Andy had his surgery on Friday. My biggest fear was that they would damage a nerve and his face would drop to the way it was in the first few months, but thankfully all seemed to go to plan. Andy broke his jaw in two places on September 30, which meant that the surgery would not be straightforward, as they were limited to where they could create new breaks. Basically his case is complex and for that reason they have been keeping a close eye on him over the weekend, tweaking a few things here and there. We found out tonight that some of his teeth aren’t meeting at the back and that they will need to bring him back to theatre to fix this. Although it is gutting to have him going back in, we are so thankful that they are doing everything they can to give him the best bite possible.
The past few days have been very difficult for us, for many reasons. For so long, Andy has been feeling well, with a lot of energy and determination, something that has definitely kept me going. Now he is lying in bed all day, getting bloods done regularly and attached to a number of different drips. Although most of this is routine and very normal after surgery, it very much reminds me of the ICU and 4F days, which is tough. Since Thursday I have spent approximately fifty hours in the hospital with Andy. Fifty hours with my husband, I did not imagine I would be able to do this so soon and it has been really lovely. When I go to visit him in Musgrave, we sit and chat most of the time which can be tough, as it takes a while for Andy to communicate with me, especially if I am tired and very slow at getting it. Now that we have had all this time together, we spend a lot of it just chilling and it is so so nice; something that I have very much missed over the past seven months. However, that amount of time on hospital chairs takes its toll on my shoulders and energy. Please pray that Stephen, Dorothy and myself can have increased strength for the next few days, especially as Dorothy undergoes her own surgery on Friday. We want to be there for Andy as best we can to remain enthusiastic and motivating for him.
Andy has had type 1 diabetes since the age of sixteen and has learnt to manage it with much ease and very little complaint on his behalf. His sugars proved an issue from the very beginning of all this, but soon became second nature to the staff in Musgrave and very manageable. Since his surgery they have been a nightmare and have caused us so much confusion and stress this weekend. In order to heal, Andy needs to keep drinking (he is on a liquid diet), which is sending his sugars higher than normal, but on top of this, sugars go up if the body has suffered a trauma. It is also very normal for most patients after surgery to experience high sugar levels due to steroids and a number of other things, though none of this makes it any better when we are continuously staring at readings in the twenties. He is now on an insulin infusion which is helping a bit, but is not ideal. The sooner he gets back to his normal insulin, the better. Please pray that this will start to work itself out and that Andy will feel better (and brighter) as his readings come down.
They hope to take Andy into theatre tomorrow morning if there is a spot available, but we will not know this until the time. We would really love for this to go ahead as it would get it out of the way quicker and get Andy on the road to recovery. We are trusting God’s timing in this, and also praying that all goes ahead tomorrow. Please pray for wisdom for the medical team as they deal with Andy’s “complex” case in surgery and that they will achieve a good and lasting outcome.
Moving to a new ward has very much highlighted to us the complexity of Andrew’s condition. The team in Musgrave are used to all of his needs and everything works smoothly, to a very strict routine. So much so, that I was almost unaware of how much they do for him and the level of care he requires. This has been very difficult for us as a family, but also for Andrew. It sort of feels like his limitations are being repeated to him daily and his new life is becoming a reality. I was thinking today about how (when in Musgrave) Andy is working through his therapies and reaching new targets, almost daily. So to now be lying in bed all day, getting pricked by a needle every hour and unable to eat or speak like he has been, it must be so demoralising for him.
We always said that this would be one step back to go two steps forward, but in reality I think it is about three steps back to go four/five steps forward. Which is wick, but also so good! We are so thankful to be here, but it is hard. Andy’s independence is temporarily on hold and this is the first time he has properly experienced this, as before he did not have the same cognitive ability that he has now. Please pray for his mood, that he will be filled with a peace that passes all understanding and thank God for bringing him this far. We have so much to be thankful for. Today I am thankful for Andy’s smiling face as he played UNO with the family. We have been so aware of God’s hand in everything over the last seven months and we have been reminded of this since moving to the Ulster. The first nurse that saw Andy described him as an inspiration within about two hours of meeting him. Another nurse and doctor also told us about how they were reading the blog, which was incredible for us as for some reason it just put us at ease, as if we knew them personally. Again today, one of the surgeons said how after seeing Andy’s name on their list for months, that it was a privilege to meet him. All of these small things have provided us with massive encouragement, which has been such a blessing, we are so thankful!
“It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; He will not leave you nor forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed” Deuteronomy 31:8