Tag Archive for 'surgery'

Two Years Ago Today…

Typically I couldn’t tell you what I was doing two years ago- one year ago- heck I have a hard time remembering what I did last week most of the time. But as I think back to 2 years ago today, I have no problems remembering what I was doing, and my memories of that day are full of mixed emotions. On Wednesday, March 28, 2007, Jan had cervical spine surgery. They removed C5 and fused her neck from C4-C7 with 15 screws. As you can see from the x-ray, she has 8 screws in the front of her spine, and 7 screws on the back of her spine.


The day of surgery was excruciating- it was hours upon hours of waiting and worrying. Luckily Lenora, a good friend of Jan’s (and now mine) drove to Salt Lake from her home in Kennewick, WA to be with us during and after the surgery, So thankfully during those hours of waiting I wasn’t alone. Jan had her surgery at the VA Hospital in Salt Lake and the staff there was great. They kept me informed through the whole process. They made sure I understood everything that was happening as well as why they were doing it.

After surgery Jan had been taken to MICU (where she remained til Saturday) where we got to see her. Seeing her laying in that bed hooked up to the respirator was one of the scariest things I had ever witnessed. Her head and neck area was so swollen that her lips were the size of my index finger and her ear lobes were literally rolled up . I think Lenora and I both were about to pass out after seeing her like that.

Originally it was thought that Jan would be taken off the respirator the night of surgery, but, she was given to much pain medicine, and she wasn’t able to breath on her own. The longer she was on the respirator the scarier it got for me. I hated watching her like that. It wasn’t until Friday morning that she was able to be removed from the respirator, and it wasn’t until Sunday that she actually even remembers anything.

And now here it is 2 years later, and she is completely out of the pain she had prior to surgery. It’s no wonder the pain is gone- if you look at the middle picture, you will see how her neck was curved in the wrong direction. I am grateful for the life changing surgery Jan endured. I dont’ know if I could have gone through the same thing with as much “grace” as Jan did. I admire her strength.