Thursday, February 08, 2007

One Brief, Shining Moment

When Blaine drove up to Ft. Gordon on Tuesday for his pre-op appointment, the doctors were pretty clear about the surgery he was having done the next day and what their expectations were. They were also pretty realistic about what *could* go wrong … after all, this is Blaine we’re talking about.

The plan was simple enough. His upper gums, removed in the initial surgery to get the tumor, were rebuilt two years ago with bone from his lower leg … later, they put implants in the bone. The surgery yesterday was to have titanium posts anchored into the implants, so that eventually they can attach replacement (fake) teeth to the posts. At least that’s the way it’s been explained to me, although goodness only knows I could be completely wrong.

A few of their concerns yesterday: according to the pre-surgery x-ray, it looks like that bone has been damaged by the radiation he received (a normal problem) but they were worried the implant couldn’t support the posts, and reserved the right to plump up the area with more fake bone if they needed during surgery. They worried the surrounding tissue had been damaged by the radiation (again, normal) and might not heal normally. Of course, the IV issue as always, but, putting him out with gas, then bringing in an ultrasound machine to find his veins is so commonplace with Blaine that the anesthesiologist didn’t even bother to consult with him this time. Been there, done that. And of course, pain management after the surgery, which is always an issue for someone who has been on heavy-duty narcotics for such an extended time. They told Blaine best case scenario, if his pain was managed, he could come home Friday … more likely Saturday, but maybe not until Sunday.

The doctor called me after the surgery yesterday morning (wondering, I’m sure, what kind of neglectful wife can’t be bothered to accompany her husband for his surgery) to tell me pretty much everything that could go right …………did. They were able to get the IV in without needing the ultrasound machine. The bone was not as damaged as they feared and was able to support the post. The tissue, they were correct, was too damaged for a normal suture closure, but they’re hopeful some extra healing time will be all that is needed. Bonus … they were even able to get a quasi-permanent tube in his ear, negating the need for an additional procedure.

Then, surprise of all surprises, Blaine wasn’t in that much pain. Really, nowhere near what anyone expected.

So they let him come home.


A day EARLIER than expected!

And when he got home, he could HEAR! And wasn’t in that much pain! And was one step closer to having TEETH!

And was home EARLY, in case I haven’t made that clear!!!

We are so accustomed to living the Murphy’s Law of Medicine, that we didn’t quite know what to do with ourselves.

His blood pressure hadn’t bottomed out during surgery. His trach tube hadn’t gotten blocked in recovery. He hadn’t had any uncontrollable bleeding, or excessive pain. There weren’t any medical or surgical surprises or complications. As best we can tell, he didn’t contract staph in the hospital. He didn’t hit a deer on the drive home, his engine didn’t blow up, he wasn’t arrested for drunk driving, or abducted by aliens.

By golly, he was home a day early and in pretty good shape, for an old guy with cancer.

For one brief, shining moment, we were so excited, we considered ripping off our clothes and painting our bodies purple and doing a happy dance on the roof of the local Baskin Robbins.

Luckily, good sense (and lack of purple paint) prevailed.

But we were definitely enjoying the euphoric high of a successful, non-complicated surgery.

Ahhhhh. Life is good.

Then the phone rang.

MRI results = inconclusive.

Well, shit.


Connie F-G said...

I have purple paint you guys can have!!! MN Vikings purple.

Sorry the MRI didn't have anything real new to say.

Welcome home Blaine. Coming home fast burner you!!!


Anonymous said...


What wonderful news! Your family has dealt with so many ups, downs, "crap sandwiches" and then successes! Let's just chalk this one up to good news, as two inconclusives are better than bad news, right??? Glad to know that all are home safe from surgeries, and speeches! Have a great weekend and enjoy your family!


Anonymous said...

Happy Dance-----how superfantabulous to read such wonderful news!
Sending hugs and love.......Ice Girls

jadine said...

I'm rootin' for ya, Blaine!

"Inconclusive" is fancy-talk for "I don't know", which is *super* in a medical opinion, isn't it? :)

Hang in there; ride the current wave of goodness, and get yourself healed-up! (And ready for the next round...ugg).

Patricia said...

You have GOT to be kidding about the MRI. I can't believe that has happened yet AGAIN to you all. I will pray that Blaine continues to heal and that he rests well...and that YOU can rest well so you can help take care of him and the rest of the crew!

Lisa said...

Well - at least some things went right! Can't they just biopsy the lump for goodness sake, this is completely stupid - no offence to the American health service - but really!! Take the good news about the surgery and the ok pain and enjoy that some things do come together. Fingers, toes and eyes crossed for whatever they are going to do next to Blaines shoulder. love and prayers.

cakeburnette said...

So glad to hear that Blaine's latest surgery went WELL FOR A CHANGE! Hope you all have a great weekend!

Patty House said...

Well at least there were a few other things to celebrate!

So what next since the MRI was inconclusive?

Anonymous said...

I'm so glad the surgery went so well!
Blaine will have chompers in no time.
If the MRI was inconclusive, (medical talk for "I don't think it's anything, but to save our asses, lets do more testing!!" is a PET scan next?

Meg from Americus

Anonymous said...

Thrilled to hear that the surgery was successful!! Blaine will be eating steak in no time. :) By the way, I love the new song! I think this could be my girls theme song!
Birmingham, AL

Amy and Jason said...

What the hell? "ripping off our clothes and painting our bodies purple and doing a happy dance on the roof of the local Baskin Robbins." Where do you come up with this s***? LMAO...once again, at work, getting stares. Note to self - STOP READING KRISTIE'S BLOG AT WORK! Too funny!!!!

Glad the surgery was so successful. Perhaps it is a sign of things to come. Hope "inconclusive" just means it's nothing to worry about. Keeping my fingers crossed!

Love to you all,


Anonymous said...

Hooray!! He's home!! Hooray!! He can hear!!! Hooray!!! No major pain.. All in all, a very good result! Here's hoping that inconclusive means "nothing to find"..

I'd toast you but it's too early, even for me..

Rosemary in Albany NY

briana said...

I'm happy to hear that things went better than expected with the surgery and that Blaine made it home early. Too bad you don't have any purple paint. I'd love to see a picture of that! Sorry to hear about the inconclusive MRI.

Sue said...

I'm so glad that Blaine's surgery went well, and that he is home sooner than expected! I hope that the doctors/technicians/whatever get a handle on a feasible way to check out the lump in his shoulder soon. The word "inconclusive" should be banned from the doctor's vocabulary.

Take care,

Sue (ALL-Kids)

Kristin Hicks said...

So glad to hear that all went so well. YAY that he can hear and isn't in much pain!

Congrats Blaine!

I agree with everyone else- the purple paint pictures would have made an EXCELLENT addition to the blog. Maybe tonight?

Kristin in NC

Marysienka said...

*Doing a happy (purple paint-less) happy dance*
I'm so happy for you guys! You've had more than your share of crappy situations so this successful surgery was more than needed in every aspect!

(sucks for the mri though. ugh.)
Enjoy the weekend!

Renee in Canada

Jen from WI said...

So happy Blaine is home early and everything went well... except for that dang MRI. Hey, two outta three ain't bad. Hang in there guys!

Anonymous said...

I am glad everything went crack me up especially the last few lines of the post! I love reading your updates! YOU ARE GREAT!

Ashlee in VA

Alice said...

I rarely curse, but am close to doing so (Kristie does enough for me, thank you very much!). What the H____ is wrong with those Dr.'s anyway?

Oh, and yes, I am grateful Blaine is home early and doing so well. If anyone deserves it, he certainly does. What a brave man!

If you do do the paint dance, I want to be forewarned and I want you to put it on You Tube!