It’s Saturday morning – a few days after Jamie’s latest “last surgery.” Jamie’s surgery on Tuesday was supposed to be her last surgery… so was her surgery on Thursday… and similarly, we’re planning on Jamie’s next surgery (on Tuesday of next week) being her last surgery. Truthfully, I don’t believe that any of the “last surgery” estimates are accurate. That is completely ok because when Jamie’s doctors say that “this surgery will probably be her last procedure in the OR”, I hear “this could be the last procedure in the OR, and we’re focusing on getting Jamie out of the hospital soon.” That, in a nutshell, is where we are – Almost out, just a few more procedures, here and there. Now to the specifics from the past few days…
Jamie’s surgery on Thursday was successful. Thursday’s surgery was similar to Tuesday’s. Thursday, Dr. Smith (1) retouched Jamie’s existing grafts, (2) regrafted some areas where the skin grafts aren’t taking, (3) graft Jamie’s wounds on her butt, and (4) change the dressings on Jamie’s legs. Issue #4, the dressings, isn’t really a big deal; Jamie doesn’t like to be awake for these dressing changes. She’s glad that we’re able to accommodate her by knocking her out to change her dressings. Issues #1 and #2 aren’t really too controversial either. Even though most of the grafts on Jamie’s legs are taking, a small minority of them are not. These simply needed to be redone, which is fine. Dr. Smith touched up the graft on Jamie’s right thumb as well as the ones on Jamie’s stumps. For the most part, these grafting surgeries are pretty routine now, so nothing too exciting to report about those procedures.
The only surgery of first impression (to borrow a legal term) was issue #3 – Grafting the wounds on her butt. Some background on these wounds - These wounds have been a pain in Jamie’s ass for too long (that was too easy), and they make it very difficult for her to whole-heartedly complete her physical surgery sessions. For a moment, imagine that you’re lying on your back in bed, you have been there for four months, and you have multiple areas of exposed nerve endings or other open wounds on your butt. So, for Jamie, lifting her legs or sitting upright puts a great amount of strain on those areas. Dr. Smith put skin grafts on these wounds, but told us that he doesn’t expect them all to take. He said that if we don’t do the skin grafts, then the wounds may not heal for up to six weeks. Since these wounds stand in the way of us getting to rehab, we’re willing to do whatever it takes and we’ll gladly accept any small victories that come our way. Dr. Smith said that we’ll know if the grafts take in four or five days and if they do, then that’s great… if they don’t, then maybe we’ll have another “last surgery.” Either way, we can see the light at the end of the tunnel.
Jamie’s overall health has been ok. She had a blood transfusion yesterday because she’s been anemic lately. With the surgical rollercoaster we’ve been on lately, it’s understandable that Jamie has been wiped out. Not only is she physically exhausted from these surgeries, but she’s still fighting off a few infections. To combat these, Dr. Smith and our Infectious Disease doctors agreed that Jamie should get pumped full of antibiotics for a five days. Those five days end on Tuesday, when Dr. Smith will be checking out the grafts he attended to on Thursday.
Non-medically speaking, Jamie is doing well. When she’s not recovering from surgery, she and I have been catching her up on LOST episodes (love that show so much… seriously… I want to take LOST to Italy and propose to LOST in front of all of our family and friends). Mom has been a machine lately. She’s on the phone with BC/BS or DPS’ assistant, or getting Jamie’s meds straight, or talking to the intake personnel at rehab facilities… you get the point. I’ve got a few meetings in Dallas next week on Jamie’s/mom’s behalf which should be interesting. One final note – Did you know that President Obama daughter, Sasha, had meningitis when she was 3 months old? As many of you know, we’re having April 25 recognized as Texas Meningococcal Awareness Day… maybe we can get President Obama to come and speak… in Texas… with Rick Perry… well, a boy can dream, right?