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Paul’s Surgery 4/12/11

First off, I can’t start this blog post without give a HUGE shout out to my best pal….GOD…..for getting me through this ordeal!! Yes, we all received the results we had hoped and prayed for…..but the most IMPORTANT thing I received was the STRENGTH to make it through this so far. I was able to kiss Paul goodbye and KNOW that he was safe in God’s hands….no matter what the outcome. So I got a big “Thank you Jesus!” on my lips because I was sure I would sob all morning and I was as cool as a cucumber.

So we got up at 4 and had a 5:30 check in. Paul was in the surgery ward by 7:30, processed and prepped and wheeled back by 8:30. My wonderful friend and pastor’s wife Margot drove up to sit with me and it made such a difference! I was really prepared to go it alone….I didn’t want to inconvenience anyone….and I just thought I could handle it….but I was so glad I listened to my husband, my mother, my mother-in-law and some friends…when they all said I should have someone there with me because it made a HUGE difference. So I am forever grateful for my blessings of wonderful, caring friends!

The wait really wasn’t too bad….we both started getting a little antsy at the end but that was after 4 hours. Fortunately, there was a phone in the waiting room so the O R nurses would call periodically to inform the families on how their loved one was doing.  We spent time with a woman whose husband was having some metal put in his shoulder and a pair of sisters who were there with their brother who was having a bottom lobe of his lung removed. All the phone calls we received were very positive. (Praise God!) I was notified when the surgery began, when they removed the head of the pancreas and when they were sewing him up. It was so fantastic and I wished ever hospital in the world did that. But this is part of the reason UTSA was named the Best Hospital in San Antonio.

I also need to mention how revered Dr. Glen Halff is. First off, I got a personal recommendation from a friend of mine who has known him for many years and says he is a wonderful person and very dedicated to his craft. All the staff and doctors we spoke with kept saying how lucky we were to get Dr. Halff. One resident said he did Whipples textbook and the other said “BETTER than textbook!”. Those are the kinds of thing you want to hear about the surgeon who is going to have his knife in the love of your life!

So after he was done they took him up a floor to ICU. Nurses came and escorted us to the ICU Waiting Room and we waited less than 30 minutes before I got to see him. Margot and I had the pleasure of talking with a large family  from the Valley whose father was receiving a liver transplant. They had gone to another hospital first (In Seattle) and said they were treated horribly. They said UTSA has been a MIRACLE for their family!

Then I finally got called back to see him, Paul was still pretty groggy but I was shocked to see how GOOD he looked! I mean, he had a nice color and didn’t look like he just had major surgery. His anesthesiologist tells me he was “better than perfect!”  Dr. Halff tells me everything went just like we had discussed. They did take a little of his stomach only because he had some scar tissue from a surgery he had as an infant. Other than that, removal of the gall bladder, the bile duct, some of the small intestine and the head of the pancreas (40%). fortunately, the 60% that is left is the part that produces insulin. There is some risk of developing diabetes with this operation but Lord willing, we will dodge that bullet.  He also said he saw NO EVIDENCE that it had spread to outlying tissue and that the definitive pathology report would be back in about a week.

So he is resting comfortably in ICU with an epidural for pain and several drain tubes and other gross things we won’t talk about here. They did already remove one of the IV’s and the chief resident remarked that Paul is already progressing much faster than the typical patient. I told him my husband is an overachiever! Ha ha ha!

I have been asked to bring the score to The Producers and his laptop tomorrow……can you believe? And of course I will…..I wouldn’t dream of denying him…….but I will make sure he doesn’t over do…….his nurse, a lover of theatre and Skyline Chili (!), is excited as well!

So I thank you all….your feverent prayers and good thoughts were felt and helped carry us through! But we aren’t done yet! So keep ’em coming and keep checking with us for updates here or on our Facebo0ok pages! Peace!

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