Thursday, January 12, 2012

Roller Coaster

The past 5 months have been such an emotional roller coaster in this house.

It has nothing to do with the birth of Little Miss or the fact that we went from 2 to 3 kids.

You see, Stephens dad had surgery on August 3rd. What should have been routine kidney surgery {removal of a kidney that was cancerous} turned into a 5 month hospital stay.

Stephens’s dad was over weight and in pretty poor health when it was discovered that he had cancer in one of his kidneys. The doctors recommended removing it. The surgery was supposed to be mid August, but since I was due with Little Miss around that time, my mother in law decided to see if they could do it earlier.

August 3rd he went into surgery. The surgery went well and he was sent to recovery at the hospital. On August 7th, we got a phone call from my mother in law. Stephens’s dad had taken a turn for the worst. His other kidney had failed {which was almost expected}, but his heart and lungs seemed to be failing also. The doctors had placed him in the ICU. We were told he had muti-organ system failure and that he had about 24-48 hours to live.

Stephens’s older brother from Chicago and his younger brother from Washington DC flew into town. Stephens’s aunt drove down from Tennessee. Lots of tears were shed.

We all camped out at the hospital waiting on news. My massively pregnant butt was chasing Little Man and Little Miracle all over the ICU waiting rooms. Every time we walked into the main entrance of the hospital, a doctor would remind me they “do not have labor and delivery at this hospital, and if that is why we were here, you need to go to a different hospital”.

Over the next few days he slowly improved. His other kidney never started working again {so they started dialysis}, but his heart and lungs did. We had a glimmer of hope.

Over the course of the next few weeks, he came out of ICU and was placed on the regular floor of the hospital again. Little Miss was born and he heard that he had his first grand daughter {he has 5 grandsons}.

{My memory is blurry of the dates and times in-between things from this point, since I was now taking care of a newborn also}

A few weeks later he was placed back in ICU because they thought he had pneumonia and his organ systems looked to be failing again. We were all on edge again, thinking he would die.

He once again pulled out of ICU and was placed back in the regular part of the hospital.

In mid October we brought Little Miss to see him. I felt she was old enough, and he was not with “sick” people in the hospital, but on a floor specifically for kidney patients.

Meeting Little Miss for the first time {and almost 50 pounds lighter!!)


Oh my how happy Little Man was to see him!!


Loving on the boys!


In early November, he was sent to a rehab hospital. All he needed to do was gain his strength back and he would be sent home. We were all hopeful that he would be home for Thanksgiving.

He developed an infection at some point at the rehab hospital. The area where his kidney used to be had an abscess. He would need surgery again. He was sent back to the regular hospital where they did surgery to clean out that area. A minor setback.

Thanksgiving came and went, and then Christmas and New Years did the same. In early January we found out he needed another surgery because an aneurism developed in his arm {I believe due to the dialysis port}

At this point, we were all just thankful to have him alive, and had no idea when he would come home. We were shocked after this surgery that the doctor declared him well enough to go home!

After 5 months and 1 day in the hospital, 3 surgeries, 2 ICU stays and 100 pounds lost, he is HOME!!!

He still has quite a road to recovery since he has to get up and moving again after spending so much time in the hospital. He will also have to do dialysis for the rest of his life, but he is home!

It as a roller coaster we are glad to be off of!


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