It has been a long day for everyone and especially for Elaine. We should get the good news out right away - the surgery was a success!
Fred and Elaine arrived at the hospital before dawn for a 730 AM surgery. Ben and Staci were close behind. Elaine was mostly over her nervousness by this morning. She had a unbelievable staff of nurses, doctors, and hospital personnel from the moment she walked in the door. We are certain that helped with her demeanor. And this nurse decked out in Chanel was seemingly made for Elaine!
They rolled her into surgery as scheduled at around 730. About two hours later, we heard the news that the surgery went well. The surgeon came down and explained that he found a small piece of the disc broken off. It literally popped up at him when he removed the rest of the disc. It was that little piece that was pinching a nerve in Elaine's neck. Normally, if you catch this early, you can have surgery and release the "pinch" and feel almost instant relief. However, Elaine's pinch has been there for some time so it will take some time for her to feel better - though we are not sure if that is measured in days or weeks. The Doctor was actually relieved to see the disc broken off. He felt much more optimistic that this would really help ease her pain. It is very painful to have a pinched nerve. Elaine was also relieved to hear that she wasn't crazy, or dreaming up the pain. During surgery, they replaced the bad disc with a cadaver. Elaine is very grateful to all the organ donors out there, as are we:)
After a long stint in recovery, Elaine was wheeled up to her room where Fred and Staci waited. She was still pretty groggy through this evening, but we are optimistic that she will feel ok when the anesthetic wears off. She was in a fair amount of pain tonight, in her throat and both the front and back of her neck. She had a breathing tube in during surgery and in order to reach the nerves and her discs, they have to move over her esophagus, and trachea( and whatever else was in the way). Fred has put in a really long day at the hospital. We tried to get him to leave and take a break, but to no avail! There is not a more loyal caretaker! He was over the moon to see Elaine being rolled into the room today, post op. Her first words out were, "I made it! I survived!"as she reached for his hand! As we mentioned last night, Elaine was very nervous going into the surgery and not sure she was going to survive it. She's a fighter. There is no one like her! Keep those thoughts and prayers coming! We are cautiously optimistic that a pain free future awaits Elaine!