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One Tough Cookie

Sorry I haven’t posted in a few days.  The days have passed by in a blur since Friday when Chicky had her surgery.

We drove down on Thursday and met Chicky and her roommate for dinner.  Chicky was in a very chipper mood despite knowing that she would soon be having her knee cut open and a new ACL constructed from her patella.  Her Tweets reflected her eagerness to get the surgery over with.

After we returned to the hotel, I caught up on reading my emails and found a couple from my students (they also attached the essays that had been due the day before)…touching thoughts wishing my Chicky well…

We spent Friday morning shopping for groceries at Sams and Publix.  We knew that we wouldn’t be in any shape to put a lot of effort into cooking, so we wanted to be prepared.

We were told that her surgery was scheduled for 1:30.  Showtime at the surgery center was 12:30 for prep work.

We arrived as told, given a pager and instructions on how things would proceed, and then waited.

Chicky was taken back by herself first to get an IV set up.  Once she was prepped, we were called back to wait with her until it was her time to be taken to the operating room.

We were very nervous, but once again, she surprised us with her winsome smile and easy laughter.  She even allowed me to take a picture of her giving a big thumbs up.

Her roommate arrived at the surgery center and went back to talk to her for awhile.  She left soon after so we could spend the rest of the time with Chicky.

We noticed her appointment time come and go without her being taken back.  It turned out that her actual surgery time was between 3 and 5, and the doctor was running a bit behind.  He had twelve surgeries that day.


Finally, he stopped by, and we got to meet him…a very soft-spoken, calm man who, it turned out, hails from a town not too far from us.  Chicky showed him her right leg…the one she was being operated on…the one she had to write the word “Yes” on…the one that her roommate had a bit of fun with and wrote the word in various languages…

We got to ask questions, much to Chicky’s chagrin (she’s all grown up at nearly 22 years old, don’t you know), and we were left to wait some more.

Hurry up and wait seems to be the name of the game when you’re talking about anything medical related, eh?

Still, the staff was very kind and accommodating.

The dreaded moment came when we had to part with Chicky.  It was hard to watch her walk away, but she was laughing as she did, flanked on both sides by animated surgical assistants who, it wound up, were playing rap music in the OR.

We had been told that the surgery would take an hour and a half…two tops.  I set my timer, and we began to grow anxious as we watched the time creep past one hour forty-five minutes.  When it passed two hours fifteen minutes, our stomachs started flip-flopping.  At 2:20, our pager went off.  It was time to have a consultation with the doctor.

He met us in a private room and assured us that the surgery had gone very well and that there was no other damage.  Praise God!  I had been concerned that there might be extra stuff he’d have to fix.  MRIs don’t always show everything.

We were sent back to the waiting room for another twenty minutes before our pager went off for the final time.  It was finally time to be reunited with Chicky.  I was nervous.  The last time we’d visited her in recovery had been bad.

To our surprise, she was sitting up…very groggy…but in a pleasant mood!  Her head kept hanging over, and she kept dozing off, but she was smiling.

She made me take a picture of her leg with the immobilizer on it and post it on Instagram.

Modern technology, eh?

I was shocked when the nurses had her get up and walk, without crutches, to the bathroom to get dressed.  She was on so much medication that she couldn’t feel any pain, and she was able to dress herself, with me standing with my back to her but still in the room with her.

It wasn’t long before we put her in the car and headed to her house.  Still in a good mood, she joked the entire way…albeit slurring her words a bit.  She settled on the couch and had a lucid conversation until the Mr. left to return to the hotel.  I was staying with Chicky.

Chicky watched TV for a while, got up to potty…all the while walking without crutches…and even tried to clean up the house!  She did a bit of a dance before heading to bed.

Ahhh…the effects of anesthesia.  How very deceiving they were!

The Mr. returned the next morning and found a cheerful Chicky.  She’d had a good night and was still motoring around fairly easily.  When he left to return home, we were both laying on the pull-out couch set for a day of watching TV and me waiting on her hand-and-foot.

The rest of the day passed by without too much trouble.

It’s pretty hard to complain when your day looks like this…


Creepy movie…reminded me why I don’t watch these things…

Dog-sitting for the athletic trainer. This little girl has adopted me.

Toward the end of the evening, her pain started to get worse, and her leg started tightening up as the original pain meds worked their way out of her system.

Things turned ugly on Sunday when she woke up barely able to move her leg, in a lot more pain, and feeling very nauseous.  She was also unable to use the bathroom…an unfortunate side effect from the pain medicine.  She finally quit taking her pain meds…simply refused…and I wasn’t about to pull a defensive lineman move, pin her down, and force her to swallow those pills.  She paid the price late that night when she woke up in more pain than she could bear.

She took the pills after that.

God had been gracious, though, and helped her body start doing what it was supposed to do, if you catch my drift.

Poor girl.

That takes us through today, which has been up and down with a lot of aggravation on her part…unwrapping her immobilizer to let her leg breathe…unwrapping and re-wrapping the ACE bandage (I should have taken lessons pre-surgery…seriously)…and still more nausea.

I’m hoping that Christmas Eve will find her able to get out of the house for a few minutes, inhale fresh air, and feel a bit of holiday spirit.

I’m sure looking at my face is getting old by now.

I will say that despite the circumstances, we’ve managed to have some fun.

Our TV time has consisted of episodes of Say Yes to the Dress and Toddlers and Tiaras…both shows I’ve never watched before.

By the way, I find it disgraceful that kids are given sports drinks and such sugar snacks like Pixie Sticks to be able to “perform.”  Sorry to be judgmental, but what are people thinking?!  This show, while funny at times, makes me mad at the way kids are coddled and “beauty” that comes across as fake is applauded.  Sheesh.

Back to this post…


Please continue to pray for Chicky.  She still has a long road ahead of her.  She will return to work on the 6th.  She has a long way to go before she’s ready.

She’s shown me, once again, what a tough cookie she is…determined to lead life her way, push through obstacles, and come out on top.

I love her to pieces and am grateful that I can be here to take care of her during the toughest days.

All glory to God for the healing He is working in her body and the way He will use her trials to bring glory to Himself.

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