It’s amazing how fast the time is passing considering how little I do all day. This is day 6 in the ICU. I know the hospital pretty well, thought I’m slighly less fluent with the layout of the hospital as I am with the cafeteria menu.  Our days consist more or less of reading in the waiting area, sitting by my mom’s side, eating, drinking coffee (I separate these two as they involve separate trips downstairs to break things up), and making maybe one venture outside.  Today’s big trip was out of pick up some gifts for my brother’s kids since I didn’t have much of a chance to finish Xmas shopping over the past few days.

My mom is sleeping now after one last BIG day.  She had her plastic surgery today to repair the fractures in her face.  Ironically, this was the “minor” procedure compared to the last three surgeries.  We were very relieved to have this work done today.  The doctors said this procedure could have waited a couple of weeks, but it would still mean going under and having the tube. . . .  so, better now than recovering for a week or two and then doing this all again.

We had been prepared for this procedure by the cosmetic team over the past few days.  We were told that that CT scans showed fractures on the left cheek bone near the ear (where the “face” was attached the skull, we were told), above her left sinus, and around her left eye.  You could really see the damage as well.  Her left cheek and eye were visibly set back from where they once rested. Effectively, her “face” was no longer attached to her skull as it once was.  A couple days ago I was discussing this with the doctor and asking how they were going to fix it.  A pin here and a pin there, I was told.  The doctor said it was not going to be a really big deal, but she wouldn’t know the extend of the damage until she ran some “tests”.  Curiously, I asked, “how exactly do you test how well one’s face attached to one’s head?”  The doctor replied, “I  jiggle her face to see how loose it is.”  . . .  I’m still not sure to what extent my face displayed the horror that ran through my mind.  To those medically inclined who are reading this I apologize in advance, but . . . . that sounds totally rediculous.  Jiggle her face?!?!?!?!  As if my mom is some cartoon character with a rubber visage.  I mean, where did the doctor get her medical degree, Disneyland?!?!?!?!  What’s next? Is Mickey coming into to hug my mom better (which considering the broken ribs would be a terrible treatment strategy).

Well, Disney degree or not, the doctors were outstanding and I have no right to critcize them.  She went in for this procedure this morning at around 11am and what was supposed to be a 4 hour procedure was done in 2.  She was back up in her room shortly after and was resting (sedated) comfortably (very sedated) in the ICU.  She came to shortly after coming back upstairs and was certainly groggy, but pretty responsive.  Her face looked great. Only one clean incision above her left eye that looks like it will heal really well.  There is another entry point in her mouth, but that is obviously not visible.  The cheek was clearly back in the right position, which will make my mom really happy.

So, it’s Xmas eve.  My sister and I are on duty at the hospital. My bother and his family were just here for a visit. We had dinner in the cafeteria and exchanged some gifts.  We’re hoping to leave later tonight and stay at my brother’s house so we can have Xmas with the kids in the morning before coming back.  My mom is resting very soundly right now.  They always give her the best pain meds right after surgery, so she’ll sleep well this holy night.