AWOL from Activerain- A Long Road

By
Real Estate Agent with Photographer, Home Stager, ePRO

 

Sean and Nathaniel during happier timesAt the end of this Summer, my 4 year old son was sick due to his compromised immune system, we spent most of September at the doctor's office trying to figure out, first what what wrong with him, and second what to do to get him better.  This past Spring Nathaniel spent a couple of days in the hospital, and we really wanted to avoid that happening again.  Thankfully, his pediatrician figured out what was wrong by asking some great questions, an intestinal parasite picked up from swimming in a local lake. A round of antibiotics, some probiotics and we finally got him on his feet, but we all felt a little worse from wear from the difficult month.  Unfortunately, our health issues weren't over by a long shot.

October 12th, my husband Sean went in for surgery on his small intestine.  He had a fistula and needed a few inches of his intestine taken out.  My husband has IBD, (Ulcerative Colitis and Crohn's) and has been through this sort of thing in the past.  Neither of us was thrilled at the prospect of surgery, but it was supposed to be fairly routine.  Three to four days in the hospital and then a few weeks at home recovering.  

Unfortunately, Sean had complications from the first surgery and ended up having emergency surgery at midnight on the following Sunday night.  You know it is serious when the doctor comes in at 11:00pm on a Sunday night to operate.  Over the next three weeks we had numerous scares when I wasn't sure if he was going to make it through the night.  His incision had to be left open to try and avoid infection.  His incision was 11 by 6 by 7 inches, yes inches!  I didn't faint the first time I saw it, but it was a close thing.  They tried to put a wound vac on his wound and it caused the hole in his intestines to reopen. The tried to put a wound manager on it and he started to hemorrhage. They ended up having to pack with wound multiple times a day with a wet to dry dressing.  

Over the next couple of weeks, he had multiple bleeders and needed 4 transfusions.  Because of the hole in his intestines, he hasn't been able to eat anything except ice chips for over a month.  The Dr has him on TPN IV nutrition.  He has lost over 30 lbs in the past 5 weeks.

After 23 days, they sent Sean home.  He was scheduled to have a nurse come to our house twice a day to administer his medicine and to change the dressings.  It was a disaster.  The medicine didn't get ordered, they company didn't provide the wound care supplies they were supposed to and didn't put the antibiotic disk on his IV. Without the medicine Sean went downhill quickly.  Sean had developed a systemic blood infection and ended up back in the hospital less than a week after he came home.  As much as we had wanted him to come home, we were so grateful when he was readmitted to the hospital.  It had been so scary having him home and having everything so out of control.  I knew that Sean needed the best in nursing care and I knew that I wasn't it!  

The doctor put Sean on antibiotics for a week and got him stable again. We were hoping that he would be released tomorrow and be able to come home for good this time after five long weeks.

This morning Sean had another bleed. It looks like he is going to be in the hospital for a while longer.

It has been such a long road.  Five weeks, two surgeries, four transfusions and so many scary nights when I didn't know if my husband was going to make it through.  I am grateful for Sean's amazing doctor, Dr. O'Donovan, the talented and compassionate nurses at Henrico Dr's, our wonderful families who have stepped in to help me with our children, other agents offering to pitch in for me at work, the offers of food from my friends, and the prayers from our friends, friends of friends and even perfect strangers. Someone that Sean has only met a few times sent us a check for $100 to help with the expenses of a long hospitalization. On more than one occasion in the past few weeks, I have been undone by the kindness I have been shown through all of this.  

Hopefully I will soon be back to my blogging, real estate and our normal happy life. But for now, I am just so grateful that Sean is going to be ok and grateful for all of the kindness we have encountered through all of this.

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Topic:
ActiveRain Community
Groups:
ActiveRainPhotoBlogger
Agent Mom
Diary of a Realtor
EXPRESS WITH PHOTOGRAPHS AT ACTIVERAIN
NASCAR Nation
Tags:
illness
crohns disease
prayers help
gratitude
ulcerative colitis
hospitalization at henrico doctors hospital
long term hospitalization

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Rainer
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Yvonne Burdette-Van Camp
Yvonne Burdette-Van Camp at Rhoads Real Estate
To Buy and Sell Real Estate, see me at Rhoads Real Estate

Wendy,  I am sorry to hear about all the pain and suffering your son and husband have had as well as the emotional turmoil you must have.    Stay strong, praying for you!!!!  and your family too!!!!

November 15, 2011 09:33 PM
Rainmaker
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Karen Feltman
Relocation Specialist
Cedar Rapids/Iowa City, IA Skogman Realty

So sorry to hear about all the complications. I am sure that you are thinking this year cannot get over fast enough!  On to a better year where everyone is healthy and safe!  Stay strong.  

November 15, 2011 10:06 PM
Rainmaker
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Wendy Hayden
Chesterfield, Richmond & Powahatan
Photographer, Home Stager, ePRO

Thank you Yvonne.  So appreciate your prayers.

 

Karen, you are so right, I can't wait for this year to be over with.  I have spent far too much of it sitting next to a hospital bed with someone I love in it.   Hopefully, 2012 will be a better year.

November 16, 2011 07:40 AM
Rainmaker
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Gina Tufano
Ask Gina & Company, Northern Virginia Real Estate
Ask Gina & Company with Keller Williams Realty Loudoun Gateway

Sorry to hear about everything your family has been going through. Glad to hear it sounds like your husband is in good hands. Wishing you nothing but the best.

November 17, 2011 09:37 PM
Rainmaker
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Wendy Hayden
Chesterfield, Richmond & Powahatan
Photographer, Home Stager, ePRO

Thank you Gina.

November 18, 2011 07:28 AM
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Craig Daniels
Technology Instructor/Project Consultant
Tech Training for You!

Wendy - Wow that is some difficult times for your family. I'm glad to hear the words amazing and doctor in the same sentence and that things are looking soon brighter. Thanks for sharing your experiences with us. We look forward to your additional good reports soon. all the best to your family - thoughts are with you -c-

November 19, 2011 06:12 PM
Rainmaker
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Wendy Hayden
Chesterfield, Richmond & Powahatan
Photographer, Home Stager, ePRO

I appreciate your kind thoughts Craig.  Sean is doing better.  Still can't eat and his wound is still open, but it is healing a little everyday and he is getting stronger. We go back to his surgeon on Thursday, hopefully, we will get a good report!

November 28, 2011 12:49 PM
Rainmaker
1,076,675
Wallace S. Gibson, CPM
LandlordWhisperer
Gibson Management Group, Ltd.

Wendy * I missed my VA NASCAR buddie and I have you family in my prayers...being in the hospital and feeling better is WORSE than being at home and feeling badly.....

December 06, 2011 06:05 AM
Rainmaker
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Wendy Hayden
Chesterfield, Richmond & Powahatan
Photographer, Home Stager, ePRO

Wallace, thanks for your prayers.  It has been a long road with a total of 6 weeks in the hospital.  Thankfully, Sean is doing much better now and is getting stronger each day.  Still can't eat or drink anything and is on an IV, but hopefully, he will heal on his own and not have to have another surgery.  Praying that he will be able to eat Christmas dinner with our family this year.

December 06, 2011 09:39 AM
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Rainmaker
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Wendy Hayden

Chesterfield, Richmond & Powahatan
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