Our morning started w/ a wake-up call at 5:30. Usually, I would hit snooze at this time in the morning and roll over, but not today. I was dressed and ready for battle in less than ten minutes. Meagan and I brought Elias to the nurses station at 6:00 AM sharp as we were instructed and the preparations began. His vitals were taken, his was given a gown, we were informed on how the morning would go, and then we waited on deck. He was second in line for surgery but the wait was still substantial. Or at least it felt substantial.
A few minutes after 8:00, they came to get us. We all walked down to the surgical prep area and were given more instructions on what was to come. Our anesthesiologist came and told us that he would use an epidural for pain control unless something prevented it for some odd reason. (He did good Paul, thanks.) A few moments later, the surgeon (who has been absolutely wonderful) came and did a final inspection on Elias' leg and drew some possible incision areas. He was very assuring but also frank that he really didn't know what he would find or how things would turn out. Just to give an example, he told us that because of the shape of his leg, he couldn't apply a turniquette. What?!? Because of this, he might have to do part of the surgery today and close, then finish at a later date. Lots of unknown's.
Then the time came. We had to watch as they took him away. I'll never forget that for as long as I live. We walked to the surgical suite and then had to stop at a red line on the floor - the point of no return. (I think a Star Wars like space shield shoots up if unauthorized personnel cross the red line.) At this point, the nurse took Elias and we watched as they walked away. We stood there and waved "bye bye". Elias just stared and waved, and with his little sweet voice told us "bye bye", "bye bye", "bye bye"... no tears, no screaming, just "bye bye". Like he somehow knew that he'd be OK and was saying, "Dont' worry. I'll see ya later."
Then the wait began. We went for a short walk outside and got some crying out. We both needed to be alone and collect ourselves before we began "the wait". We had a very nice waiting room to ourselves. Nice TV, rocking chair, magazines, etc. It all seemed a little petty when someone you love is breathing on a machine and having one of their appedages severed. So, we prayed, called family, and listened to music. However, there's only so much of that you can do. You have to pass the time somehow or you just sit and think about it. And who wants to do that. So... I watched a little SportsCenter.
The phone rang at around 10:00. They had been in the O.R. for a little over an hour. It was one of the surgical nurses, "Elias is doing fine. Just wanted to let you know. " More praying, phone calls, and... yes, I watched a little more SportsCenter. You gotta pass the time somehow!
At about 11:00, the nurse called again. "We're just about done. Everything went great. Dr. Sanders is closing right now. He should be out to see you soon." Ahhhh.......
Dr. Sanders came in and was happy. We liked that. Things went very well - almost better than expected. No sutures/incision on the bottom of his residual limb or stump. (We say Residual Limb or RL in prosthetics.) Just a straight suture down the back. Wow! Wow! Wow! That is amazing! I'll provide more details on that later.
It is now almost 4:00 PM and Elias is in Mommy's lap. He's a little fussy but that's mainly because he can't get up and move like he wants. He has to stay fairly sedentary because the epidural is still in to provide pain meds. This is our biggest prayer request right now - that he will be content and stay still. He is all boy and likes to be on the move. This has proved to be a challenge but we know that we'll get through it. We'll write more later as we can.
Thank you all for your prayers. God bless-
Chase, Meagan and the amazing Elias