Monday, January 11, 2010

It Can't Hurt To Ask

I've learned a lot the past few years about myself, my friends, and my relationships. One of the biggest lessons I've learned is that people are willing to go to great lengths to help a friend or a neighbor in need but they are often frightened of overstepping their bounds. I've also learned that not only is it ok to ask for help but it is a brave and noble thing to do. People respond well to directness. So here I am being direct.

On Friday, January 29th I'll be going back into the hospital for another round of surgery. Nothing too scary or traumatic (at least not when compared to what we've dealt with in the past) but still a major surgery none the less. I have a major abdominal hernia related to the previous surgeries I underwent immediately following the accident. In layman's terms, because they split me open from ribs to pelvis, my abdominal muscles are unanchored and coming loose. They will be reopening my abdomen to inset a piece of mesh to help keep my insides in. While in there they will be removing the pieces of Heterotopic_ossification that have formed in my abdominal cavity. This won't be your typical laparoscopic procedure most commonly used to repair hernias these days. I just have too much scar tissue and unknowns involved in my case to do this the "easy way". This will be a done using the old-fashioned open incision method.

They can't say exactly what my recovery will look like but they are estimating that I will need to remain in the hospital from 3 to 7 days following the procedure. Following that I will be home recovering for another week to two weeks with limited mobility and then it will be another four to six weeks before things are back to normal.

To be frank, while the idea of additional major surgery terrifies me, I know I can handle it. I'm most concerned on the impact of this on my family. As we all know by now, Katie is an amazing individual who can shoulder the weight of an army but I never want her to have to go through the stress and challenges she went through before. And now that The Bug is older, there is going to be a whole new set of issues involved. Katie will be hard pressed to keep up with work, The Bug, and our home by herself for a month. Plus there is the emotional strain to consider, especially for The Bug, and if The Bug is stressed we all will be stressed. In many ways this will be hardest on her and I'm looking to you to help keep her occupied and entertained so this time can pass as quickly and as stress-free as possible for her. She will miss her Daddy terribly (and our physical play when I am home recovering) but if appropriately distracted I think she will handle it well. (As an aside, I know some of you may roll your eyes at this. Kids have/can handle much worse but I see no reason to do anything less than everything to protect her, keep her happy, and make sure that she is sheltered from this stressful event). So play-dates and babysitting are at the top of the list of things we need. Even if it is just for an hour, so Katie can go shopping, do the dishes, take a nap or so Junie can get tossed around a little by an "uncle", or even just stay distracted from Daddy so he can rest we need your help. We'll even need some babysitting while I'm home since I won't be able to pick her up for at least a month without compromising my surgery. The last thing we want is to have to go through this all a second time. Baby sitting time will be especially important while I'm in the hospital that first week so Katie can come visit. We won't be bringing The Bug to Harborview. It's just not a good place for kids and I really don't want her to see me like that.

Aside from Junie time, another thing that would be helpful is food. Healthy precooked/homemade vegetarian or poultry dishes will be a lifesaver (especially if they won't require a lot of extra dishes to do!). But feel free to be creative! Don't be afraid to pick up the phone and call.

Thank you all again, and in advance. We love you all!