Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Surgery lasted about 4-1/2 hours. Dr. K did three bypasses and said everything went really well. Mom and Dad came to wait with me, and Randy's brother Bill with his wife Gladys and daughter Anita. Randy's brother Gerald also came to wait. Anita had to leave around noon to take her son Noah to the doctor, and Bill & Gladys had to leave just arter 2:00 to be home when Anita's daughter Lindsay got home from school. Mom and Dad waited until I was notified that I could go to ICU to see Randy. They had driven up from Pigeon Forge (where they were taking a mini-vacation) and were heading back to their camper. Gerald went back to ICU with me. I was prepared for the IVs, ventilator, and drains, so the only surprise I got was that they had shaved Randy's head. (In case they had to do more than relocate the brain shunt.) He was pretty uncomfortable and fighting the ventilator, so our first visit was short. A couple of hours later, he was more alert but still fighting the ventilator. Gerald went home, and Randy's brother Gary arrived. He stayed a good while, until 8:00 or so. He went to ICU with me twice. As he was leaving, their cousin Kathy arrived and stayed a little while. When I went back to see Randy at 8:30, they'd removed the ventilator but were having trouble controlling his pain. Morphine in his IV didn't seem to be helping. When he became alert enough later to take oral pain medication, it made a big difference. At 9:30 they asked me to wait in the waiting room while they put him on the side of the bed and let his feet dangle for a few minutes. When I returned, they'd moved a straight-backed chair into the room and left a pillow and blankets for me to stay the night, even though they advised me to go home and rest. I told them that 1) I wanted to stay with him, and 2) I'd been up since 3:00 a.m. and it wasn't safe for me to drive anyway. So I managed to sleep a little. He had a pretty good night, all things considered. ICU isn't the best place to try to get any rest. At 6:00 I went to take a "bird bath" in the ladies' room, changed clothes and had a light breakfast. Then I made all the ncessary calls.

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