Tuesday, June 28, 2011


Last night when we went in to see Zane he was in a lot of pain. The positioning during his surgery really did a number on his back, neck, and shoulder muscles. In order to keep good blood flow to the flap, they have to keep his bed at no more than a 30 degree angle and he wasn't allowed to have a pillow behind his head. So, his head was arched back and it was making him extremely uncomfortable. He has some pain in his leg from the donor site, but it was mostly muscle pain that bothered him. We tried everything we could think of but there didn't seem to be much relief. He is on a morphine PCA pump, which means that whenever he's in pain, he can push a button and it will dispense morphine into his IV. He can only get it every 7 minutes so he doesn't overdose, but even the morphine couldn't keep him comfortable. They talked about increasing the dose, but his respiratory rate was low, and they didn't want to risk him stopping breathing. More narcotics would only heighten that risk.

Can I be honest? Last night was hard. I've never seen Zane in that much pain. He's never had a flap before, and they're much more involved than grafts. And, whenever he's been in this much pain before, they've been able to sedate him. At one point last night he looked at me and said, "I want to cry but I can't". The doctor on call last night told him that he's just have to "tough it out". It is no fun to watch someone you live suffer and know that there's nothing anyone can do to help. It made me sick just being so helpless. As I was sitting beside his bed last night it was like God tapped me on the shoulder and said, "Courtney, do you believe the words that you say to people all the time? When you're speaking at churches and you talk about faith and belief and trust, don't you believe what you're saying?". It hit me like a ton of bricks. I truly needed to believe that God was going to take care of Zane. I think I knew it in my heart, but, I hadn't really released the situation and given my worries over to God. I looked at Zane and asked him if I could pray. As I prayed, I decided to let it all go... Again. Learning to trust isn't a one time decision. It's a constant rededication, and a deliberate choice to let go. I reminded myself of that last night.

When I came in this morning, Zane was still very uncomfortable, to the point where he hadn't slept all night and was utterly exhausted and upset. His head doctor finally gave him permission to use a thin pillow. We spent the morning massaging his shoulders and feet, propping his arms up, and giving him wet swabs for his mouth. Around 9:30 he was finally able to get a little rest. Since then, things have gotten a little better as time goes on. He's currently sleeping, and we're trying to keep it that way.

Another complication is that all the ICU beds are full in the entire hospital, so we've been in the PAC-U (post anesthesia care unit or recovery area) since surgery was over. That means that Zane hasn't had a room or a TV this while times. The PAC-U is just rows and rows of beds with curtains around them, with very little room. We were a little let down, but tried to see the best in the situation. We later found out that a major infection has been going around some of the ICU's. This seemed inconvenience was actually God protecting Zane from that infection! Later this afternoon, he should be able to move into a regular room.

Zane hasn't eaten since the surgery, other than a couple bites of jello this afternoon, which made him nauseas. They're slowly trying to work him up to food again, but he historically has a sensitive stomach. He should be able to sit up a little more in a day or two , and hopefully that will help with his overall comfort. They flap is swollen, as expected, but is looking good. The vein that they were concerned about is also doing well. They ultra-sound it every hour, and it continues to have a steady pulse. The color of the flap is also great, so once the swelling goes down, it should be a vast improvement.

Overall, I'm once again learning that our God is always faithful. We believe that he doesn't waste one pain, and that any amount Zane is suffering, there is a greater purpose and God will use it for good. Your continued prayers would be much appreciated, as always. We KNOW that they make a HUGE difference. Thank you so much for all your love and support thus far.


Brenda said...

Sorry to hear about the terrible discomfort Zane is having to endure. It reminded me of his talk at that church that you sent us online. He spoke about what suffering Christ did for us, having no fault of His own. May God use this time for His glory, teaching Zane what Christ endured for our sins. He will carry you both through this. (It makes that drug induced coma look good, I imagine.)
Blessings to you both. (If you're familiar with Laura Story's song, Blessings, those lyrics are going through my head right now. "What if trials of this life, are His mercies in disguise?")

Marilyn Sjoberg said...

Praying for mercy and noticeably diminished pain. Praising for the foresight to keep Zane far from the infection zone. Hoping you all will grasp the amazing grace to persevere through the rough stuff.
Love to you all.

Brooke @ Inside-Out Design said...

I'm really sorry to hear about how hard this latest surgery has been for your husband. I am praying that this rough time will pass quickly for you both and that he'll heal as fast as possible. When I've read about what your husband has gone through, it really touches me and makes me ache for him and you, because I picture myself if that was my husband. I can't imagine how hard this must be for you. Your faith is very inspiring, and I know that God loves you both and is there with you.

Lori said...

Zane & Courtney,

We love you guys. We continue to pray for healing, rest, and less pain. Titus prayed for you tonight when he went to bed. I know he doesn't understand, but he knows enough to mention names when he prays. As I was reading this blog today I was reminded of when Justin had to have immediate surgery back in 2009. It was nothing compared to what you have gone through, but I remember just been so scared and realizing I needed to put all my faith and trust in God. We love you both so much and it hurts my heart to hear how much pain my little brother is in. I will continue to pray for relief of the pain and some rest for both of you.

Chris said...

Barb Lachat~~Greenville Grace~~Praying for strength, relief from pain and healing.

Anonymous said...

Zane and Courtney our prayers are with you both, continue to be strong. You both truly amaze me with your strong faith. Coutney you are always smiling and that in it self must help Zane thru it all. You both are such inspiring people. Safe trip back and God Bless, Gail & Zeke