**Warning- This entry is long and mildly graphic**
First of all, I would like to thank everyone who has sent good thoughts, wishful thinking, and prayers my family’s way over the last couple of days. Even when a surgery is supposedly routine, I’ve seen enough episodes Grey’s Anatomy and ER to know that things can go wrong with the simplest of surgeries. Luckily, everything went perfectly and we could not have asked for a better outcome.
For those of you who weren’t aware of my father’s situation, a couple of months ago the doctors found that there was some sort of mass or growth the size of a golf ball in his sinus/jaw area. On a scale of 1-10 (10 being the largest they have ever seen), they were rating this one at an 8. After a biopsy was conducted, they learned that it was not cancerous and that in was, in fact, a cyst that was possibly caused by a wisdom tooth that had made its way up from his gum line. They determined that the best way to remove the cyst was to essentially saw off the lower half of my father’s face and pull out the mass that way. Then they would reattach the jaw area using screws and hinges. With that would come industrial type support braces that would keep his teeth from moving around after the surgery for up to 10 months and he would be on a strict liquid diet until his jaw had healed.
I arrived at the hospital at about noon on the day of his surgery, and by that point, the nurses were already prepping him for his 1pm start time. I was very impressed by the turn out of friends and family who spent time with us in the lobby of the hospital until the surgery started and the plethora of supportive phone calls that came in throughout his stay. After countless rounds through the gift shop, my sister, LC and I convinced some members of our party to accompany us to Noodles and Co. for lunch. It was good for all of us to get out of the hospital and walk around, because there really isn’t anything we can do for my dad by worrying in the lobby. On our walk back to the hospital, we got a call from my aunt (my father’s sister who had stayed back at the hospital while we dined) informing us that the pager had gone off and that the doctor requested a consult. We were a bit worried at that point since it was only about 2 ½ hours into his surgery, so we booked it back and then my aunt let us know that dad was out of surgery and would be out of recovery in about an hour.
The good news got even better- instead of super invasive and intense surgery that we had assumed was necessary, the doctors deemed that the cyst could actually just be removed by drilling a large hole in his gum line and pull it out through there. They also decided that braces were not needed, and instead of his diet consisting of only liquids, he can eat soft foods such as yogurt and oatmeal.
After awhile longer of sitting in the hospital lobby, we were finally able to go up and see him. It was hard for my sisters and me to see him in pain and so out of it from coming off of the anesthetics. The right side of his face was swelled up to about the size of a softball and he was hooked up to all sorts of IVs and oxygen. I had to leave around 7pm, and I guess he started to feel a lot better after that. According to my dad, he wouldn’t have even known that I was there had they not told him after he was feeling better! LC stayed with him overnight so that mom could get some sleep at home, and she made sure that he walked around every hour as per the doctor’s directions.
By 8 am, he was ready to be released from the hospital with a slew of prescriptions and is now home on sick leave until August 1. I visited with him today and he’s made great improvements emotionally and physically since yesterday, but he’s still got a long road ahead of him.
Again, thank you to all who have kept him in your thoughts over the last few days; I know that he appreciates it. I also know that he’s going to get pretty sick of protein drinks and yogurt sooner than later, so if you have any soft food recs, definitely pass them on our way!