After the events of Monday, Karlene and I were exhausted – physically and mentally. It was a grueling, 12-hour roller-coaster ride that left us spent. Karlene turned in at 8:30pm and her parents soon followed. I volunteered to take the first shift of watching and taking care of Zachary.
Zac was excited about being back home after the surgery. He was also still under the influence of some pretty heavy meds and therefore not exactly in his right mind. We had a cane waiting for him and for the first several hours after arriving back home, he was hobbling around jabbering about this and about that. We actually had to get on to him about his excessive talking – that he needed to take it easy because of all the facial work and that the stitches needed to heal.
Zac’s aunt, Rebecca came over to the house bringing a great dinner with her and a cool balloon bouquet for Zac featuring a giant “Get well soon” balloon that actually sings (“Don’t worry, be happy”). Unfortunately, “Aunt Becky” dropping by also meant a fresh set of ears for a re-run of Zac’s stories from the surgical front.
By 7:00pm, we finally got him quieted down and onto his temporary “bed” in the downstairs living room, reclining on the couch. I would be sleeping downstairs, also – around the corner on an inflatable bed that we had temporarily set up for Zac in the back room. However, when the doctors told us that he needed to sleep in a propped-up position, we realized that the inflatable was not going to work for him. At around 7:30pm, Zac finally succumbed to the siren’s song of the meds in his system, as they ever-strongly urged him to follow their beckoning call to La-La Land.
After Zac was in place, everyone else drifted off to their rooms to drift off to a much-anticipated night of sleep. That is, with the exception of our resident night owl, Tara and myself. I sat down at the computer and blogged about Zac’s big day. After that, I went and tried to sleep on the inflatable bed and, as tired as I was, had a hard time joining everyone else in the household in that blissful place called dreamland. I tossed and turned and prayed. I put on a B movie and tossed and turned and prayed some more. Finally, after two straight nights with very little sleep, I dosed off. It was around midnight.
Something went “bang” in the night and I sat straight up in bed. There was nothing but silence. Thinking, it was another dream, I laid back down. Then I heard some noise again. It was coming from the bathroom upstairs. It was still dark so I looked at the clock and it was about 5:30am. I heard the bathroom door open and the floor creak as my father-in-law made his way back to bed. I guess he wasn’t ready to “get-up,” either. I rolled over and closed my eyes and then heard Zac stirring.
Zachary had awakened with a considerable amount of pain – plus a considerable thirst – and was attempting to get out of the reclined sofa (a task for most people, even in the best of circumstances). I jumped up and went to assist him. I helped pull him to an upright position and stabilized him so he could begin to walk. As he went to the bathroom, (with no assistance from me – thank you very much), I went and got his meds and mixed him a drink. Zac’s drink of choice: Orange Gatorade mixed with Orange Juice. So Zac was up and I was tired.
Karlene’s mom and dad got up a while later. Big daddy joined Zac and I at around 7:00am, while mom came down around 7:30am. Karlene, the early bird in the family, was nowhere to be seen. She came back to the land of the living at around 8:30am – a 12-hour snooze. Understandable, seeing that she got almost no sleep at all the night before Zac’s surgery.
Karlene’s parent’s pulled a fast one and decided to head home early. We said our “thank-you’s,” and “good-bye’s” and they were on the road before 9:30am. I guess they felt that Zachary was in capable hands and that their work here was done. We appreciated their support.
I got cleaned-up and then headed-out to run some errands, pick-up some groceries and get Zachary a game that he wanted for his Xbox360. When I returned home several hours later, Zachary looked bad. His face had become very swollen and he was in a lot of pain – everywhere. When Zac’s in pain, we all are in pain. The game had cheered him up a bit, but Karlene and I prayed for him and tried to get him to rest.
The difficult day turned into a difficult night. I am the night watchman. Karlene volunteered to stay with Zac during the night, but I wouldn’t allow her to. I told her “one of us needs to get a good night’s sleep and it might as well be you.” So I sent her off to bed and stayed downstairs again with Zac – this time sleeping near him on the loveseat (yes, friends, me sleeping on a loveseat). It wasn’t a good sleep (some surprise, eh) and Zac was up before dawn, again today. The routine continued with a big exception, thankfully – Karlene, back on schedule, got up and took over and I went looking for my lost sleep. I haven’t found it all, but I guarantee you I’m working at it.
Thanks for the prayers, cards, meals, calls, etc. We appreciate them, and each of you, immensely.
Tomorrow is Zachary’s surgery follow-up exam back up in West LA.
The saga continues.