Nothing could have prepared me for the waiting and emotional demands that today required. I am happy that this day has finally come and will soon be over! Dad and I waited in the waiting area from the beginning of the surgery, which started at 7:15am, and didn't hear word from the OR until around 2:30. I was able to go to lunch with Nicole (Blake's girlfriend) and her Mom and sister as they were in the area. This was a wonderful distraction as my anxiety seemed to be building quickly while sitting in the waiting area. Mom went to recovery at 2:45pm and I was able to see her around 4pm. I went to see her in recovery because Dad went to get some fresh air (and some time away from the somewhat annoying volunteers.) Later, I found out that he had actually fallen asleep on a bench outside. I'm glad he got to catch a few Z's at least ;). I visited with her in recovery for about 15 minutes and then they sent me away so they could get her over to the ICU building. I didn't tell her this when I saw her, but she did look like a truck had hit her. My heart shed a tear when I saw her, but my mind and words were very strong and positive for her. She had many complaints about pain, but said her head didn't hurt, which I hope is still true. I'm not sure if the back pain is so intense that she doesn't feel the head pain anymore or if she really doesn't have a headache. I guess we will find out soon enough.
The main surgeon (Dr. Pashman) said the surgery went well. Dad went to have lunch at a cafe in the hospital after hearing from the Dr. and coincidentally he ran into Dr. Pashman and his team in the restaurant. The Dr. called Dad over after he had lunch and the whole team agreed that the surgery went as smooth as possible, which was very reassuring to hear. Additionally, he had the post-op x-rays with him and showed Dad the images. Dad said there is a ton of hardware in her back and it looks like she has a zipper for a spine now. Dr. Pashman said they had managed to take her curve from 60 degrees down to 15 degrees.
Blake came to visit this afternoon after Mom made it to the ICU. Blake, Dad and I were all able to visit Mom in the ICU for about a half hour. Mom was looking much better than she did in the recovery area, but still looked miserable nonetheless. She was chit chatting a lot about random things that I know she won't remember, but she provided a lot of comic relief for us as visitors, so that was kind of nice. She didn't want us to leave, but I told her that Jason (her nurse) would take great care of her. She made me promise that he would, so I did and then she was ok with us leaving.
Dad and I are completely exhausted from the day. We are going to get some dinner with Blake and Nicole and then come back to rest so we can be prepared for the days to come. Mom should be moved from the ICU to a regular room sometime tomorrow. Dad and I plan to visit her tomorrow morning and I will try to update you with how she is doing when I get a chance. It seems that the days go by painfully slow, but very fast when it comes to trying to update everyone. I appreciate everyone's concern, support and especially patience when waiting for updates!!