Friday, February 20, 2009

Rob's Osteochondral Allograft

After a long seven months of anticipation, the day finally arrived! Rob got the call that they had a donor for his allograft surgery. We were very excited that the day had finally arrived, but at the same time we were filled with much anxiety about what we should expect for the day of the surgery as well as the months of recovery to come. Rob isn't much for surprises and likes to know exactly what's happening and when it's going to happen. But this was out of our control and he rolled with it all like a champ.
We were scheduled to arrive at the hospital (which is in La Jolla/San Diego area) at 10am. We left the house at about 7:30 to make the trek and arrived at the hospital right on time at 9:45. From there we went through the process. I must say that they had everything pretty much organized for us very nicely. They had a schedule of events planned out for us .... meeting with Dr. Bugbee, filling out paperwork (he's part of a case study), blood work, insurance, anesthesia, etc. His surgery was scheduled for 4:30 and we finished the schedule a little early so there was a little waiting, but overall it went flawless. The only bad part is most of where we needed to be was downstairs in the basement - which is also where the CAFETERIA happens to be located. That doesn't seem fair to a person who hasnt' eaten since before midnight the night before!! So that hour wait was spent smelling the delicious smells of some great food.
The hospital staff was amazing! They are without a doubt The Ritz-Carlton of hospitals. Not because of the decor or physical environment of the actual hospital itself, but because of the people. You can teach people how to give a shot, take blood, fill out paperwork, but you can't teach people how to be nice. These people were all so very genuinely kind, nice, and HELPFUL! It didn't matter who you asked. EVERYONE was helpful. At one point Rob and I had gotten off the elevator and were kinda looking around at where we were supposed to go, and this guy walked up from behind up and could tell we were trying to figure things out. So he asked if he could help us find something. He worked in the cafeteria and could have easily been on his way, but no he took the time when he saw the obvious. This happened throughout our three days there. Not once were we disappointed with the service of their staff. Even when we left they gave us a card and thanking us for our business. The nurse said we (the hospital) are a business and we appreciate that you would choose us!
Ok - I'll get off my soap box and share some pictures of our day with you:

This is a picture outside the hospital.

We waited back in pre-op for about an hour and we got a little bored so we thought we'd have a little fun posing for the camera. =) This is Rob and his *I'm being special good* pose.

This is his *I'm too sexy for this gown* pose. (Get it?!?- lol I'm funny!!)

Anti-slip socks - a new fashion statement

This is his *I've changed my mind and I want to go home* pose

This is his *Thinker* pose

We were trying to make his cap into a chef hat for the *Hell's Kitchen* pose.

I had to leave him after pre-op when they gave him his anesthesia so I went exploring. La Jolla is a very beautiful part of San Diego. This was the view from the back of the hospital. It's a golf course right on the water. You really can't see the water in this picture, but it was simply beautiful.

Rob, being the loving husband that he is, wanted me to eat lunch, but how can you eat lunch when your husband is sitting there STARVING. So I waited until after I couldn't be with him anymore and then went and ate while he was in surgery. This was my lunch. Yummy!
My aunt who lives in San Diego was kind enough to come and sit with me while Rob was in surgery and recovery. After Dr. Bugbee came in and told me that the surgery went well we headed over to the cafeteria to eat a little dinner. I forgot to take a picture though. Aw man!
Rob scared me because he wasn't waking up after surgery. He was fine but it's a little scary when you don't really know what's going on. His surgery was over at 6:30 and at 9:00 he was STILL in recovery. The waiting room was empty and that's a very daunting feeling. I had no way to the recovery room or anyway to ask what was going on. I found a way around in while in controlled panic mode and found out that he had just woken up. The strange thing is although it takes him awhile to wake up from anesthesia, once he's awake he's awake. He's not all groggy like I thought he would be all things considering.
I finally got to see him at about 9:30 once they had him up in his room. It was horrible. He was in so much pain and it was written all over his face. It's a yucky feeling watching someone you love in pain and not be able to do anything to take that pain away. It was pretty gut wrenching and broke my heart. Although I knew that it would be worth it in the end for him (easy for me to think) .... he was thinking "WHAT DID I JUST DO?!?! I ended up leaving him to his nurse at around 10:30 and stayed at my Aunt Sharon's house. They have an extra room and were kind enough to offer it for me to use while Rob was in the hospital (Thanks Aunt Sharon!!). He was in pain and it wasn't going to be a fun night. He wanted something to help him sleep, but he had just come out of the anethesia and they don't like to give people something to sleep after they've just woken up. Usually people are still groggy and still want to sleep. This was not the case for Rob. Not a good night at all.

I came to see him the next morning. I wanted to be there for him and also when Dr. Bugbee came to talk to him and say what was in store for him next. He looked better, but was still in a lot of pain. Dr. Bugbee came in and was very enthusiastic about the surgery and how things went. He explained that the Physical Therapist would be there to work with him twice at some point in the day. Rob had a hard time conceiving that less than 24 hours later he would be up and walking. He was allowed to put up to 25% of his weight on that leg (which is really just putting your toes and the ball of your foot on the floor) while he walks with crutches. He is also supposed to be doing some exercises on his own and also passive exercises with someone bending it for him. It's hard for him to get his head around because it's so different from what he was supposed to do with his last microfracture surgery.
The PT lady was really nice and very patient when working with him. And she said he was doing amazingly well. The good news is that that they've arrange for a PT to come to the house so we don't have to worry about getting him around. So that's really nice and very helpful.
This is a machine that wraps around your foot and every 2 minutes it inflates. It's to help the circulation and prevent blood clots from forming. I think I'd like to take that thing home for me!!

My poor husband.

He really didn't sleep at all throughout the day. Who can really in a hospital. Just when you fall asleep they come and take your vitals or come to do something!! lol But this is a picture I managed to capture while he dozed for about 5 mintues at a time.

Rob talking to his parents.

The new knee brace. This one allows from mobility but locks into place so he can't bend it more than what's allowed.

Another view of the brace.

This is a view of the stictches and a swollen iodine stained knee. And of course Dr. Bugbee's initials so he knows what knee to operate on. =)
A BIG thank you to all of our family and friends who supported us through prayers and in so many other ways as we try to improve Rob's quality of life through this surgery. We've really appreciated everyone's kind words and helping us with so many other unnamed things. We couldn't have done this without you! Thanks again! We love you all.

Sunday, February 15, 2009

Valentine's Day Dinner with Family

We took advantage of an opportunity for a nice dinner since Jon and Kelly were down for the weekend. I don't think we've ever just gone to dinner with the just the 8 of us so it was a really nice treat. It was fun to just hang out before dinner and just chat. We didn't anticipate the FOUR hour wait.....but everyone made the best of it and we all had a really nice evening.

A group shot!
Brotherly love

Jon and Kelly toasting to a fabulous marriage.
Me and my McDreamy
Jimmy and Jana looking all cozy - marital bliss at it's best
My Mom and Dad - The Dynamic Duo
This picture brought many laughs!!! It was one of those "you just had to be there moments." I'm trying to remember what Kelly had said so I can use it for the caption to my picture!!

Franklin Family Fun Day

As a way to bring the staff together, my dreamy husband organized a Family Fun Day at the Palm Desert Park. We couldn't have asked for a more beautiful day.
A fun day was had by all ...including the dogs!!

This is Rob, Jasmine, and Brenna's dog

Jolene, Kelly May, and Aurora

Sam with Jolene's dog Max
Bob taking Kelly May for a walk

Brenna and Rob

Enjoying some great food and wonderful company

Bob and his new friend Max

Jasmine and Bob