I hate to use hyberbole much any more since my perspective on what a bad day vs. a good day has changed so much in the last month, but I'll risk it today.
This morning Seth had surgery number ten--four and a half hours. The surgeons planned to remove the pins from his left hand, clean the wounds (debridement is the official term), exchange the wound VAC, and begin the skin grafts.
Initially, the surgeons told us the grafts would be done over two to three surgeries because of the large area to cover. So that's the good news--the surgeons were able to complete all the skin grafts today! They covered all the area on the back of his right thigh and right calf--37x12 centimeters and 16x10 1/2 centimeters respectively. The donor sites were his left and right thighs and his right flank. It was also good news that they did not have to go to his stomach or back.
After the surgeon told me this, I went into the post-op to see Seth. He was in a great deal of pain but managing it well. He was also freezing, as is normal, but the six heated blankets and plastic sheet with warm air blowing through it still didn't cut it. Still, he was calm and patient. As we talked about things, all of a sudden he got worried and said, "I don't want to do any more skin grafts." I was thrilled to tell him, "Well, guess what? You don't have to. They got it all done today." He gave me the biggest smile and then we both started to cry.
Later in his room, he said, "I want everyone to know that I really feel that this is a blessing from Heavenly Father and an answer to all their prayers." So there it is for you all to know.
The pain specialists offered him an epidural or nerve block again because of the pain at the donor sites; he just doesn't like the idea of either of those, so he opted for a new medication called ketamine. It makes him a little loony, so unlike our last post-op experience, we were having a good time, and he kept me laughing.
My favorite of all his goofiness was when we were discussing one more time the option of having an epidural. I told him if he didn't like the loony feeling, an epidural would be good because it would take away the pain without making him goofy. I told him that I had three epidurals--one with each birth of him and his brothers, and I'm fine. He replied, "Yeah, you had an epidural and look at me. I only have one leg!"
To celebrate, we got Seth crab legs from Red Lobster. It was really good to hear him say, "Mmmm" about something he was eating.
Other good news is that Jarom arrived last night, and did and will do the night shift. Amazingly, he found the "bed" in Seth's room so comfortable, he slept in until noon (OK, so it was only 10 a.m. Utah time . . . ) It's good to have him here.