We have spent almost an entire year waiting for today's surgery. It is so hard to believe that it is actually over.
While we had been told that they were going to split his tongue, lip, and lower mandible, they did not. What an amazingly huge blessing. When Dr. Bilmeier came to talk with us, he said, "I have some good news." That is not something we generally have in abundance. But this really was huge. They did go through the upper/back of the palate, so that is very sore. Will does have a tracheostomy, so that has a whole new set of challenges. But his face is not at all disfigured. The only drawback at this point is the realization that he may need further surgery to repair his palate. As things heal, he may develop a nasal, cleft palate type of speech...which they can correct. So overall, this was very good news. The recovery will be significantly easier.
Will has quickly learned how to cover the trach opening so he can talk. He is difficult to understand, but is learning how to manage it. He also can fingerspell, so that was handy in the beginning.
We had lots of company today so we were never alone. Becky G came with an amazing lunch. Matt joined us. Then Beth P also hung out with us. Surgery ended, they all left, and we waited for him to head to ICU. While we waited, Becky R brought Olive Garden (pasta!) for dinner. We never had to think about food and were totally distracted with friends and great conversation. It amazes me (and those with whom we come into contact) how the body of Christ has supported and loved us through no merit of our own.
So we finally got to see Will. He started finger spelling but decided that was painfully difficult and quickly became expert at covering the trach so he could talk. He never misses a beat. What he goes through and just keeps coping is astounding.
We skyped with the kids back home who were also able to say hi to their brother. That was very cool...we are so glad that this hospital is finally wireless!
We are in ICU in a corner room that the nurse laughs and calls a suite. It is a huge room with huge windows and an amazing view of the sunset.
Will is resting fairly comfortably. He did evict the contents of his stomach once, but zofran quickly fixed that problem. :) What a great drug. Billy and I are exhausted and are going to crash soon. The room is huge, so we are actually able to both stay...