Well, the big day has finally arrived. Two days short of one year since Ammon's vocal was injured finds him back in the operating room having his trachea reconstructed. This operation is more serious and difficult than we understood but we're hoping it will have the results we hope for -- trach tube removed, ventilator taken away and life moving on in a more normal fashion.
Ammon was more nervous with this one than any he's ever been. He kept asking me what he would do if the tube isn't removed. I could only tell him that I thought he would adjust and go forward like he has done so many times before. He has been obsesssed about this thing for weeks. He hasn't been able to stop talking about it - real persevervation. He asked us to find a brother or somebody to help give him a blessing so we asked Lance to assist.
Last night we took him to my work party up South Fork and then stopped by Lance's on the way home. We only stayed long enough to get the blessing completed because we had so much to do when we got home. Ammon seemed to be greatly comforted by the blessing - at least until this morning. I greeted him with a cheery, "Hello bud - today's a big day." He answered, "A big nervous day."
Dr. Smith will take a piece of cartalidge (sp?) from Ammon's rib and will then make a ring from it. They will split the trachea opening where the scar tissue is and then insert the ring in that split. If they "core" out the scar tissue that has caused some of this trouble, then it will just grow back so they have to work with it. The trach tube will be removed and he will clean up the opening and close it up.
Ammon will have to go into ICU for a couple of days at least while they watch what happens with swelling. He will also have to be intubed until they are sure the swelling has abated. We are hoping that will only be a few hours, not a few days. Dr. Smith initially told us that Ammon would be in the hospital for 4-5 days. His nurse told Jim two days. This morning Dr. Smith told us 7-10 days! He said some of his patients are in that long and others go home within 4-5 days. Keep Ammon in your prayers, please. He will want to get that intubation tube out of his throat at the soonest possible moment.
Since they have closed up his airway from the trach tube, they have to make sure that his airway stays open, hence the ICU precautions. The surgery will take 3-4 hours. We just got word from the surgical nurse that Ammon is doing well and they are about half way done.