It was wonderful to have a visit from my mom, my brother Tim and Stewart. Stewart gave me a wonderful priesthood blessing, and although I don't remember details about it, I'm so thankful for it. I know it made a difference. I also know that family, friends and ward members were praying for me, fasting for me and serving my family as best they could. I know my life was spared because of their faith and prayers.
My mom sat by my bed and chatted, which most of you know is my very favorite thing - chatting with my mom. Although I couldn't talk, I did ask for paper and pen so I could scratch notes and say what I wanted to say. She told me all about her Gospel Doctrine lesson, and updated me on the renovations they are doing on their house. I gained such strength having my brother Tim there. He's been through many-a-hospital-stay, and I would look at his bright smile and strong frame and think, "Tim's done this before. I can do this too."
About this point in came a male nurse, informing me that he was there to insert a feeding tube through my nose. My mom moved to the back of the room to give him space, and my amazing nurse, Candy stayed by me and held my hand. I needed a hand to hold, too. Although he had a scope, he could NOT find the spot the tube was supposed to land. In and out, in and out, in and out of my nose and throat, he tried again and again. It was horrible, and I hope I didn't break Candy's hand squeezing it so hard. Probably a good thing I had a tube down my throat and couldn't speak, because I think I would have said, "It's okay. I'll just starve!"
The chest tubes were doing their job. They had drained a good liter of brown, infected fluid from my lungs. My doctor came in after the daily round of scans, x-rays and vitals and said, "We're concerned about your right lung. We don't like how this is looking. The infected fluid has started to congeal to a jell-o like consistency. We'd like to try to place another chest tube to see if we can get that pocket of fluid out." Despite their attempt with another chest tube, the fluid was too thick to be removed with the tubes, and was now joined by a "rind-like" coating on my lung, which both needed to be removed. I was then introduced to my second doctor, Dr. Coleman.
Dr. Coleman came and visited with me, and asked me a bunch of questions about my health, habits, etc., most likely making sure I'd be a good candidate for this surgery. He explained the surgery to me: A small incision in my right side by my ribcage, and they would go in and manually scoop out the infected fluid, and scrape off the rind-like coating on my lung. The procedure is called a Thoracotomy. Gross, huh? I wouldn't know. I was asleep for the whole procedure, and woke up thinking about sugar cookies!
The surgery was a success, and they were able to remove another liter of fluid, in addition to the coating on my lungs. All of the nurses who asked who my surgeon was would say, "Oh, Dr. Coleman! He's the best Thoracic surgeon in the Northwest. You're going to be just fine."