Tuesday was a long and difficult day. In trying to transition Seth out of the Surgical ICU, the doctors changed his anesthetic. This caused his scary hallucinations to increase and his appetite to be replaced with nausea. He was in a lot of pain, and it was very difficult to get him comfortable. He couldn't tolerate juice any more, which was a great disappointment to him.
By afternoon, they changed the anesthesia, which helped the hallucinations but not the nausea. He was still seeing things but was coherent and calm enough to ask if what he was seeing was real. I told him to trust me, the nurses and the doctors--and he is trying. It is difficult because there are so many nurses and doctors--Seth has often referred to the place as a "freakin' zoo."
The highlight of the day was a visit from his buddy Brian Dilberian who was in Seth's platoon and was injured the same day as Seth. Brian lost both legs and an arm. I met his mom on Monday, and she said Brian had been asking about Seth ever since he came out of sedation. When Brian came by, Seth was feeling good enough to visit. They made us leave the room, so they could swap stories and details that they don't want moms to hear. Thanks, Brian.
A highlight for me was a visit from Tom and Eleanor Porter (I hope I remembered that). Tom is a double amputee from the Korean War, and he and his wife visit the amputees at Walter Reed every Tuesday and Thursday. Tom is tall and handsome, and it is not easily apparent that he is walking on two prostheses. They brought cookies from the ladies in their congregation and offered to put Seth and me on the prayer roll of their Lutheran congregation. Seth was not up to meeting them at the time, but I told them I looked forward to seeing them on Thursday. They are the "boots on the ground" answer to prayers.
Today, Wednesday, Seth is surgery again most of the day. The surgery today is perhaps more serious than any of the previous surgeries--they are going to try to screw his pelvis to his spine, which involves, of course, negotiating all kinds of nerves. If all goes well with that aspect, he will wear the external fixator they put in for six months.The surgeons will also be doing all the other usual things: wash out the wounds, try to close wounds, stretch skin and muscle to cover wounds, cut away any infected or diseased tissue, revise the external fixator on his leg and the list goes on.
The surgeons give us very detailed reports of what they will be doing, and Seth now understands it all. He was very anxious last night. To help him take his mind off things, I read him all the letters I brought from home--except for a few that he thought he ought to read himself when he is able. Thank you for those.