Throughout my life, I have seen and felt God work in many ways. He has provided for us in ways too numerous to count. He has protected us from seen and unseen danger more times than we know. He has guided and directed us in our marriage and careers. He has created through us new life in Micah and in baby McKenzie (even if she hasn't made her debut yet!). However, although I have known that God is also a healer and have prayed for Him to heal family and friends, I have never experienced it first hand like I did these last few days.
At 10am Thursday, Eli went under for his cranial decompression surgery. I had my first update from a nurse a couple hours later saying, they made the first incision at 11am. By 12:50pm, the nurse was calling me to tell me Dr. Camarata - Eli's neurosurgeon - was ready to meet with me! I was so shocked, and even more so when he told us (Eli's parents and myself) how smoothly everything went and that he did not have to cut into the dura (the lining between the brain and skull which would have almost doubled Eli's recovery time and chances of infection, etc.). He had made a long incision on Eli's neck, removed part of the skull and parts of the top 2 vertebrae and then ran an ultrasound. The ultrasound showed that Eli's cerebral tonsils were now moving up and down freely and that his cerebral fluid was moving very well, so they sewed and stapled him back up!
Eli spent the next few hours in recovery while he woke up and waited to go to an ICU room. That was probably the hardest part for me because I knew he was done and yet I couldn't see him yet! A very kind nurse took pity on me later in the afternoon and snuck me back in recovery to see him when he woke up.
Once he was awake and in his ICU room, Eli almost immediately wanted a cheeseburger (I thought this was an excellent sign!) I spent the night with him in a recliner in the ICU room, not the most comfortable place for a pregnant belly, but I was so thrilled to be there with him. I've never been so thankful to have my snoring husband next to me! ;-)
Friday, Eli continued to surprise everyone by walking, doing stairs, and sitting up for much of the day. He got moved out of ICU and into a private regular room in the neuroscience unit. He did pay for all his activity a bit that evening when the pain and exhaustion caught up to him, but when Micah came to visit, he definitely perked right up again!
Micah and I headed home Friday night to have a night in our own beds; and I repacked my bag and was ready to spend another night with Eli in the hospital. So you can imagine my surprise when he called me to tell me he was getting discharged today. When the doctor took off his bandage today, she was so surprised that she told Eli he could go home today if he wanted! And of course he did!
So by 2:30pm (just 50 hours after this crazy surgery!), Eli was in my car and we were headed home! I still think I might wake up from this wonderful dream.
For the next 2 weeks, Eli is not allowed to drive or lift anything over 5 lbs. The main thing is for him to sleep and sleep and sleep, which shouldn't be a problem with his prescriptions of muscle relaxers and pain meds! I think being in his own bed is already doing him a world of good. He got up briefly for dinner and a shower and is now back asleep.
As for me, I couldn't be happier to have the whole family back under one roof. Cooper and Denver (the dogs) are lying on the couch next to me as I type this. I can hear Micah breathing on the monitor and Eli snoring upstairs (I don't need a monitor to hear that... lol!) Only the girls are awake (Little Kenzie is kicking me right now!) This is all I could have hoped for my Mother's Day tomorrow!
God is so incredibly good. I know none of this would have been possible without the MANY, MANY prayers we have received (and continue to receive) from our friends and family all over the world! When doctors (even neurosurgeons), nurses, physical therapists use words like "shocked," "surprised," or "amazed," there is only one explanation. Our amazing heavenly Father was showing off a bit these last few days when He healed Eli as quickly as He did! And even with the residual swelling from the surgery, Eli's nystagmus is already markedly better and so is his balance! It will be amazing to see what his follow-up appointment in 10 days reveals!
So, THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU for all of your prayers, thoughts, love, and support. We have felt them these last days in a real and powerful way.