Friday, June 17, 2011

John's 3 Month Vacation

Ok - so it's not really a vacation! This is how you get time off work without going on a vacation. John had surgery the end of April to remove his colon. It was a 5 1/2 hour surgery, as they did a double loop ileostomy and formed a j-pouch. After 6 days in the hospital, he was sent home to recover so they could do the takedown surgery in 6 weeks. Our time at home was spent learning how to care for his temporary ostomy, doctor appointments, a trip to the ER, an infection, and more tests. He also was told he couldn't lift anything over 5 pounds or use his ab muscles in exercise. He did manage to rest and heal during that time. After only 6 weeks of recovery he was healed enough to go in for the take down surgery and get rid of the bag! He was really glad to be getting rid of that!! So a week ago, he had a successful surgery. They told us the normal time to be in the hospital for this surgery would be 3-4 days. After 2 days, he was well enough to go home! Now he is in the process of recovering from this surgery and hopes to be back to work by the middle of July. He is doing well - but still can't lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk or do strenuous exercise.

Things we have learned or are grateful for during this period of time:

1. PRIESTHOOD BLESSINGS and PRAYERS work and we are grateful for them!!! So many times we literally felt strength that wasn't our own that helped us through difficult times. WE KNOW THE LORD IS MINDFUL OF US and BLESSES US!
2. We have wonderful daughters and a son-in-law who are very supportive and gave of their time to sit with their mom while dad was in the long surgery. (Holly used vacation time to come from Arizona so she could be here for her Dad. Heather and Brian also took time off from work and school so they could support their Dad.) They also call and check on us often. WE LOVE OUR CHILDREN!
3. We have a wonderful extended family and friends who have also kept us in their prayers and supported us during this time. THANK YOU - we really love you!
4. OUR WARD FAMILY IS THE BEST!!! John's 2nd surgery was on our Ward's Temple Day of Dedication. We were so sad that we couldn't participate in it as it has been planned for quite some time and we have been preparing as a ward for this special day. Unfortunately, that is the day the surgeon could do the surgery. We know many ward members put John's name on the prayer roll and prayed for him that day. We are sure that is why John's 2nd hospital stay was so short and that he did so well! WE FEEL BLESSED TO BE A PART OF THIS WARD!
5. We learned that we need to TRUST IN THE LORD. There was a time when we were especially frustrated and felt like we had no control on what was happening. During one of our discussions about it we decided we needed to trust the Lord and the promptings he had given us earlier in choosing the doctor. We knew we needed to trust that the doctor was giving us the help we needed and that the Lord would make up any difference. Our FAITH has grown!
6. It is possible to fall even deeper in love with each other!!! OUR LOVE FOR ONE ANOTHER HAS TRULY GROWN DEEPER! After being around each other 24/7 we find we still like being around each other and depend on each other in many ways. We think that we can even survive retirement together. :)
7. It is important to BE GRATEFUL! So many do so much for us and we know we need to show more gratitude for what we have been given.

I am sure that there is more we will learn as we continue on this healing process and that as we look back on it, we will find even more ways that the Lord has blessed us. In the meantime, we will keep trusting the Lord and doing our part to help John feel better.

On a side note....
A few weeks before John's first surgery, he was released from being High Priest group leader and was called to be our ward's executive secretary in a new bishopric. The new bishopric has been really understanding about him not being able to do all his duties and supportive of his recovery. He is looking forward to getting well so he can take over all his new responsibilities and serve the Lord the best he can.

This is how John is spending his summer vacation so far .... medications at 8am, 10 am, noon, 3pm, 5pm, 8pm, and midnight. (Not to mention all the time spent in John's new reading room)
Walks and naps are also a highlight! I BET YOU ARE ALL JEALOUS :)

1 comment:

  1. We are SO happy to hear the second surgery went so well! I just think, no more bag! There is a positive side to that surgery. It is amazing what our bodies can handle and even more so what love can handle. We love you both and we hope that recovery goes smoothly!