Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Steve-o's Surgery Update

My dad is definitely loved. By God, by his wife, his children, his parents, his siblings, and countless family and friends. We were overwhelmed, in the best possible way, by the amount of people who came to show their support for us yesterday. He had the great surgery yesterday, but before I tell you how it went, here are some numbers:

(1) stint, specially made for use in the brain, flown in from Boston Scientific
(2) Boston Scientific representatives flown in for the surgery (one from Cali, one from Hot-lanta atlanta)
(4) weeks since he had the first mild stroke
(5) the approx. number of surgeons who currently perform this type of surgery 
(16) the amount of times the Doctor has done this surgery
(6-17) the amount of people at any given time we had in the waiting room
(47) years young my dad is

Sunday- my parents, Drew and Lauren came up here to have dinner with us and then bring me back home so I could be with them all day on Monday. We had a scrumptious turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, rolls, apple cake, pecan pie (not really, that didn't turn out so well). Basically pre-Thanksgiving dinner. Please tell me it doesn't look like this man has an artery that is 90% blocked!

I have never seen two people play so hard with each other! All evening these two were rough-housing. You'd never guess the older kid was going in for surgery the next morning (6 am mind you!)

Zach and Reagan stayed back home, and stuck to their normal schedule. Casey was a huge help with Reagan while Zach was in classes and practice. 

We all headed home that night, us three girls in the backseat, boys in the front. Pretty sure Drew and Lauren were texting each other the whole way home since they were a whole two feet apart from each other. My mom and I noticed we were playing the same game on our cell phones... I knew as soon as she asked me what my high score was that she was about to brag, yet downplay, her superior Brick-Breaker skillz. I replied sheepishly, "well I just started... so I um, only have 950 points." She chuckled "mwahaha.... {pause} not bad. I only have 9,000 and some points."  
The next morning they had to be at the hospital bright and early at 6 am. Never mind the fact that when I woke up they were still rushing around the house at 6:20 am, true to their style :) Drew and I got there a little later, and were met by a room-full of family and friends, waiting patiently with Steve. We told my dad goodbye, which everyone agreed was the hardest thing to do, and then overtook/conquered the waiting room for the remainder of the day.
The nurse Jason called us on the hour, every hour, to let us know the progress of everything. It was wonderful. In between the phone calls we entertained visitors, stuffed our faces with snacks including brownies and cookies, we were brought Chik-Fil-A (a rarity in these parts), played (and some learned) sudoku...
played a few games of Sequence....
And studied. Grandpa (retired Veterinarian) helped me study for my test on anatomy (a pig in particular) that I had the next day. He was a HUGE help! There were a few that stretched his memory a little, but he said I could just fill the answer in with "my grandpa said I didn't need to know that one". Our crowd didn't leave much room for other patients family members so we moved to a separate, much larger and more private place, closer to ICU, later on. Before we knew it surgery was OVER!! You could feel the weight lift off the room as soon as we got that call.We got to see him right away, before they took him to take the CT angiogram and post-op. he was slightly delirious but recognized all of us. Told me my mom some hot chick had to shave his groin (they went in through his leg). The nurse standing next to him commented, "that would be me." (HAHAHA- awkard.) He hugged/kissed us all, gave Drew a high-five and off he rolled. 

Talking to the doctor afterwards, he told us that the artery that was 90% blocked had progressed to over 95% blocked in just the last 3 weeks. He wasn't kidding when he said he was a walking time bomb. How lucky we were to get in so quickly! How lucky we were for everything, but I'll get to that later.  

And here's the brave guy!
With the wife... (who was brave too)

I was amazed that he had a massive procedure done and just a few hours later he was on NO pain meds at all! He said he instantly felt better, and despite being a little groggy, you could really tell in just the way he spoke and his mannerisms too. 
The Fam- my brother Drew, my dad Steve, my mom Sheila, and me at the very end of the night before Drew and I had to head back to school.

The mild stroke last month was a warning sign. We would have never known until it was too late that there was even a problem. Every night since then when Zach and I have been praying, he has asked for a miracle to occur during surgery. Something that is unexplainable and that would only bring glory to God. Sunday night, before dinner, we prayed all together again for a miracle. With all things considered, it was amazing how everything worked out in the end. Dr. Gorhan put it, he has a new lease on life now, and I think everyone agrees with that, especially my dad! Here is a link on the special wingspan stint that was used, it has just recently been FDA approved. 

I would also like to add that tonight Drew was taking my dad to the ISU game. No big deal, he only just got released from the intensive care unit today.


Anonymous said...

Ashley, you have done an amazing job describing Monday's events!!! Grandma and I are so proud of you!!

Bob Ritter said...

Ashley, thank you for the up date. I understand more now than we have all along. It is amazing how your dad had recovered and living a normal or Normal life. Delores and I both wish your family the very best.
Bob and Delores Ritter

Brandie said...

Ash....why didn't you tell me sooner about Mr. Meiner. I would have brought you lunch that day!!! Geez...where's the love girl??? Just playing.....glad to hear the Mr. Meiner is doing well...send him my well wishes!!!
Miss you....