Thursday, April 30, 2009

In the homestretch

What a journey. And I am so very glad that it looks like it is almost over.

We started back at the end of January with what looked like an aneurysm. With a stay in the ICU for 2 weeks. Plus a few extra days in the hospital. And when they sent us home, we still really didn't know what caused the bleed in Michael's head.

Our first day home from the hospital sent us back to the emergency room with what might have been a seizure. Because in their hurry to send us home, no one gave us an anti-seizure medication.

The next few weeks Michael spent hanging out around the house. And then we finally got into the rehab program. And he started a month's worth of cognitive therapy. The bleed was in the part of the brain that is in charge of organization and categorization. So remembering a simple three or four item list is difficult if not impossible. But during therapy they worked on it...and worked on skills that he can use to get around some of his short term memory issues. And now he has graduated from that program.

And then finally. Where I left you two weeks ago.

We finally got a diagnosis. A fistula. And they scheduled surgery for last Wednesday. (And yes. elective surgery. Doesn't mean that insurance won't cover it. It just means it's scheduled. And not an emergency. However my insurance company is balking over the cognitive therapy. Idiots.)

So, Michael did the pre-op appointment. And we arrived at 8:30 am last Wednesday for surgery. Where we were promptly asked these questions: "What are you doing here? Didn't you get the message that the surgery has been rescheduled?" Um. No. No one left us a message. Called. Faxed. Smoke signals. Nothing.

We found out that our appointment had been moved to Friday at 5:30 am. AM?! Yep. In the morning. And we also found out that the scheduler at the neurosurgeon's office is in a bit of hot water for not getting a chance to call us.

Friday morning. That alarm going off at 3:50 am was quite unpleasant. But we were at the hospital - and at the waiting room - at 5:30. But apparently none of the staff were there yet. They did not show up until 6 am. And we were not called back to prep until almost 7. Oh, that hour more of sleep would have a really good option.

At 10am, Michael's surgeon came out to tell me that his part was done...it had all gone well...and that I should be able to see him around noon.

By 2pm, he was in his room in the ICU...catching up with the nurses from our last stay. He was awake. Alert. Joking around. Here he is with his bandages and the drain in his head. He wanted me to be sure to get pictures this time.

When the doctor finally pulled off the bandages, and I was able to get a good look at his staples. I realized that no one bothered to clean him up. All the blood that ran during surgery - still there. All on his scalp. Making his hair crispy in parts. There were huge dried pieces of blood stuck to his hair and to his scalp. It was gross. And we couldn't wash it because the staples can't get wet. I tried to clean some of it with a washcloth...but it really was not doing the job.

Michael was in the ICU for less than 24 hours. And he was discharged from the hospital on Monday. Not quite four days of time.

After we got home, Michael took great pleasure in grossing out the girls with his head.The girls were grossed out by the blood and staples. Me. Well...the hair cut leaves little to be desired.

So...we thought we should really even things up. Shave it all off. And get some one to wash his scalp.

Before:

After:

Much better.

And now. The staples. All 44 of them come out next Thursday. No more therapies needed. And he can go back to work the following week. The problem solved. And it is not a problem that will come back. Hallelujah. Amen.

So...what about you? Have you ever had a disaster of a haircut? If this had happened to you...would you have shaved your head? Have you ever had staples or stitches?

post signature

57 comments:

Miss Blondie said...

WOW!! Thank God everything is alright! I'm an OR nurse and we always clean our patients up good b/c that's really all they'll see. I think the shaved head looks good on him!!

Kori said...

Oh he looks GREAT! Love the shorter do and the scruffy look. So glad everything went well. I miss you guys and hope to be able to come over for a day sometime here soon. Love ya.

texcindy said...

nope. i would have kept my hair. that is one heck of a long incision! holy cow!
glad you've come this far!

Amy Amy Bo Bamey said...

WOW, That is one massive staple job. I am glad he is better and enjoying grossing out the girls!

SKELLER said...

Yay for the shaved style!!! (the "after" is ever so much more dashing that the "before").

I've got to tell you, I'm quite the pantywaist when it comes to something as simple as even a needle. So these quite close-up images did make me a little woozy. But seeing Michael smiling, totally made me smile back. And your daughters' expressions cracked me up!!

Bye bye and good riddance fistula!

The Ridge School said...

Just amazing! Our bodies and all... Thanks for sharing, and here's to hoping your family gets back to a nice boring, calm, normal flow.

((hugs))

Dawn@Embracing the Ordinary Life said...

God bless you and your family...

Angie's Spot said...

Wow! That is one heck of a staple job. I had staples with both of my c-sections, but I think it was around 12 each time. Definitely not 44. And the masses would've been scarred for life if I had gone around showing off those incisions. LOL!

I'm so glad that everything is fixed now and you guys can finally get back to normal around there. :-)

And for the record, I would probably have shaved my head too. What can I say...I love hats and my hair is a real problem with my getting to wear them.

Gina said...

That makes me happy to tears for you guys!

What a happy looking Honey you have there.

Gina said...

Course if he hadn't shaved it all, he would be well on his way to a mullet by now. I'm just sayin....

Finding Normal said...

That is EXACTLY Addison's suture line. EEK! A year later and I have to work to find the scar, but her hair covers it. And her neurosurg only shaved a tiny strip for each surgery...and saved the hair for me because it was her first haircut.
Good-bye fistula. Don't let the door hit ya.
I also like the short look. And the scruff. That's just how I roll.
Does this mean you'll be posting a lot more? I have missed you!!!

Shannon said...

Yes to the "after" 'do.

Yowza to the 44 staples!



Hallelujah and amen is right! I am SO glad the surgery went well and Michael is well!

Miss Anne said...

Wow!

Praise God that it's all ok and done!

I would have cut all my hair off too!

I've only had internal staples (gastric bypass) :)... all of my stuff was laproscopic!

Happy Healing!

Aleta said...

Wow. I don't know what to say. You write it with an ease of one who is at the end of what was a difficult experience. I can't imagine the emotions, but you write with strength and a sense of humor. Interesting pictures and I definitely say shaving the head was a good idea. I'm glad he's going to be OK. God bless!!

Linda said...

Wow, must be a tremendous relief to have the surgery over with. How is Michael feeling? He looks pretty darn good with the shaved head look. I think the staples are pretty neat. We still have the staple remover from my c-section (my doc is pretty cool and let us remove them at home) ... wanna borrow it? LOL

Jen said...

is going to be fun getting those out! ;)
I am glad that it is all over. He looks so healthy. Lets keep it that way.

Blissful Babe said...

He looks great for someone who has just been through all that he has!

I'm glad all is well and that things can resume some semblance of normalcy for you.

PTL!!

Swirl Girl said...

what a beautiful smile and shiny head!! He looks totally into it!

maybe it'll grow in blonde and curly !

(i remember when my eldest daughter lopped off the top of her finger when she was 3. those stitches made me pass out cold on the floor. i don't know what I would have done if Hubby had 50 staples in his head.)

Pink & Green Mama said...

Wow!! So glad everything turned out okay. I like the new haircut and freshly shaved head. The staples remind me of my own hubby after his brain tumor surgery (13 years in remission now)
Wishing you all lots of rest and a speedy recovery!!

Heather said...

He looks amazing! I am dancing a medical happy dance over here, knowing all the possible outcomes of this surgery and seeing such a great result...God is so good!

Your ability to come through this with your sense of humor intact (both of you!) is inspiring, Kat.

Thanks for sharing your journey.

Loving the pictures! And the shaved look is HOT!

John Deere Mom said...

Are you married to a 20 year old? I swear he's 20.

Trish said...

WOW! You have been on a journey and kept your sense of humor along the way!

He does look so young without the hair and those staples are gross.

So happy to hear this answer to all of our prayers!

Jill said...

Oh my goodness! Look at those staples - they gave me the heebie jeebies when I saw them... :)

As for the shaved head - I think he looks GREAT with his new 'do!

More importantly - I'm so glad to know that he's doing well and that all will slowly mend and move forward with your lives!

Romi said...

Holy Cow! I'm so glad your hubby is doing well. Too bad he didn't have this done around Halloween. That would have made one incredible costume. One of my relatives had her head stapled in a similar fashion. We call her zipper head now. She loves it.

I personally like his shaved head. It makes him look very dashing.

But the important thing is that he is okay. I am so thrilled for you and your girls to have your family intact.

Rachael said...

1. I am really glad the surgery went well and he's on the road to normalcy again!

2. The staples? Totally awesome. I would wear a hat and then absentmindedly take it off in front of people and watch their reaction.

3. I would totally shave my head, but I think that before he was rocking the ultimate mullet. I might do a mohawk or something freaky for a couple of days, then shave the rest off.

4. Yay again for recovery!

Firefly mom said...

I'm so glad that everything turned out OK! You'd been quiet for a good long while (for you, anyway ;) and I was getting a little worried. Glad he's home and doing well.

Have I ever had a bad haircut? I went to beauty college. Need I say more??

And staples - yep, when I had my emergency c-section. They took them out 2 days later (even though I begged them to leave them in longer) and my incision opened up within an hour. Took 3 months to close on it's own (once a wound opens, they can't re-stitch or staple it). That was a lot of fun with a newborn ;P

Mrs. S. said...

I am so glad to hear that everything went well. I am disappointed to hear about how the hospital dealt with everything. It is just disheartening to think about how some people treat their patients.
I do like the shaved head...but the photos of the girls were priceless - especially the first photo! Good luck through everything!!

Susie said...

What a HUGE ordeal for you all! I am so glad that it is coming to an end and that the outcome is positive!!

Heather said...

I think the shaved look is great! I'm so glad you guys are okay. I know that was sooooo scary, but I love that you can look forward to the rest of your lives.

Elena said...

WOW!! That is SOME brag wound! Hooray for elective surgeries that can fix problems! And WHAT?!! He looks GREAT with his head shaved. Honestly he looks like a 20 year old hottie!!! Watch out Michael, Kat's gonna want to chase you down.

Nicci said...

So glad to hear that everything has turned out so well.

Rhea said...

That's a HUGE incision. Wow. I'd probably stare if I saw him out in public. good lord have mercy.

I'm glad he's recovering well, and that all is good. Whew. That was QUITE a scare.

Brandy said...

How is that fair? He has a major surgery, that is not cosmetic and comes out looking younger. Hmph. No really the new "un-do" makes him look younger. Although I guess he'll grow it back out to cover the scar.

Thank goodness that (most) of this ordeal is behind you guys!

Lori said...

Kat, My heart goes out to your husband, you and the girls. I can only imagine all the suffering he has had to endure, such a brave young man. Bless you all. I know you have been through so much, I do hope the package arrived and helped brighten your day some. Please take care and I wish you both the very best. Lori

LadyStyx said...

Staples. Had my gall bladder out and since Im heavy they used staples. I have 4 scars where they cut into me and 3 of them have mini-scars around them where the staple ends had been. Ugly as can be but a reminder to be thankful that it wasn't a whole lot worse.

Keeper of the Skies Wife said...

Holy Moly...that IS a huge scar. Glad the end is here and everything has worked out!! I like the short look!!! :)

American in Norway said...

I am so happy he is going to be OK... You have to be worn out after all of this!... Glad to have you back : )

Fritzie said...

I loved that you posted pictures! He looks so happy .. all praises to Him! And honestly? Michael looks really young with the buzzed hair.

You all are still in my prayers .. God is good =-)

Suburban Sweetheart said...

Glad to hear that everything's OK. He's looking great! The haircut makes him look a little bit like Matthew Lillard Meets Frankenstein. :)

I once shaved my head for charity/because I lost a bet. I don't know what I was thinking. But yeah, if this happened to me - I'd do it again. It sucks, but it's not so bad. it's just hair. It comes back!

Hope everything's all right and that you guys are getting back to normal!

Teisha said...

The shave looks really good on him! How crazy is it that he had brain surgery and stayed in the hospital 4 days? People used to get to stay in the hospital that long after having a baby! Am so glad things went well, thanks for the post!

Carrie said...

I had a mullet once. It was not by choice. I was in 6th grade and my
Dad decided I should go to the beauty school to get my hair cut and permed.

I told the girl I wanted my bangs to be about two inches long. She cut the entire top of my head two inches long and then proceeded to give me a perm. The top of my head looked like a fro and I had hair down to my mid-back in ringlets.

My boyfriend broke up with me when he saw the haircut and I've never
gone back to a beauty school.

I like the buzzed hair! And I've never had staples or stitches. I shouldn't say that and jinx myself...

SO happy he is doing better!! Praise be to God!

Carrie said...

I agree that he looks uber young with his head shaved!!!

Gramma 2 Many said...

Kat, I am so Praising God for a successful surgery and recovery! You are right Halleluhah Amen!
I like the way they followed his hairline so the scar will not be huge and noticeable in the future.

Brian and Staci said...

Oh my goodness Kat!!! That's a lot of staples!!! Holy cow! He looks really great though! Can you just believe that they can cut you open like that and put you back together??? Soooo thankful everything is going to be all good again for you guys! Praise the Lord! And yes, I would've DEFINITELY shaved my head! Have a great week! We are hopefully starting to move on Friday!!! YAY!!! (if all inspections pass!!! Crossing fingers and toes!)

Mariah said...

I would have shaved it too! And HOLY Macarel that's a lot of staples. So glad they fixed the problem and you can back to your life.

Reluctant Housewife said...

I am so happy it went so well.

I would totally have shaved my head, too. I think he looks great with his head shaved.

* TONYA * said...

Wow. I'm so glad to hear that things are going well. I can't even begin to imagine how stressful things have been for you and your family over the past few months. I hope the recovery from his latest surgery is going well .. I'm guessing he should have had the staples out last Thursday so I hope it went well.

Tell him to shave it all off :)

KimmyDarling said...

Kat, I'm just now catching up, and I just can't get over all of this. I'm so glad that things seem to be leveling off for you all, and that Michael is making great progress. Y'all continue to be in my thoughts. xoxok

Teri said...

First and foremost...SO freakin' glad he is better. And to see him smiling in that impish way is heartwarming. I would totally make sure to gross out my kids if I had those staples. I mean, you gotta have fun with the kids.

His first hairdo reminds me of Beetlejuice. Too bad it's not Halloween. Wouldn't he have the perfect costume???

Becky P. said...

I've never had staples, only stitches in my mouth when I got my wisdom teeth out. I couldn't gross out anyone like Michael can now. I'm so glad he is on the road to recovery and can get back to work soon. What a long road!

I would have totally shaved my head too. Hey, it's only hair...it will grow back.

KimmyJ said...

So glad every thing turned out ok, Kat! What an ordeal! Michael is a trooper!

Lula! said...

Give me a second...
I burst out crying when I saw his head, and if I didn't have to get Libbey from school in just a bit, I would call you right now.


OK.
Oh my, I was NOT expecting that. I don't know what I was expecting...I mean, hello Leigh Anne...brain surgery and all.

Whew, I am SO glad he is better. He looks so good--his smile made me smile. Thanks for keeping us updated. We must talk soon.

Karen said...

This was a great post to read !!! So glad all went well !!

Those photos are really funny :-)

Yes, I once had a disaster of a hair cut and perm. It ended up really frizzy. looked like an Afro.

Another hairdresser, that I went to later on that day, said that the only thing that could really be done, was to get my hair cut really short or wait till it grew out.

The next day I needed emergency surgery. I went in to the OR with an Afro and came out with just a nice curl to my hair. Apparently, having an anesthetic, the day after having a hair perm, can do that. Solved the bad hair problem !! :-)

Yes, had staples and stitches..

Michelle said...

Ok so I'm a week behind... Sorry! Anyway, so glad to hear that it went well with the details behind now. And I LOVE the photos of the girls.

Me? I'm totally going staples and shaving the head. What a fun scar to have in the end. Wish him luck at work!

ChicagoLady said...

I'm so glad everything came out ok with the surgery!

I've never had surgery on the outside of my body, requiring stitches or staples. I definitely would have shaved my head. That remaining hair was terrible.

Cairo Typ0 said...

The haircut looks great! He has a well shaped head! :) It's great to see him smiling and happy. :)

Kelly said...

Wow! What a long, hard road it has been for you guys! He looks like he's in great humor...a good sign that things are going back to normal for you guys!!