Monday, April 25, 2011

"My Leesa and My Unca Dave"

A couple of weekends ago, our family made a quick trip to Nashville, TN. Josh's grandfather, Papaw, has been in the hospital up there for a little over a month now. Just to update those of you that don't know, back in December Mamaw and Papaw let us know that he had been to the doctor and that they had found a mass near his kidneys. The doctors had determined that it was cancerous and needed to be removed. Because of his age, they knew the surgery would take quite a toll on his body. He needed to be near family that could help him and Mamaw. Their daughter, Lisa, and her husband, Dave, live in Tennessee. They found an amazing doctor up there and decided to have the surgery there so that Lisa could help with medical decisions, and they would have a place to stay other than a hotel or the hospital room.

The initial surgery went great. He made it through the surgery so well that the doctors told him they were going to write about his case in one of the upcoming medical journals. He's a medical celebrity now :) They removed the spleen, kidney, lymph nodes, the mass itself and a piece of his diaphragm.

After the first surgery, his insides didn't "wake up" like they were supposed to and he started to have some problems, so the doctors said they needed to go back in and find out if there was an obstruction and remove it. We didn't find out about this surgery until the very last minute, but we all wanted to be there, so we loaded up and drove the 8 hours to be with Papaw. It was a long drive, but it was so worth it. It was so good for us to see Papaw and Mamaw. We are so thankful that he came through the second surgery just as well as he did the first surgery. The doctors removed a small obstruction and said they were very hopeful.

We got to see Papaw after he woke up from the anesthesia and spend some time with him. Eli wasn't scared or worried at all when he saw Papaw connected to all the tubes and wires. Everyone was so great and helped Eli understand that all that stuff was helping to make Papaw better. Eli loved going to the hospital to see Papaw and he and Mamaw got to really bond. I think they walked a hundred miles around that nurses' station! Eli also learned about EXIT signs thanks to Jordan. Now every time we go somewhere he joyfully hollers out, "Mama, I see EXIT, EXIT, EXIT, EXIT!" He loves to point out all the exits and we think it's hilarious! Now we know who to turn to if we need to make a quick getaway. Eli also had fun exploring the hospital with anyone who was willing to walk with him. The elevator was probably the most fun for Eli. He LOVED pushing the buttons and going up and down. Having a kid really makes you appreciate the little things in life that we take for granted :)

Waiting in the hotel room for Daddy to get us so we can go see Papaw

Throwing money in the fountain at the hospital

After we saw Papaw we left the hospital and went to Aunt Lisa and Uncle Dave's house for the night. They just bought their house a few months ago and are in the process of making it their own, but it still looked great! It had a huge backyard and there was a nature trail you could walk on to go look at deers, rabbits, and other animals. Eli really bonded with Aunt Lisa and Uncle Dave while we were at their house. He wanted to do everything with them!

Eli and Aunt Lisa

Watching American Idol

Aunt Lisa sneaking some sugar :)

Saturday morning Eli and Uncle Dave got up bright and early to do some work around the house. First they had to roast some coffee beans. Uncle Dave loves doing this and has really perfected it. His coffee is so yummy!

After the coffee beans were ready, they had to go check something on the computer. Eli was right there with Uncle Dave the entire time.

Uncle Dave is working really hard to get grass growing in a few spots in the front yard. He and Eli walked all over the front yard spreading the grass seed.

We went to the hospital to visit Papaw and found that he was having a really great day. The surgery had worked! We took Mamaw out for lunch and by that time it was time for little man to take a nap. He slept on the way back to Aunt Lisa's and Uncle Dave's and continued sleeping in the car once we got to their house. I volunteered to stay in the car with him while he was sleeping because I was in the middle of a great book, These Is My Words. It was such a great book! Eli eventually woke up and was still in a whiny mood. We went inside and I tried to just let him cuddle with me on the couch but all he kept saying was, "Mama, I need my Aunt Leesa and my Unca Dave!" He said this over and over until Zue-Zue finally called Lisa to tell her. Once they got back, little man ran straight to Uncle Dave so they could do some more work!

They found Uncle Dave's binoculars or "nocs" as Eli calls them, and for about 30 minutes that's all they did. They ran back and forth across the living room looking out the windows. Eli had a blast!

Uncle Dave had mentioned to us that he loved the weekends because he was able to get outside and get some physical exercise after being cooped up in an office all week. Well, this is how he looked after "exercise" with Eli Saturday. Eli definitely made him work!

Later that night, we ate pizza and had a Toy Story movie marathon. Eli grabbed the laundry basket and Uncle Dave got down next to him. What a great ending to a great day!

Sunday morning we packed up our things to get back on the road. We wanted to leave early so we wouldn't get back too late. Eli didn't quite understand that we were leaving and that Aunt Lisa and Uncle Dave had to go to church. He brought Uncle Dave his shoes and attempted to put them on him so they could go work.

Uncle Dave convinced him that they needed to stay inside and convinced Eli that looking out the windows with "nocs" would be better.

Zue-Zue came to see what they were looking at. Eli didn't want to share his "nocs" with anyone though, so she just had to use her eyes. He did pose for a couple of pictures though.

We made it back home safe and sound. We had a wonderful time with Aunt Lisa and Uncle Dave! We are so thankful for all the prayers for Josh's grandfather. He's out of the hospital now and is at Lisa and Dave's house doing physical therapy. He's been such a trooper through all this. We can't wait to have him home again soon!

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