Thursday, March 31, 2016

Surgery Day

On March 7, 2016 Levi had surgery in hopes to remove the cyst that was in his jaw area.  By the time that the day of his surgery had come, however, his cyst seemed almost gone from the outside.  In fact, when Dr. Grimmer went in the get it out, he never could find a defining cyst.  

When Levi had his biopsy, his original ENT doctor (Dr. Siddoway) said that in rare cases, when a biopsy is done, a cyst will disappear.  He said it is almost like the body sees this foreign invasion and starts to work overtime to correct it.  It's like it finally kicks into gear.  I was there when they did the biopsy and they did take a LOT out but there was still a definite bump under his skin afterwards.  So I can't help but think that what Dr. Siddoway said rarely happens, actually happened.

But even though Dr. Grimmer didn't see a definite cyst, he still did the rest of the surgery that was planned.   It's hard to explain in writing but they basically scrapped that whole tract area (from about the tip on his chin all the way down his neck).  They also took out part of his Hyoid bone.  His tract went through this bone so in order to get it all, they had to take out part of this bone.

The first thing Levi said to us when he was coming out of sedation was, "I don't know why I worried so much."  I won't go into details but lets just say that Levi is extremely anxious around needles.  Throughout this whole experience, anything with needles (which unfortunately has been the majority of it) has set us back quite a bit.  It takes a long time to calm him down enough to get things done.

But he had an amazing anesthesiologist who not only told him stories of big men passing out on him but also reassured him that he could "knock him out" before sticking in the IV.  That was all Levi needed to hear because after that, he was just fine.

The surgery went well and the only reason we really needed to stay at the hospital was to make sure that his drain was ok to take out of his neck.

But while we were waiting, we had wonderful nurses and staff that made our time there so much better than it could have been.  We even played around with one nurse in particular.
And she made sure that she found him a donut!
David's work (HHI) has been so wonderful through this all.  There have been so many tests and doctor's appointments that they have willingly let David be a part of.  Both David and I stayed in the hospital with Levi that first night.  The next day, HHI told David he could stay longer if needed and then sent Levi a little gift.

Eventually the drain was ready to come out and he got to go home the following night.  Poppy happened to be in the hospital for that and I have to say I'm grateful.  I have seen Levi go through a lot of stuff, physically and emotionally.  It was a blessing for me to not have to watch Levi get so scared with them taking it out and then not having to actually watch them take it out.

A lot happened after the surgery but I'll journal that later.  I do, however, want to end this with expressing just how grateful I am that Heavenly Father helped us in the ways that He did.  I'm so grateful He prompted Brandy to send my Dad out here for the surgery.  I could have never fully relaxed with anyone else watching the other boys for such a long period of time.  I'm also grateful for capable doctors, nurses, staff, and residents who did such a wonderful job at taking care of Levi.  I'm grateful for all the people who given to charities like the Ronald McDonald House.  They fed David and I and provided a place to get away for a few moments while the other parent stayed with Levi.  And I'm grateful to be able to see these blessings in my life.  Grateful that our Heavenly Father
wants us to be taken care of like this.

Tuesday, March 29, 2016

Poppy Time!

Before Levi's surgery, Poppy flew in to stay with us for 10 days.  I am so close to my Dad and always have been.  But to watch my boys get to spend one on one time with him was priceless.

Anyone who knows my Dad knows that he is a teaser.  And he loves to laugh.  So teasing his grandkids makes him laugh!  I can hear him laughing now even as I am typing this.  Some of my favorite moments was when Brigham would try to get him back.  I would hear little whispers coming from Brigham as he was telling his brothers what he was going to do next to get Poppy back.  I smiled often during those days as I got to watch the boys get to know even better the silly man that I call Dad.

I'm truly grateful to be blessed with a father that not only loves his grandchildren but likes to play with them too.  Lots of "playing" happened during those days.  We sure do miss him....

 Poppy and the boys couldn't even wait to get over the divider thing to hug each other.  In fact, it was so sweet watching my father try to get down the escalator (in the area that David, the boys, and I couldn't pass).  The people in front of him were standing on it as it was making its way down but that wasn't fast enough for Poppy.  He ran the few steps back up the escalator and then down the stairs so he could get there faster.  That is a memory that I will keep forever, I'm sure.
 Look at me surrounded by all these handsome men/boys!
The boys were ganging up on Poppy and David with the Nerf guns.  The boys made sure that they had the big working guns while they gave David and Poppy the misfit guns.

But after a while Poppy gave up and just started chucking the Nerf darts at the boys!
Poppy brought with him, from Oklahoma, the game Bean Boozled.   You use a spinner to find out what type of Jelly Belly bean that you get to try.  You don't know which flavor it is; only what it looks like.  I don't like Jelly Beans as it is so as you can imagine, this is really a nasty game for me.
 Some of the names of the gross beans are lawn clippings, canned dog food, and as you can see from this picture, barf!
 The men/boys roasted marshmallows with homemade roasting sticks.  I love my redneck family :)
There was a LOT of laughter in our house while Poppy was here.  I think we have a happy household as it is, but Poppy truly did bump it up a notch or two.  It was so very welcomed and we miss him very much.

Monday, March 28, 2016

Miracles From Heaven

So much has happened and one day I will get caught up.  At first it was the surgery and us just having too much fun with Poppy visiting but then Poppy went home and things with Levi's surgery site went wrong.  With parents and Levi worrying, many doctor visits, and now a mold problem in the house (seriously, this is why you should never wait to journal!) well, it is going to take a while to get caught up.  But before I do that I wanted to share my feelings from tonight before they are forgotten.  

A friend of mine wanted to go with me to see the movie Miracles From Heaven.  But she ended up getting sick and everything was just crazy around here so it didn't happen.

Today I was a little concerned about Levi.  It came to my mind that this all might be causing a little depression in him.  Levi is not a depressed person.  He is happiness in my eyes.  But something was off today.  It makes sense though.  He can't do much.  He can't go to school.  He can't physically play around with his brothers.  Because the surgery site is still open and infected, he is susceptible to more infections so up until this mold issue, I rarely let him leave the house.  Ironic now to realize how unsafe our house actually was.  Anyways,  I had been out and about when taking and picking the kids up from school as well as getting Ruger out to run around.  Levi had pretty much been in the hotel room the whole day.  It hit me how bored he must have been (and of course with my never-complaining-Levi, I wouldn't have known) around the time that David got back from work.  

Perfect timing because now that David was there, I could do anything I wanted with and for Levi.  So I asked him privately if he was depressed.  He said something about not being depressed unless he didn't realize what it was.  I explained it to him and he confirmed that he had been feeling that way.  I tried to get him to figure out a way to get him out that I was comfortable with.  After realizing that he needed "friend" time (which we have set up for tomorrow), I asked him if he wanted to watch a movie with me.  What I really wanted him to do was to get out and about and moving around but there really isn't much you can do when he is limited the way it is.  Plus, its snowing outside so....

After watching the trailer to Miracles From Heaven, he smiled real big and was ready to go.  I am so glad that we went to that movie and not another one.  It was just so perfect in so many ways.  

This poor family goes through a very hard time because of an illness in one of the daughters.  There doesn't seem to be a lot of hope at one point.  But the daughter has so much faith.  She believes things that her mother starts to lose faith in.  I'm watching this movie as this little girl is going through an MRI, needles, surgery, many doctor appointments and everything that Levi has been dealing with.  I watched as this poor girl had to fear death and then be ok with it.  Watching her family stress and trying to hide it from her but she knows.  Oh geez, I kept thinking of my son sitting next to me as we are watching this wonderful movie.

I'm also struggling with the Mom in this movie.  She is so diligent in making sure that her daughter is getting taken care of.  I watch as other members of her family get neglected.  The guilt and worry she feels.  But the one thing that was very different was watching her lose her faith.  Now, let me make this clear that I would never judge someone in that position.  I have lost my faith at a very dark period of my life.  But I had already been there and so through this whole thing with Levi, I haven't let go.  I've held on to that tightly.  But just because I'm holding on doesn't mean that I don't worry or feel guilty.

But instead of crying during that movie because of guilt, it was purely just because I felt connected in a way.  Watching this poor family go through hell and back.  But most importantly, watching a family go though a life lesson that made them love more in the end.  

There truly is no way of every fully understanding love and happiness without experiencing the complete opposite.  And as hard as that is to witness and be a part of, I will take it.