End of Summer Update
Boy! Summer has gotten away from me! Cole has stopped napping so I have no time to think, let alone sit down and write! But, also, I have been tired and really in a recovery phase. Sometimes all you can do is the bare minimum and not expect a whole lot more out of yourself! Nevertheless, I thought it might be time for an update, seeing as we have some things coming up.
Dustin is headed in for yet another surgery this next week. Yippee. We have switched to a new Ocular Plastics doctor who has us feeling much more comfortable.
"I know your orbits like the back of my hand," he told us before he laid out a methodical plan for the future. He had met with Dusts plastics doctor (who we have really come to love and trust) for four hours, discussing his case, looking over everything and studying his scans. We breathed a sigh of relief knowing that we now have a very clear series of events where there were many unknowns.
Unfortunately, that series of events involves, at minimum, four more surgeries. They say the nose should be the worst of it all (although I know that they still have to do to the right eye what they did to the left in the last surgery and I know how terrible that recovery was).
This next surgery will be to build up Dustin's nose using cartilage from his rib. In order to graft cartilage from Dust's rib, they will have to take the cartilage portion of the rib bone, which will be really painful. If his nose doesn't buckle under the weight of the cartilage, the surgery should only be an hour and a half and he'll feel like he got punched in the nose really hard for a few weeks. If it does collapse, things get more complicated and it turns into five to six hour surgery.
Dust scheduled the surgery for a Thursday, hoping to be back to work by Monday or Tuesday. The doctor's secretary laughed, admitting that might be a little optimistic, but he is a determined son of a gun!
The three surgeries that follow will be on his eyes. One to try to release the scar tissue inside the orbit of his right eye, place more plates and pull it forward. The next to adjust the muscles on both eyes to straighten them out. And the last to open his right eyelid.
Dust has spent most of the summer with his dad working on our house, with only a few breaks for some family time. Those two are at it almost every single night after work until well after dark and Saturdays from sun up to sun down.
Most days, Dust comes running into the house - "I have to go! My dad is already down there!" He changes into construction clothes and I try to hurry and feed him before he blows back out the door. Me and the kids pack up in the car and go down for a visit before it's time for baths and bed.
The other day Dust spent a few extra minutes with us for dinner and when he went downstairs to change, Cole said, "That was fun playing with dad, mom!" We sure miss him, but it is so neat to see him fulfilling some of his most deep-seated dreams - dreams that, for a moment, he thought would be impossible to even attempt. It's also so fun for me to see him not let anything hold him back. I am just so proud of him and the fire he has inside of him. Oh, I love him.
I have noticed that yearly occurrences, such as anniversaries, holidays, birthdays bring a myriad of emotions and lots of looking back. During the Fourth of July parade, I flashed back to my newborn Haley in my arms and Cole happily riding around on Dust's shoulders. On Dustin's birthday, I couldn't help but feel immense sadness over the heartache and painful growth his 28th year has brought us. But I also felt a deep and burning gratitude for the blessings, miracles and narrowly missed tragedies, and amazement over all that can happen in one short year.
28 was a year we will never, ever forget - a year full of the lowest of lows and the highest of highs. I'm proud to say that together with our amazing families, our sweet friends, our Savior, our Father in Heaven and the companionship of the Holy Ghost- we survived a life-altering 28th year.
Our anniversary, this last week, has had me reflecting on how effortless it was to fall in love with my Duster. I thought about the many, MANY things we have experienced since we started dating eleven years ago - lots of mountains (good and bad) that have changed us indefinitely. There is, however, one thing that never seems to change. No matter what we are going through, the touch of his hand has a way of making my heart feel calm. It doesn't matter the weather, nor the strength of the storm, with my hand in his everything feels right. I have loved living this crazy, adventurous life by his side.