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  • Another 9 hours

    Written Dec 15, 2011 5:42pm

    What a day - another 9 hour surgery for mom. This time there were two surgeons - the ENT, and the plastic surgeon. 
    The ENT went first and did quite a bit of work clearing out her sinus cavities, creating a drain for maxillary sinus on the injured side of her face, and straightening her septum. This should help her be able to breathe better. We received news at about 10:30AM that this procedure was successful. 
    We just got done sitting down with the plastic surgeon, who reported that while it was a long surgery, everything went well. The bone from the original graft had resorbed and needed to be rebuilt, so Mom had a bone graft taken from her left rib. This allowed him to also move her eye forward and over to the correct position; however, it's likely going to be the most painful part about the surgery because she'll be feeling it every time she breathes.
    In addition, he took a graft from her ear to rebuild the nare (nostril), and detached her lip scar from her gum inside her mouth. Unfortunately, the surgery went long, so mom didn't get a new tear duct this time...meaning this is not the last surgery.
    I'm really excited to see her before she swells up, because the doctor said we should see a pretty big difference right away.
    It's a long road, but from here it looks like mom is half-way there in terms of getting through all of this. The doctor made an interesting comment when we asked, "How long will she be in pain from this?" His response: "Well, she's quite remarkable that way. I suspect she'll be feeling quite a bit better in just a 3-4 days." Wow - just a testament to her tough nature. Too bad I didn't inherit those genes. ;-)
  • Surgery #2!

    Written Dec 13, 2011 10:47am

    Here we are again, nine months later already (they weren't kidding when they said time flies, were they?!). Mom's been doing so well with her recovery. It's absolutely amazing to me that a person's body can take so much damage and heal through it. She continues to be strong through it all, both mentally and physically.

    Mom's long-awaited first surgery since the night of the accident is scheduled for this Thursday. The surgery is scheduled to take about six hours. They will be working on her nose, eye and lip this time. Fortunately, the hospital stay will be short, and she'll be able to come home on Saturday. 

    I will post an update here after we know more on Thursday. Even though this is not an emergency, your positive thoughts and prayers are welcomed.
  • Written Apr 12, 2011 10:27pm

    I can't believe it's already been 5 weeks since Mom's accident. People ask how Mom is doing, and I tell them it's like this - Mom had an exponentially fast recovery right after her accident, but the improvement has levelled off now, and the changes are slow. There is still a lot of swelling that needs to come down, and we need to make sure the bone graft is fusing, all which takes time. 

    Mom had a big day on Monday though - the wires and arch bars came off her teeth. I stood there with her at the doctor's office and watched them do it. I don't think one tear fell on Mom's face, but I could tell it hurt because she was squeezing my hand pretty hard. I imagine it's like pain and annoyance of the orthodontist, times 10. Each tooth had a wire wrapped around it which had to be cut and pulled out from between her teeth and gums. 

    Mom is now at the point where she can start seeing all of the other doctors that need to check up on her - the opthamologist, neurologist, dentist - a laundry list of follow-ups for her to keep her on the road to recovery.

    As I drove Mom home yesterday from her doctor appointment, I think I was sighing heavily, often, because Mom asked me if I was stressing about something. "Yah," I told her, "about you. I can't believe you have to go through all of this." "About me?" she said. "Good heavens, don't stress on my account. I have my life, I have my eye, which I can actually see out of. I'll be ok." Thank God she thinks that way. I know this ordeal has been crazy - a life-changer in the most profound sense, but she is looking at it how I was hoping she would... how we all are. She is lucky to be here and all of the rest she can deal with. 

    By the way, thank you all for your continued support of mom during her recovery! 

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North Memorial Medical Center
3300 Oakdale Ave. N.
Robbinsdale, MN 55422
United States