Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Dave Update: "Stronger Every Day"

Hi everyone,

It's Tuesday, and we're still in Dallas, but doing well.

Jody went 24 hours without a dose of Dilaudud today, which is huge, as she had been on one dose every three hours. It's an industrial strength narcotic, so it really made her loopy - but did knock the pain down significantly. (Driving around Dallas with syringes of apple juice laced with the stuff was a little weird to be sure.)

We're now trying a shift to Advil and, so far, so good. If she can stay on that, she'll be back to operating heavy machinery in no time.

The doctor is hinting that we might, indeed, be cleared to come home by week's end as planned. In the meantime, she's sleeping, eating, and walking. The swelling continues to subside, and we've already made an appointment with the Orthodontist in Denver for next week, just for the good karma factor.

Thank you so much to everyone for your prayers and good thoughts. They help so much, and we treasure every one. Hope to talk to all of you soon.

Much love,

Jody & David

Monday, January 30, 2012

Dave Update: "First Bite with a Spoon!"

Hi everyone,

Happy Monday from Dallas.

It's 5:11 pm and we've just gotten back from the daily doctor visit. It went well, and all rubber bands are doing what they are supposed to do. (I even managed to get the front one on and off with the hemostat, so I'm forcing Jody to refer to me as "doctor" from here on out.)

To celebrate the good check up, we went to Boston Market and it was a milestone, as she managed to eat with a spoon and drink from a glass. We have to go very slow and have lots of napkins at the ready, but it really gave her an expanded sense of freedom.

All the excitement has worn her out for now though, so we're back at the hotel, taking the evening's meds and settling in for the night.

It's still looking good to come home at the end of the week, and she's excited about that as you can imagine.

In the meantime, thank you again to everyone for everything, and much love to you all. We miss you, and hope to see you soon.

Sunday, January 29, 2012

Dave Update: "First Stitches Out"

Hi Everyone,

It's Sunday in Dallas and we've just come back from our daily visit with Dr. Wolford. Today he took the stitches out of Jody's neck incisions, and told her she was continuing to do well.

He also re-adjusted her septum, which hurt, but is helping her breathe better through her nose.

We celebrated with a walk at White Rock Lake which is where we used to go when we were young newlyweds here in Dallas.

We're back at the hotel now and she's down for a nap following lunch (Campbell's tomato bisque soup, applesauce, fruit drink, and a milkshake via syringe). We've gotten a pretty good routine down, and she's making the best of it.

We miss you all, and want to tell you again how very grateful we are to everyone for all you are doing to help us. This would simply not be possible without you, and we never forget that fact. Thank you very very much. We think of you all every day.

With much love.

David & Jody

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Dave Update: "Still Doing Well"

Hi everyone,

It's Saturday in Dallas, and Jody is still doing well. We've just returned from our daily visit to Dr. Wolford (he sees surgical patients on Saturdays and Sundays, as well as every day of the week. Amazing).

He added a new rubber band. This one in the very front, running at a 45 degree angle across her upper and lower teeth. Kind of a bummer for her, but he needs to retrain her jaw muscle from pulling in its old direction.

He showed me how to take the new band off and put it on for her, using a hemostat. (You can imagine how much she's looking forward to that!) and we'll get it figured out.

It comes at a bad time, as last night she actually managed to eat some sweet potatoes and dressing (watered down and made thin with gravy) from Boston Market with a spoon (kind of). It was the one thing she had been craving since the operation, and she really enjoyed having something besides soup for a change.

But, for now, we are going back to liquids, as getting that muscle retrained is very important. We did venture out for her first milkshake on the way home from the doctor, and she loved it.

We're back at the hotel so she can have a nap now. She's in good spirits (still cold all the time due to the low hemocrates) and her attitude is still good as well.

She's trying to write and call everyone, if only for a few minutes, but she wears out pretty quick so forgive her if she skips out on it every now and then. She misses you all very much.

Right now, she seems most comfortable here in the security of the hotel room, rather than venturing out, but we went for a nice walk along Turtle Creek yesterday, and are hoping to again today as well. It's bound to be helping her healing.

Thank you again to everyone for being such great friends. Have a nice weekend, and we hope to see you soon

Much love.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Dave Update: "It's Friday!"

Hi everyone,

Happy Friday.

We made it through our second night at the hotel (and with no further microwave "mishaps") today Jody is up, showered, and dressed. We don't have anywhere to go, but you know how good it feels just to feel like you can. As soon as she was done, she nodded off on the couch and is sleeping now.

She saw Dr. Wolford again yesterday and he added a few more rubber bands, took an x-ray, and said she is right on track. I am still amazed at his level of care. We see him again today at 4:30, and then every day until next Friday/Saturday when we will hopefully be released to come home.

I know home won't be any easier...maybe even a little harder for awhile, but just being back among family a friends is bound to help her healing even more.

In the meantime, we're settled into a bit of a routine here. Meds every three to four hours and sleep, then walk whenever she can. She's got good intake, but because her hemocrates (nurse friends forgive my spelling) she is cold all the time. We've got double blankets on the bed, and I added a fleece one from BB&B last night (Dallas does have everything in terms of shopping.)

Thanks to you all for checking in on her, and to our great family for watching out for the boys and keeping everything on track at home. Becky and Kathy are doing yeomen's work, as is Pat who continues to make this blog possible.

Much love from us both, and please keep those positive thoughts coming. We miss every one very, very much.

Thursday, January 26, 2012


Hi everyone,

They released Jody to the hotel last night. She walked out of the front door of the hospital, which was very symbolic for us both.

We've got some eight different meds to be given at a variety of different times, so the coffee table in the room looks like a pharmacy, and she has to eat my cooking (who knew a can of soup would blow up in the microwave?) but, all in all, she's doing great. She's pretty lucid and still joking when she can. You know Jody.

Pat adds: Our next model Jody is wearing the slouchy pink robe with the loosely tied belt that were first seen on the runways of Milan this year. Note the fashion-forward  "Evening Pajamas" she is sporting.   Hair by: Salon de BedHed
We go back to see the surgeon this afternoon, and in the meantime she's napping without anyone poking her, which is nice.

Thank you for all the kind messages and good thoughts. Next step...home for real!

Love to you all,


Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Dave Update #2 for Wednesday: "She looks like Jody!"

This is today (Wednesday), which is Day Five after the surgery. She is sleeping on her side (which is something she really wanted to do.)

She still won't be operating any heavy equipment for a little while, but she is looking better every day.

Dave Update: "Best Day Yet" [Wednesday]

It's Wednesday noon, and Jody had the best morning so far.

Best news of all was that she got to take a shower and wash her hair, which really perked her up. We then got to take a stroll and, because she was unhooked from her pumps, we went downstairs and out the front door to have her breathe non-hospital air for the first time in six days. It was huge.

She' s asked them to leave the PCP pump and IV disconnected for awhile - so we're pushing fluids via more syringes (35 per day goal) and managing pain with oral meds. Fingers are crossed that it works, as they can then release her to the hotel if it does.

Right now she is sleeping - on her side, which is something she had been craving.

Thank you again to everyone there, especially Becky and Joe and Kathy and John - and to Lora and the Book Club ladies for keeping our boys and our household running - it is such a load off our minds for us.

And special thanks to Pat, again, for her great support (and for listening to my endless concerns daily) and for creation of this blog. It has been such a great help. And also to Annette and the other Jeffco nurses for keeping Jody's place warm ... She misses all of you.

We are so blessed to have such wonderful friends, and I pray we can find a way to repay each of you one day soon.

With much love,


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Email Problems: Verbal Report

Love our computers when they work; hate them when they don't. Dave's email is acting up so he is having trouble sending emails, so he AND JODY!!! just phoned.

I answered the phone, and it honest to God sounded like a drunk woman saying "This is Jody Dickerson" -- slurred speech and I laughed and said that if I didn't know better, I would think she was hanging off a lamp post somewhere, having had one too many of those martinis you women talk about.

So the bad news is she has some kind of minor throat infection which is being treated and is supposedly no big deal. She did 10 laps of walking today. Her dinner tonight was applesauce via a giant hypodermic needle which is how she eats -- squirting it into her mouth.

When they first called, we only talked for about ten seconds and then the doctor arrived so they hung up and called me back when the doctor had gone and said the doctor said everything was fine. The swelling is down.

She has various stitches in her neck, ears, scalp and gums so I helpfully pointed out that her head is in no danger of falling off and she joked back that yes, her head is "securely fastened."

The best news, however, is that tomorrow the doctor said she can take a shower and wash and condition her hair. I know she will feel like a new woman. I said, "You'll be pink and pleasant again."

Dave and Jody both expressed their continued thanks for all the wonderful support from their many friends.

Stand by for Tuesday's Report

Dave sent a report for today, but it's lost in the electronic ether somewhere so he's going to resend when he has a chance. There's no wifi in the hospital so he has to send from a nearby Barnes & Noble.

Think of Jody as you enjoy your meals. Dave was telling me today she drinks this stuff called Boost -- you know it's that kind of liquid meal where they try to convince you it tastes just like a milkshake. Sure it does. Then she drinks broth, has cream of wheat and pureed carrots -- separately, of course. This girl needs some nachos to regain her strength! Dave says she drinks her Boost if not cheerfully, at least willingly.

As soon as I receive today's news, I'll post it.

Monday, January 23, 2012

Dave Update: Monday Morning

It's Monday morning, and things are still going okay. She slept better last night in two hour stints. Pain is still at a seven, but the meds seem to manage it.

Dr. Wolford rounded this morning and said he was pleased. The swelling inside her mouth and everywhere around her neck is expected.

She kind of has a blank look all the time, and a frown that stays, but he said it was due to the invasions her head and neck have been through, and the fact that it throws hormones all out of whack. In addition, the anesthesia still hasn't worn off.

She's speaking quietly and in short bursts, but she's awake and aware.

We did four laps this morning, and here's a photo. She said it was okay to post it. She misses everyone and wants to be sure and let you know she's thinking about you.

Dr. Wolford said he would see her this afternoon and in the morning, then decide if he would release her to home (hotel) care maybe as early as tomorrow.

All in all, things are going well, and we are very lucky.

Thank you again to everyone for your great support and love. And special thanks to Kathleen and John and Becky and Joe for watching over the boys and keeping our household running. It is no small feat, and we will never be able to thank them enough.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Dave Update: Sunday at 2pm in Dallas

First off, thank you a million times over to my best friend Pat in New York who created this blog for Jody and who is posting my messages to make it easier on us. She is simply the best, and I hope you all get to meet her one day.

It's just after 2:00 p.m. here in Dallas and Jody is sleeping after a liquid lunch and some more pain meds. She is still very swollen and bruised, but her color is better than yesterday. She and the nurse walked a lap today...well, shuffled a lap...and we'll be doing another one just before 5:00.

The drugs are making her a little irritable and confused sometimes, but that's a small price to pay.

The doctor rounded this morning and was pleased with her progress. We should see him again this evening. He's really been terrific, as have the nurses on this floor.

They started antibiotics today for infection, and are continuing the morphine drip. I think the anesthetics are almost completely worn off now and the real pain is setting in, so she's hitting the little button more and talking less.

She's worried that she is somehow doing a bad job of staying in touch with everyone - and I'm keeping her cell phone on silent so she can sleep and not worry about messages (it's her iPod as well.) I'm reading her everything that comes in to  my phone, and I hope this blog is helping as well.

Thank you so much for all the thoughts and prayers. She is very blessed to have such great friends and family, and each of you are in our thoughts as well.

Pat adds: By the way, it's easy to leave a comment for Jody to cheer her on. Just click on 'comments' right below here, choose Name/URL from the pulldown menu -- type in your first name and you can just leave URL blank and then press "continue" then "submit your comment" and that's it. Anyone can comment -- you don't have to register or anything. No swirly letters to try to figure out!

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Dave Update: Goodnight Jody

She's doing good. Walked three laps around the floor today. Had some liquid dinner (ewww) and is getting her mouth rinsed out now (ewww again). All in all, a really good day, though. They just gave her pain and sleep meds, and she's off to dreamland.

Dave Update: 11am in Dallas -- "Amazing"

It's 1100 on Saturday morning and she's doing good. She is drinking water and apple juice through a syringe.

She is actually talking a bit (amazing) and she got up and walked with assistance to the bathroom and then sat on a sofa in her room for a little while.

She's hooked to a morphine pump, which she can tap every 10 minutes, and she's been using it as I think all of the anesthetics are wearing off.

She's bruised a lot, but they said her swelling is actually less than expected. She has movement in her face and eyebrows and she can smile a little, so it looks like facial nerves are okay. She can't feel her lips yet, but that's normal I think.

The doctor just rounded, and he was pleased with how she's doing. What an amazing guy. He'll see her again this afternoon.

Right now she's sleeping. It's a nice room and nice staff.

Thank you to everyone for your thoughts and prayers. They are truly working, and we are so blessed to have you as our friends.

Friday, January 20, 2012

Dave Update: 8pm in Dallas

It's 8:05 p.m. and I just left the recovery room. She opened her eyes and smiled a little bit when she focused her eyes. She could hear me when I asked if she was cold, and she was able to raise her eyebrows and wrinkle her forehead (which we had been very concerned about due to so much work being done next to the nerves.)

She's really bloody and bruised, but able to understand about her morphine pump. She's moaning, and they were suctioning blood out of her mouth, nose and stomach with a little tube.

The doctor rounded and said she was doing fine, and she has a one on one nurse, who is very nice (Gigi).

She fell back to sleep after about five minutes, and all her vital signs are where they should be.

This is all really good news.

Thank you again to everyone.

Dave Update: He's Seen Jody

It's 5:48 and I just saw her at last. She's asleep, and has tubes everywhere, but is breathing on her own, and she still looks like Jody. She has a big bandage with ice packs around her head, and some bruising and bleeding but it's okay. She groaned a little, but has her eyes tightly shut.

They will be transferring her to another recovery room tonight. The nurses are nice and the doctor will round on her later this evening, though they tell me she won't be awake enough to use her pain pump until sometime tomorrow.

God is great, and we are very blessed. Thank you to everyone for all the thoughts and prayers. They worked, and it will only get better from here.

Dave Update: Jody Comes Through!

The surgeon just came in and said everything went as planned and that she did fine. (He looked fresh as a daisy...amazing). They won't let me see her for another hour or so, but I am so happy just to know she's done. God bless Doctor Wolford.

Dave Update - 4pm in Dallas

The OR called at 3:40 to say they were putting dressings on and she should go to recovery soon. I will let you know as soon as I see her.

Keep your fingers crossed just a lite bit longer.

Dave Update - 3pm in Dallas

The OR called at 2:56 to say they had about another hour or so to go. They said everything is going as planned.

Keep your fingers crossed, and I will let you know when she's out and I have laid eyes on her.

Dave Update - Friday @ 1:11 pm

The OR called at 1:03 to say they were on schedule. The prosthesis will be completed in another half hour or so, and then they will begin on her upper jaw.

I wish I could see her, as she's less than 100 yards away, but I also know she wouldn't want me to right now (and I would probably faint anyway.)

Keep the white light and good thoughts coming, and I'll let you know when I get the next update.

Jody Trivia

Pat here, who just talked to Dave and he has received two updates so far that all is well during this 8-1/2 hour surgery. He believes the surgery will be finished around 4 pm Dallas time. Dave couldn't have spoken more highly of the surgeon, the anesthesiologist and other hospital staff.

On to the trivia: Out of curiosity, I asked Dave what Jody decided to have for dinner last night -- she had been told she could eat anything she wanted, but no food or water after 12 midnight. I told Dave that I had thought about what my own choice would be and decided I'd probably go for pizza and added "which shows how low brow my food tastes are."

Dave said that Jody's were even more low brow. What she was in the mood for was Chik-Fil-A nuggets so they had that for dinner, had a pleasant evening driving around Dallas, visiting old sites and both were able to sleep a bit last night too.

The Big Day -- Dave Reports In

It's 0720, and her gurney has just disappeared behind the double doors of the OR.

She was smiling, and they had just given her some IV meds to start her going to sleep. We got to pre-op at 0530 so we had some nice time to talk and reminisce about everything while the doctors and nurses came in and out with questions and such. The anesthesiologist was nice, and Dr. Wolford was in good spirits too.

The lead surgical nurse's name is Loretta, which was the name of her Mom's best friend...so I think her angel is watching over her today.

We have a small angel we always put in each other's sight at home on special mornings. He made the trip with us, and this is a photo of him on Jody's shoulder before they took her in.

Thank you for all the prayers and white light.

Dave update: They called at 1017 to say they were starting to put one side of the prosthesis in.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Later on Thursday

David is a bit blog-challenged, so he asked me to post this report:

Long day today of pre-admissions, then briefing by the surgeons (which was excellent) then the listing of everything that could go wrong (which was not so excellent) then X-rays and mouth impressions, final questions, and (surprise) now two more insurance forms, then we're done.

Jody wants to walk over to the surgical floor where she'll be in recovery tomorrow, and she is thinking about what to have for her last (pre-surgery) meal tonight. She can have anything she wants, so it should be interesting. Nothing at all (not even water) after midnight, then we'll need to be here at 5:30.

She's a bit maxed, but holding up well and still smiling.

Thursday Update

Hi -- It's Jody and Dave's friend Pat in New York with a bit of news. Just got an email from Dave who said they are in Dallas, have met with the surgeon whom Dave described as "confidence inspiring." One last last-minute battle with the insurance company which got resolved. Dave said that Jody is "doing well" and in good spirits. They have to be at the hospital tomorrow at 5:30 AM with the operation set to begin at 7:00 AM. I know she and Dave will be in all of our thoughts tomorrow as we send all our good wishes, healing angels, prayers, thoughts, and whatever else our particular beliefs are her way.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Time to go!!!

So I am heading for Dallas on Wednesday 1/18/12. I will be taking up residence at ye ole' Residence Inn in Dallas - after a few days of rest and relaxation at Baylor University Hospital. David is going to be staying with me during the hospital stay (hopefully only 3-4 nights) and then when I go to the hotel Kathleen and John will be there. They are driving so they will have transportation. The boys will be with Kathleen and John for a few days and then with Becky until David returns. Lily dog is going to have a fun time with Ginger Schmitz... she is looking forward to that very much.
Thank you all so much for helping me plan this out. The details are stressing me out now. Oh wait.....everything is stressing me out. Thanks to my wonderful work teammates for covering my little school pumpkins while I am away. Don't be too nice to them so they will like me better when I get back :-)
The necklace around my neck in the photo is my lucky 4 leaf clover. Lots of new jammies. I'm ready.
And yes, I did cut my hair. simplicity is my motto right now.
David will be posting ( I think)
I will see you on the other side!