Well, the surgery is over. We're back at the apt we rented in Chicago and we are trying to relax, even though we are in a strange place and we'd rather be back in Virginia in the comfort of our own home. Judge all you want, but I am listening to Christmas music today and I'm loving it. It's comforting and makes me feel not so far from home.
Thursday was a long day. It's easy to be strong through most of this process. Although it's not an ideal situation, life isn't always ideal, and we learn to make the most of what we are given. The time leading up to the surgery is just time; you can't let an impending surgery ruin your plans or your life. So you live, and you prep all you can but its never truly 'real' until you get to the hospital and before you know it, you're saying I love you and good bye for the last time before they take him back.
And all of a sudden, it hits you. You are no longer in control. You put the person you love most into the hands of a surgeon and nurses and anesthesiologist...and most importantly, into the hands of God. And that time between when he goes back to the operating room until you hear from the doctor are the most heart wrenching, helpless, anxiety filled hours of your life. There's absolutely nothing you can do.
And over 5 hours later, when I finally saw Joe, that he was in one piece, breathing, laughing...it's like a huge weight was lifted off of my shoulders. I'm just so glad it's over; that the recovery process can begin and we can hopefully start a new, painless chapter of our lives.
The doctor said they ended up fusing 4 nerves instead of 3 (which is the first time they've ever done that) and it took a bit longer than expected because Joe's nerves were twice the size of normal nerves and the biggest the Doctor has ever seen (click here for a recap of what Joe's surgery was).
Joe and I have had a good weekend of lots of rest, TV and laughter. He truly is my best friend and no matter what happens, as long as we're together we are happy. He is mostly resting comfortably, although he does have bouts of phantom pain, which the doctor said is normal and is going to get worse before it gets better.
His spirits are really great- he amazes me every day. He's still the goof we all know, and hasn't lost any of his sense of humor. At least this time he didn't scare a nurse into near tears on her first day...
Thank you so much for your continued prayers and thoughts throughout all of this; we truly could not have done it without you. As hard as it was sitting in that waiting room on Thursday, I knew there were tons of people all over thinking about us and praying for us and I could feel it, and it helped me through. Thank you again! I can't wait to see what the future has in store for us from here!