you can't sleep just lay around with your eyes closed an relax. Plan your first trip in your mind - where, what you want to do, wear, etc. I know this is long but I remember feeling worthless and wanting to be productive and the guilt of all that. You fight that, your body is being productive it is healing itself. Just because you didn't actively participate in your surgery does not mean that you body isn't actively trying to heal itself. All that cleaning and other stuff with be there later, dont' worry about it. Aaron, that goes for you too. You have to stay strong for Michelle. F the vaccuum, dishes, etc.

I love you guys!!!!