Dispatches from the ICU

An update by Lindsey

Hello readers. I’ve been meaning to get you all an update for some time, and I’m sorry for the delay. I’m writing today while sitting at Sarah’s ICU bedside. It’s been a journey for sure, but we’re seeing an uptick in better news.

This is actually our second stay in the ICU this month. We were here two weeks ago when Sarah had brain surgery in an attempt to find and cut the right vestibular nerve. Vestibular nerve sections are used to treat severe Meniere’s patients. Sarah’s brain has some extremely uncommon neuroanatomy (think 1 out of 10,000), and the surgeons were not able to locate the nerve. We wound up tacking some more days on to our stay when Sarah developed a cerebrospinal fluid leak and needed to have a drain installed. I became a master at waking up in the morning, calling the night shift nurse, driving to work, calling the day shift nurse, teaching my full day at an academic summer camp, driving to the hospital, bringing up dinner from the hospital cafeteria, sitting with Sarah until visiting hours ended, driving home, and collapsing into my bed. We have a number of fantastic friends who have visited Sarah in the hospital, sent cards, checked in on me, and been generally awesome throughout the ordeal. After the drain was removed, the hospital let Sarah go home for a few days to rest before the second attempt at the vestibular nerve section.

Surgery, Take 2, was yesterday. I’m so pleased to be able to report that it went wonderfully. The doctors found the nerve, cut it, and were able to close Sarah’s skull without any additional grafts. Sarah was able to look into my eyes without nystagmus for the first time in over a year! The doctors think that Sarah has had such a quick positive outcome because Sarah’s vestibular system on the right side was so far gone before the surgery. Even with the great surgical outcomes, Sarah has to clear a number of physical therapy hurdles related to daily living before being cleared to go home. Right now, Sarah’s medical team is actively discerning the best pain management plan, but it’s worth pointing out that Sarah is recovering from three brain surgeries (the unsuccessful vestibular nerve section, repairing the leak and installing the drain, and yesterday’s successful surgery). I could not be happier with Sarah’s current healing trajectory, and I’m continue to pray that we continue to see good outcomes.

As for me, I’m pretty worn out. My summer teaching position takes a lot out of me anyway, and hospitals have their ways of inducing new levels of exhaustion. Thankfully, our dog Gemma is at a board-and-train facility to continue to work on basic public access skills for service dog work. I feel better knowing that Gemma can keep training even as Sarah is out of commission.

The experience over the past sixteen days has changed our lives in so many incredible ways. Sarah and I have been blessed to have a real sense of Christ in our midst. We grew a lot spiritually during our first stay. We’re eager to see what God has for us as we continue walking together. It’s a long road to be sure.

May God bless you, keep you, and guide you. Thanks for walking with us.

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7 thoughts on “Dispatches from the ICU

  1. I’m so glad there is good news for Sarah from the most surgery. I pray that Sarah recovers quickly from the surgeries and that Sarah sees a significant improvement in health and wellness as a result.

  2. I’m so glad to learn of good news. Prayers will continue for Sarah’s recovery–and for rest for Lindsey.

  3. So glad to hear this!! I can’t imagine how you’re getting through all that work with the emotions on top. O_o Hope you can both get some rest and healing. Praying!

  4. Good to hear!! I hope Sarah continues to experience recovery as a result of the surgery and glad to see you are both bearing up well during this difficult time. ((hugs)) 🙂

  5. I just wish i could give soup, a hug, or something. its good to have an update. I hope sarah continues to progress and that you see less stress in the future. Prolonged hospital stays do not seem like….”fun” for anyone.

  6. So pleased to hear about the success of the surgery. I’m familiar with your exhaustion having spent countless months in hospital ICU.
    Both of you will enjoy the positive journey ahead! (One you’ve prayed for and worked for a long time!)
    Blessed Dormition (a time of comfort!).

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