Thursday, June 25, 2009

Surgery Updates and Bits of Hope

So, we got home so late last night, we couldn't post any photos from Jodi's surgery, but thought you might like to see her new eye "do" and hear more details from the doctor.

We knew Jodi had lost weight, but apparently, the doctor was very surprised when he did the surgery because right now her eyeball and her eyelid don't even touch. This is very unusual and happens when people lose a lot of weight under extreme circumstances. Her eyes are very sunken in and so even with the surgery, the lids don't close all the way, but part of this is because her eyes are quite sunken in right now. The hope is that when she puts on weight, her eyes will close normally, from corner to corner. (Right now the inner corner by the nose doesn't close completely because her eye is too far in.)

This image is from right when we got home last night. Jodi was still out of it and not feeling well. There were drops of blood on her face, but we did get her cleaned up before bed.

This is from today when Jodi woke up. The doctor said the swelling and the discoloration will be the worst probably tomorrow and Saturday, then things will start to get better.

You may not be able to tell from the photo, but the incision was made by scapel (jodi knows this because she was awake for the surgery) right in the crease of the lid, which will help hide the scar. Normally the gold bars (which go both horizontally and vertically on her eye) are not visible, but the doctor said they may be on Jodi until she gains some weight back. We will have to see when the swellling goes down.

Tonight her eye is more swollen and looks "goopy" but doesn't feel as badly as she expected. In fact, most of the day she has felt pretty good. She ate several small meals and kept them all down, which is huge progress. She is feeling more hopeful today than in quite some time. Now that this hopefully last procedure is over, she is finally feeling like the real recovery process can begin.

On another good note, she woke up the other day and found she had more use of her mouth. Right after surgery she had use of only about 10% of her mouth. After this latest increase, she is up to about 65 - 70%. She still can't smile normally, but she is biting and chewing better and can even spit out her toothpaste (a little). So, it may seem like a small step, but it represents big progress and continued hope for the future!

Jodi continues to be amazed by and grateful for all the help and support. She loves you all dearly (even those she hasn't met) and wants to thank you for continuing in your support of her "adventure".


britt said...

Oh Jodi I sooo wish there was more I could do for you. ALthough I am not that far away, I feel extra far right now! Its good to hear you are gaining more of your appetite back. You need to desperately be fattened up! I will see what I can do to help with that :) I hope recovery is swift and that you start to be able to function more normally (whatever taht is at this point).
Love ya, hang in there, and let me know if there is anything at all I can do. miss ya too!!

Kim Schneider said...

Jodi, It is so great that the surgery went well. And I am so glad to hear that you are feeling better. It is amazing what the little things that you improve with help your motivation and your emotional strength. But they do. Keep up the great work girl and I look forward to seeing you soon!
Kim Schneider

Anonymous said...

That is great!Progress is progress. And that is good. Keep up the recovering....So happy for you!

Anonymous said...

Oh Jodi!!! You are still amazingly beautiful Girlfriend!!! It was SOOOOOOOOO good to talk to you tonight! I am so happy that your facial muscles are kicking in! I could understand you perfectly on the phone!!! :) I continued to cry "tears of joy" after our conversation tonight! I hope you know how much I have come to respect what good friends and "neighbors" really mean! You are such an inspiration to all of us! And I look forward, everyday, to seeing continued progress in your recovery! I am so thankful to have you as a neighbor, but I feel like I know you more now than I ever thot I would know you and your family! We get so tied up in our everyday lives that we forget how important it is to get to know the people that surround our homes every day! You continue to eat all the right things to make you stronger and "heavier"!!! I would be more than happy to give you some of my "extra" weight! he he But, seriously, we all want you be healthy, strong, and FOREVER a part of our lives!!!! Keep up the good work girlfriend!!! Love you much!!! Cindy Taylor

Martin Merx said...

When i had Bell's Palsey, as soon as i started noticing improvement in the use of my mouth, it was only a few days before i was back on track!

Anonymous said...

Very grateful this surgery is in the past and we can keep going forward. You've climbed mountains and had many stumbling blocks. These; however, are the stairsteps to success in winning this mortal battle!

Thank you for your continued example of pressing forward.

Love to ALL of you!

Leslie M.

Nichole Giles said...

Hm. It's tough to eat when you feel so crappy, but keep searching and you'll find something that does the trick. Then just eat a lot of that until other things start tasting good.

Good to hear your mouth is feeling more useful. We don't realize how much we depend on certain muscles until they don't work for a while, huh.

Quote of the day:
"When you get to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on." ~Franklin D. Roosevelt

Anonymous said...

so good to hear about the progress you are making Jodi! I hope it continues!

Sarah ONeill Bailey

Anonymous said...

Have you ever seen a bird fly in the wind. I'm not sure I have ever seen one fly with the wind. THey seem to always fly against it. I watched a bird in a storm. The wind blew so hard the bird never moved. Wings flapped and she flew, she never gave up, never changed direction, just kept working to obtain her goal.
A sailboat moves best into the wind, allowing the wind to pull it through the water. Sailing into the wind can move a sailboat up to 5 times faster than the wind speed itself. Sometimes the best path is the hardest.

Anonymous said...

I found myself praying for you today, Jodi, as I sunbathed at our swim club. Kind of like auto-pilot, as soon as I was at rest, prayers for you were activated. Thanks, Tolan, for continuing blog updates. I really count on them.

Anonymous said...

Under the bright full moon she reaches up as far as her arms and hands can stretch. The ruff grey rock under her hands scrape the skin and she slowly closes her fingers, holding tight to the firmness beneath. Now she stops, takes a deep breath to fill her lungs and closes her eyes. With her eyes closed she can be anybody, can be anyplace, not here, not in the dark and definitly not holding tight to the side of a mountain. After a time which can't be measured she had finally reached the halfway point. Salty clear droplets meandered slowly into her eyes. The effort had taken its toll.
In her mind she looks back, trying to find the path that had taken her here. On a dark mountain, in the middle of a summer night there is a lot of time to think, long moments to reflect.
Her light green eyes follow the contours of the rock, up and up until all she can see is darkness. Then, slowly, taking tremdous energy, she runs her bare foot along the ruff surface searching for a place to rest. Just a small protrution, anything to allow her to relax just a little. She found it, two and a half feet up and about two feet out. Reaching out that far would put her in a very vulnerable position but, in not reaching, she would lose her strength. There was a risk either way, but which way could help her reach the top? Decision made she wrapped her toe around the tiny ledge. Laying prone against the hard rock had its dangers, but if she could just catch her breath maybe she could move on. Move to a safer place. The hazards were many, they slowly and deliberatly depleted every ounce of life and energy until they were just a memory. How many more days would it take? She couldn't think about that. She was waisting precious energy. Pain shooting up her arm brought her back to her present situation. Time again to find a safehold. She begins the search, moving her hand in small circular motions, methodically moving back and forth ever so lightly scanning the surface, searching, searching for that life saving stronghold. Safety again was finally found, but this time a small red line mapped the vertical rock. The fight again had made its mark. Every part of her body hurt, pain shot thru all her extremities. She had hurt for so long she coulnt't tell where the pain originated or its final destination. Again in the silver reflection of the moon she looks up. If she can just make it to the top. Safety is at the top, rest awaits her. Her eys were drooping, her eyelids were heavy, but sleep must not overcome her. If she were to relax her hold she would fall. She must stay alert, she must hold on. Then, just as she was floating into unconscienceness her hand jerked to the side. Before she had a chance to catch herself she felt the hard rock moving beneath her. No, the rock was not moving but she was! Arms and legs flailing. She was falling. Without notice she stopped. She hit hard, but in taking inventory her injuries were minor. Carefully feeling around her she realized she was on a ledge. One large enough to lay down. The cloudy night covered the moon now. Visability was zero. There was no more reflection to make out the shapes. She would progress no more tonight, but she would be able to rest and start out fresh at the rising of the sun. With that she layed her head in the crook of her arm and fell fitfully to sleep. Trying to gain the strength to climb another day.
She was startled awake and her eyes flashed open. It took her a few minutes fefore she remembered where she was. Was it safe to move? She looked from side to side, then something caught her eye, something she hadn't seen in the dark. Could it really be? A series of ledges leading directly to the top. If she could make it from ledge to ledge she could have a place to rest. The climb between each ledge was steep and rough, and she was battered and beaten from climbing. Tired and sore, but she needed to reach the top. Could she do it after all this time. She rolled to her side moved her arms, pulled her legs up underneath her and pushed herself up. Today was the day!