Sunday, July 10, 2011

Day of Rest: Sunday, July 10, 2011

The good news:

  • Seth was finally removed from the ventilator late Saturday evening and brought out of sedation
  • after his six-hour surgery, the surgeon was amazed to find that Seth's rectum etc. is completely intact--which bodes well for removing the colostomy when he is otherwise healed--and is miraculous
The rest of the story: 
Seth had a difficult time coming out of sedation. He was disoriented which made him agitated and upset. He reminded us that he is in the Army with some of his language. We had just listened to the surgeon's detailed report of all Seth's injuries, so I was already emotionally drained and feeling physically sick. Brett, Seth's dad, arrived in the evening, so he stayed up all night with Seth while we went back to the hotel for some rest.  I was very grateful.

This morning, he was doing much better--still disoriented but not agitated. He is difficult to understand, which is frustrating for both of us. He now says "please," "thank you" and "I love you" and tries to joke--with only the occasional slip into Army vernacular. I feel best when I can so something for him--whether it is suction his mouth, feed him ice chips or put a sponge to his lips to suck on. He was very jealous of my orange juice bottle (even though it only had water in it), so we talked the nurse into bringing us an apple juice. He took three sips and then asked, "Mom, do you think I'm overhydrating?"

The nurse gave him a morphine pump, so he could control his own medication with the push of a button. He wouldn't push the button because he thought it would blow something up. The nurse kindly put him back on the IV. He is sleeping now for the first time since coming out of sedation.

I saw young man in the cafeteria today who had lost his right leg. I thanked him for his service and told him about Seth. He told me Seth would be OK and agreed to visit Seth in coming days. I was heartened and dismayed--he has been at Walter Reed for a year.

Random reflections:
  • I hate TVs in waiting rooms
  • It is difficult to know how to hold on to hope and prepare for the worst at the same time.
  • Last night, even with Ambien, sleep did not come until these words came to my mind: "Cast thy burden upon the Lord, and he shall sustain thee."
  • Other people are how the Lord works to sustain us.


  1. Sylvia,
    Almost not an hour goes by that I don't think of you and Seth. Please know that we are praying for you and your family. I am so glad that Brett can also be there and that you can both provide support for Seth at this time. I'm grateful for Bob also because I know he takes such tender care of you. You know that you have many who can and will be support for all of you! My heart broke at your description of seeing Seth for the first time. At the same time, my heart sang because I know just how much it meant to you to finally be with him despite his serious injuries. Much love to you my dear friend!

  2. Sylvia, your post reminded me of a story my friend, Bob (now 71 years old) tells of coming home from the Army. At Thanksgiving, he asked his mother to pass the f-ing potatoes! I will call you on Monday. Love, Pat

  3. To Seth and Seth's Family,

    I could not help but laugh about the crude language that Seth uses now. Lol! Perhaps our platoon is partially to blame for that. The ventilator being taken out is a huge step, and I can't wait for more great updates. My heart goes out to you all. This whole experience must seem some kind of surreal. I'm counting down the days to come see you Seth. Your my personal hero bud.