Saturday, February 28, 2015

Christopher's surgery went as well as expected yesterday. He was taken off the vent last night. More to update later - wanted you all know know this now. Thank you for your continued prayers! 

Sunday, February 22, 2015

Surgeons hoped to have repaired complications in OR. Chris remains in a medically induced coma until further notice. Mentally, he can't take much more. We need your prayers. 
Christopher is headed back into the OR for an emergency surgery due to complications. Please say a prayer for us. More news later. 

Monday, February 16, 2015

"All Great Things Are Preceded by Chaos"

Today was surgery #26. This was a big surgery, not the most important. The most important was #1, the one that saved his life. (thank you, Dr. Humphries) Chris was anxious, but brave. This surgery lasted 11 hours, and involved one urologist, two trauma surgeons, and one plastic surgeon.

The urologist was not able to remove the stent in Chris' ureter yet, as he was not 100% that it would not leak.

The two trauma surgeons worked long and hard (7 hours) to repair the intestines that were damaged last April. All went as expected, and Chris' vitals remained stable the entire time. The trauma surgeons removed three pieces of small intestines, and Chris is left with 192cm of small intestine. They also took out two pieces of large intestines, where the colostomy was and piece of the left side that was involved in his fistulas. The colostomy and fistulas no longer exist, and will be closed from the inside out and packed to heal. The plastic surgeon was able to insert a biometric mesh where Chris' fascia (muscle on top of intestines) once was, and was successful in closing him up the middle. This is what we have prayed for. The next step is to ensure he does not get any infection over the next week.

Chris will be in a lot of pain over the next few weeks, but does enjoy having visitors from time to time. We know you all care, and will let you know when he is feeling up to seeing his friends and family.

Thank you for the prayers, the encouragement, the support, and love. We are celebrating a successful 26th surgery. Now, we wait.

Jamie Lynn

Just breathe, and have faith...#SparkmanStrong

Friday, February 6, 2015

Medical Memories

It's been a long seven months. When Chris came home from the hospital last July, it was such a big adjustment that our updates never quite made it past a second thought. Also, Chris and I just needed time to ourselves to process a lot of our journey thus far. I had a lot to figure out taking care of him with wounds, dressings, etc. It was a big shock for me, to say the least.

Since being home, we have made new memories. This year has been sorrowfully sweet, and we both have been pushed to new limits over & over again. We have laughed, we have cried, and we have grown so much in our situation. 

"Bloom where you are planted, right?

Our goal was to keep living. We pushed each other to enjoy life, regardless of the side-steps of this season that we have woken up in. This was our second year of marriage, and we lived it to the best that we could.  From July 2014 to now, here are a few of our medical memories. 

First night home was rough, but we were so happy to have him back.

Chris was instantly inspired to walk. He wanted it to get easier. Crawl, walk, run.

Home Depot has volunteered time and resources to make a sort of "oasis" for Chris to relax in. Once the weather became cooler, he was able to take deep breaths on his swing and watch the dogs play. 

Chris' best friend Mike and his father Larry spent time and money to surprise him with a few modifications on his pride & joy, the 87' Chevy.

On Labor Day, we made our first "social" trip to my parents house. It was a big deal for us! Woundcare kept us stuck at home up until this point. We figured out what worked for us, and made it happen. Living life!

A BIG goal for Chris was to come down off pain medicine so he could drive his truck again. It was a beautiful Fall day! (I was scared to death letting my precious patient drive. ;)
The Urologist told us the ureter wouldn't heal, and it did! We found out in November, and a drain was removed. It was a happy, happy day.
The Thursday before Chris was shot, he wanted to take me to the gun range. We never made it. This was a special date for us in December, and I couldn't stop laughing at how funny he looks shooting his AR with his TPN hooked up.
As a soldier, this was a BIG moment for Chris. His Brigidier General made a house visit in December to check up on his soldier. Chris got "coined", and was BEAMING all night. Proud Army wife. :)
No explanation necessary! ;)
Tshirts that a friend of ours made for us. Chris' strength has always be modeled after Christ. Our bodies are vessels that carry Him inside of us. Christ is strong FOR us. :)

I made a "road map" for Chris. It inspired us both to keep LIVING. We were able to check off most of these goals, and we have GOOD memories (among the bad) to reflect on from this year.
Last office appointment with Dr. Renz, Chris' trauma surgeon, before his 26th OR visit scheduled in February 2015. It's a BIG surgery, with many doctors involved. It will last anywhere from 6-12 hours, and Chris will remain hospitalized for another month.

All of my life in every season
You are still God
I have a reason to sing
I have a reason to worship

Wednesday, January 28, 2015

8/10

When Chris and I walked out of the trauma hallway on July 10 at Kennestone, we told ourselves to expect the sidesteps. We told ourselves that home was going to be a new season, and just one step closer to a full recovery. We have had many wonderful days at home, and we have had some hard painful ones as well. Chris enjoys his time in the (new) backyard. Home Depot gifted us a new fence, a cedar arbor for shade, a swing, and patio chairs for him to sit in! It's truly a wonderful gift. He enjoys watching the dogs play. He has been walking on the treadmill to stay active and we take little adventures here and there to get him out of the house.
We told ourselves side steps are going to happen. And they have. We had to go to the ER this week with severe abdominal pain and vomiting. Chris was admitted back to Kennestone for 48 hours when they found abnormalities in his gallbladder and kidney. Chris had "sludge" in his gallbladder from build up due to not eating (no reason for the liver or gallbladder to dump sludge into small bowel). While it was one of the worst pains to date for him, he is feeling much better after they inserted a drain into his gallbladder. Side note: there is officially NO more real estate on Chris' stomach for any more tubes.
Chris says he would appreciate continued prayers for his body, specifically his ureter that was hit by some pellets (tube between bladder and kidney). If it is healed when they do a test in a few weeks, Chris can eliminate a large amount of pain from the catheter and nephristomy tube (in his kidney).
We are home, again. Whew.
Thank you for the continued prayers.
Love, Chris and Jamie Lynn