It all started on Friday when we found that Jesse's flight was delayed by another day. By this point he had been injured for 9 days and we were all incredibly anxious for him to get home. It seemed like the process was just taking forever and I was getting pretty frustrated with all of the waiting.
Finally, on Sunday afternoon he arrived and I was able to meet him. I've got to admit that it was pretty surreal walking across the flightline to that giant plane. I remember telling the people that I was with that I hoped that this was a once in a lifetime experience and that I would never do it again.
I don't know what I was expecting when I walked on the plane but I was shocked to see Jesse strapped down to a stretcher. Of course, I could also see his smile from a mile away. It was definitely one of the better moments of our week.
They gave us about 5 minutes together before carrying Jesse to the hospital van for transport. Luckily I was able to follow right behind them so that I could be there as they did the check in process. The rest of the day was definitely not great. They had to cut Jesse's cast off so that they could do x-rays and readjust his ankle. Apparently they gave him a pain medication that did not work for him and he was able to feel everything. Several of the nurses that were with him told me that they are still traumatized from watching the whole ordeal because of how much pain Jesse was in. As terrible as it sounds, I'm so glad I didn't go down to the x-ray room with them because I'm not sure I could have handled it. Luckily when he got back they were able to adjust his meds and finally got the pain somewhat under control. By this time Jesse was pretty annoyed (to put in nicely) and wasn't very friendly with the nurses and doctors for a while. I can't say that I blame them.
The next day was a lot better because I brought Emerson up to see her Daddy. Seeing the look on her face when we walked into his room is something I will never forget. She climbed right up next to him on the bed and proceeded to talk his ear off for the next 30 minutes. She also helped the nurses check his vitals when they came in.
That night I took Emerson and Mimi home and went back up to the hospital to spend the night. I knew that Jesse would be having his surgery sometime in the morning so I wanted to be there as much as possible.
The first thing I did on surgery day was check my Bible app. This was the verse of the day and I thought it was very fitting.
Jesse was all smiles before surgery, even though we were both pretty nervous. When it was time for surgery we said our good-byes and I spent the next 6 or so hours waiting for news. They had originally told me that the surgery would take about 2 hours and that the whole process from beginning to end would be about 4 hours.
Unfortunately the injury was much worse than they anticipated and the surgery took over 2.5 hours. They also assured us that he would wake up pain free but that also didn't go as planned. Because of this, he was in the recovery room for over 2 hours. When I finally saw him again I was shocked at how pitiful he looked. I don't know what I expected but this certainly wasn't it.
They placed two nerve block catheters in Jesse's leg to help with pain. We had hoped that this would be the answer to the extreme pain he was in but it really wasn't. I think it did help take the edge off but there were still some really, really rough moments. We were awake almost every hour for the next two nights as they tried to figure out a good combination to give him some relief.
At the same time, I was missing my sweet girl more than I ever could have imagined. Until then, I had never spent the night away from her. I knew she was in great hands with her Mimi and I got lots of pictures and updates, but man I missed her!!
That, combined with the stress of seeing Jesse in such pain and the lack of sleep, made for a very hard couple of days. I can't remember a time I've been more stressed or exhausted. And I know if I felt that way it must have been a million times worse for Jesse.
By Thursday afternoon they seemed to have Jesse's pain down to a tolerable level and he was discharged from the hospital around 6:00 pm. We were both so ready to get home, though we both wondered how in the world he would get up the stairs considering he had only been out of bed a few times in the last 2 weeks. Thankfully we had some friends come over who pretty much carried him up the stairs and deposited him on the couch.
I couldn't help but notice the date: August 15th. It was exactly one month from the date Jesse deployed. It's pretty hard to believe because it feels like it was SO long ago.
As of now he has been instructed to stay off of his leg for at least 8 weeks. He is able to use crutches to get around a little bit and he is slowly regaining his strength. In the meantime, I'm playing nurse. :) We've been camping out on the main level of our house and he has yet to go upstairs to the second level. We don't even know if or when that will be a possibility.
My mom left yesterday and we were all sad to see her go. I don't know what we would have done without her help. It was so amazing to know that Emerson was at home and being taken care of just as if I were here. Plus she is crazy about her Mimi so I knew she was having a great time.
She has been awesome with Jesse and very gentle around his leg. She loves to go up and kiss his cast and she repeatedly says that she will make his leg all better. With all of the changes and different things going on, I have to say that I am very proud of her. I know it's been a confusing time but she has handled it pretty well.
So, that was the last week in a nutshell. It was definitely one of the hardest weeks I can recall in a very long time and I am so glad that it's over and that Jesse is finally on the road to recovery. It also feels pretty good to have our little family back together again!