A large dose of reality

Saying that the last five days have been hard would be an understatement, a huge understatement!  We were all prepared for surgery, like the ones in the past, but we weren’t prepared for what followed.  

    I will admit, the anxiety preceding this surgery was greater than any other because we knew the recovery period was going to be longer and harder than any of the others.  Leading up to the surgery there were a lot of sleepless nights, knots in the stomach, cries in the car and a whole range of other things.  But what followed the surgery has been far and away the tallest mountain peak we have attempted to climb.  I feel like we are climbing Mt Everest and just when we think we are reaching the peak, flag in hand, the clouds move in and we are forced to descend and start over.  
Cam finally resting peacefully after getting the pain under control.
Cam received over 50 get well cards from the kids at both schools, he clearly has no shortage of friends.
The firefighters bring Cam home 🙂
Cam thought he was ready to get back to his old habits, unfortunately it only lasted 10 minutes before the pain and dizziness kicked in.  Seeing Declan brightened his day, even if only for a moment.
    As Cam came out of surgery we were informed that they were unable to do the spinal block, which would have kept Cam’s legs numb for 6-10 hours after and allowed him to be comfortable for what would be the worst pain immediately following surgery.  Instead when he came out the pain was terrible and they gave him 1 dose of toradol and 2 doses of morphine within the first 30 minutes of him waking up.  All was fine until all of the meds and the general anesthesia wore off all at the same time and within minutes we were way behind controlling the pain!  This turned into the longest, hardest 2 hours of our lives.  There is nothing worse than witnessing your child in pain and not being able to take it away.  I have never seen Cam in so much pain before, he would look us in the eye and say ” help me mommy, help me daddy!”  “do something” ” take my pain for me please mommy”  I didn’t know what to do or say.  The nurses were in and out, on the phone with the doctors, desperately trying to figure out what to do.  Meanwhile Cam laid on the bed screaming and crying like I’d never seen.  After what felt like an eternity they finally gave him enough valium and morphine to knock him out.  After this episode the pain management team came in and hooked Cam up to a PCA (patient controlled analgesic) and he could administer a small dose of dilaudid every 8 minutes.  This along with a large dose of valium and hyacet every 4 hours seemed to keep the pain under control.  We ended up staying a second night in the hospital for pain control.  By Thursday afternoon they removed the pca and started him on Roxicet, which is stronger than the hyacet.  At this point, I am missing my Cam.  He is not himself, does not remember things, can’t talk and just wants to sleep.  Friday comes around and it’s time to head home.  The amazing firefighters from Palos picked Cam up in their ambulance and drove him home.  We had numerous offers to help get him home and we are grateful for all of them.  
     Since coming home we have seen very few moments of “Cam” which is the hardest part.  His contagious smile has been wiped away, his witty personality and amazing sense of humor are gone, the light in his eyes that touches your soul is dark and he is in a constant state of pain, uncomfortableness, sadness and regret.  We are trying our best to get him off the strong pain medication, but cannot seem to find a balance of comfort and medication.  We go from tears of pain to completely sedated and sleeping.  The entire process is taking a toll on everyone mentally and physically.  Cam’s body cannot handle the downtime for much longer before we end up in a place where no amount of rehabilitation will bring him back.  All of this will be for not if we don’t start making some progress.  
     His spirits are low, lower than I have ever seen them.  Tonight he had a very tough conversation with Kevin and my mom while I was in the kitchen trying to take a breather and recover from the hours of crying Cam had been doing over pain, frustration and sadness.  Cam has always been the kid that told us he was OK just how he was and never seemed to care that he couldn’t play sports or run like other kids.  I think we always knew deep down that somewhere there was a part of him that cared, well there is!  Tonight as he was working through his pain and frustration he discussed his regret about doing the surgery, wishing he could go back because it wasn’t worth it, he let loose.  He told them that he just wants to be like other kids, he wants to play sports, he wants to feel the grass between his toes as he runs across the yard just once, he wants to walk on the beach and feel the sand between his toes.  He said he wants to be a daddy one day, but never can because you have to walk to be a daddy.  He doesn’t want to be broken anymore…………..
     I am not sure if he will remember that he told us all of this, but there is a part of me that is happy he got to let it out and a part of me that wishes we never had to hear it!  Every time I think about it it brings tears to my eyes and my heart breaks all over again.  The last 5 days have been unimaginable.  I think if any of us knew that it would be like this we would have made a different decision, but I just keep going back to “everything happens for a reason.”  In this moment I can’t tell you what that reason is, my thinking is fogged by sadness, heartache, frustration and anger.  I know that we will come together as a family and work through this, but the road is rough right now.  I only hope that we turn a corner, the clouds recede and Cam can begin an amazing road to recovery very, very soon.  I hope that he is not disappointed with the results and that he can have the chance to feel his feet beneath him again even if it’s for a moment.  
     The thoughts, prayers, love and support are what keep us going, so keep them coming because we have to keep going.     

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