This says, "I hurt inside. I love Dad and Mom. I want to hug the nurses. I want to sleep here someday."
Written when he could hardly see and was in intense pain.
Well, the surgery is over. It was long -- about 7 hours and that was without doing the untethering. Two days ago, after talking to the neurosurgeon and in consultation with the orthopedic surgeons, we all decided that Ammon would probably not benefit a great deal by doing the untethering. Because of the long-term stretching, they felt that the spinal cord would be sufficiently lengthened that we probably didn't need to untether the end of the spinal cord. The untethering also could be an increased risk with infection by leaking spinal fluid. We felt comfortable and even relieved to come to this decision. Now I am soooo grateful that we made this decision. The surgery would have been several hours longer and Ammon's body just hasn't responded nearly as well as we hoped.
Please keep him in your prayers! He lost all his blood but it was not a crisis - the doctors were prepared circulating and re-using his blood and then added about a quart more. The anesthesiologist warned us that Ammon's face was bloated due to all the fluid they ran through his body and because he was tipped downward during the procedure. Being warned, however, still didn't prepare us for the sight that awaited for us. I broke down when I saw his swollen face and all the tubes attached to him. I felt like my heart would break and wondered how we could have ever agreed to put him through this pain again.
They had a very difficult time keeping his blood pressure up and for two hours, it was quite tense in his room. We had to leave the unit at 7:00 p.m. so Jim just called the hospital and they said he is resting better and the blood pressure seems to have settled down a bit. I think we can sleep a little better now. He was in a lot of pain when we were there and because he was still intubated and couldn't talk, they gave him some paper and a pen and asked him to write where he hurt. That's what the photo is all about. I think the serious pain at that time was due to gas from the anesthesia and so we're hoping he will look a little more normal and will be in less pain tomorrow morning. They hope to get the breathing tube out sometime tomorrow. They are having to suction his lungs again and that saddened us. He hates that and it makes us feel very sad for him.
Hopefully the news will be better in the morning.