Sunday, March 26, 2017

Sunday Walkabout 3-26

always good to see my mountains
“It certainly has been a week!”

I’m not real sure who said that to me yesterday. I think it was K-man's “Grandpa-Roy”. I totally, most heartily concur. Because what else can you say?

From the time the medical center called early Tuesday morning saying they had a cancellation and if we got there sooner than scheduled, they’d get us right in…the week took off with a mind of its own.

Naively, we thought that sooner meant quicker. I mean, a 4-hour surgery…surely the Boss would be in a room by afternoon and I could come home and do chores. Right? Most definitely wrong.

It was 9:30pm before he got to a room. Then the round of doctors, nurses and PCAs went all night.
the never ending hospital construction in the very early morning

It was 6am before I headed back to the hill.

A big THANK YOU to daughter #1 for sitting with me for hours and hours and hours until we could go see him in recovery. Another big THANK YOU to daughter #2 for doing the farm chores for me so the animals didn’t feel neglected.

The surgery went well. The doctor (and his team) were pleased. They got the entire tumor and we will find out next week what the pathology report says. As it stands, the Boss does not have to face any further treatment.

one heck of an incision!

But, as a reminder to him (and an explanation to you) it was indeed MAJOR surgery. They had to cut through the rectus abdominus which is a really big muscle that is involved in a LOT of everyday movement. And, according to the Boss, it “hurts like hell”. He rarely cusses, so that expression alone should give you a clue as to the severity of the pain. They moved all his insides around, so there's still lots of swelling and discomfort as well as the pain from the gigantic incision.
early morning on the hill

When I came back Wednesday morning, it was to do chores and pick up broiler batch #2. Bad timing on the chickens…but, plans had been made prior to scheduling surgery, so we will just muddle through. The Post Office called while I was feeding the sheep and required a trip to Staunton, so I wimped out on the drive to C’ville for the day and had the kids take me and bring me home. Again…thanks! (we’ve got great kids)

broiler babies

I know that a lot of you think that we can just take a vacation or find someone to “baby-sit” things for us…one of these days I will find the time to tell you how that is a virtual impossibility. And, it is not because I’m stubborn or incredibly hard-working…

heading to C'ville
Back at the hospital…

It amazes me that the human body responds to such invasive surgery in such a positive way. By Thursday he was up walking with assistance. By Friday, he had lost most of the IVs and was walking on his own. On Saturday morning, they brought him solid food and mentioned discharge…
if you follow us on Facebook,
you  know about the socks
but, do YOU think he looks like Moses?
his aunt does...and I'm still giggling over that one

Saturday was also Kman’s second birthday party. On my way to the party, the Boss called me. He was going home! They were going to release him at three…but, you know how that goes…

He wanted me to go to the party for a while.

Kman and his mama
I said HAPPY Birthday to the birthday boy, hugged a few family members, snuggled one of the new babies and then it was time to hit the road again.

I was nowhere near the hospital when the Boss called. They were releasing him RIGHT now! Please hurry…well, don’t hurry…but, come on.

leaving the hospital!

If anyone doubted that they would release him at 3 o’clock…I took that picture at 3:09pm.

He was elated to get in the car and head home.

 However, the drive over the mountain is far more difficult when you’re in pain than you ever think it should be. But, he’s HOME!
going home

Yes, HOME.

There is truly NO place like HOME.
pretty sure that's where he's staying for a while

He wants me to thank everyone for him…from the bottom of his heart, he says. I’m sure when he’s feeling stronger, he will post something himself.

It has most definitely been A WEEK. I had a lot of things I wanted to write about.

We missed Ag day. You can read this old post.

We missed our farm ownership anniversary. 20 years! 

a lot has changed since March 24, 1997
 You can read this old post.

I wanted to write about Thomas Jefferson…and UVA…and the Market (which starts SATURDAY)…and a bunch of other things…but, maybe some other time…

It is very easy when you’re in the midst of your own dramatic life event to become truly insular and not notice anything around you. Although, UVA is teeming with other folks who all have their own struggles. When you stop and consider all the suffering and worry that is going on around you, it’s more than a little humbling to know that so many folks are worried about YOU. In our short hospital stay, I caught up with 3 acquaintances who are going through their own serious health struggles. One included a trip in the NETs (Newborn Emergency Transport Service) from Harrisonburg for one of our Market vendor’s newborn twin sons. The babies were taken to Neonatal Intensive Care, where one is doing quite well. The littler baby is worrying everyone. And, Mom is staying in C’ville while Dad goes back home. So, you may want to say a prayer or ten for the Shirk family as they struggle to take care of children at home and worry over a critically ill newborn. Somehow, knowing that others are even more needy puts our own situation in perspective for me.

We thank God for putting all the right people in the right place at the right time. 

And, in closing, THANK YOU…many of you have messaged, called and just reached out to us and we truly appreciate it.  We have heard from friends from all over the world. And, to my own friends who are concerned specifically with my concerns, I love you ladies! All y'all are awesome!

As the doctor said, for a bad situation…this has been the best possible scenario…

I hope you have a Happy Sunday! 

Thanks for stopping by. I hope you’ll come “visit” again real soon. (and I hope to actually have farm news next time)

Right now, I’m off to town in hopes of getting his pain prescription filled. Wish me luck!


  1. Thank you, Barbara, for letting us know how your very difficult week went. It is amazing how soon surgery patients are up and around, and now, even home! Your husband now has a right angle on his body! I hope it is good news about his tumour and that everything is gone and no future problems rear their ugly heads. Take care. -Jenn

  2. It is good news to hear that the Boss is home and recuperating. Thank goodness your daughters are close by and able to help with the farm. Your days must go whizzing by trying to keep everything running smoothly. I know that farm work cannot be put on hold.
    I hope you have the best possible report on the pathology. Make sure to get rest for yourself.

    1. Whizzing by is pretty accurate. I'm a little concerned that I will forget what day it is and forget about the Market.
      Thanks for the kind words!

  3. Barb: So good to hear the Boss is home and recuperating! That is one impressive incision!! I totally know what you mean about having critters at home and you are needed elsewhere. Thankfully God has given us CHILDREN! I couldn't have survived all my health issues without my children - especially my baby. She took on a huge job caring for my sheep and chickens - AND the house. I am so proud of her. God Bless you and your wonderful family! God has truly blessed us all!

  4. Oh, Barbara, words cannot express how sorry we are that you both had to go through this. We will pray for Tom to be healed quickly. May God bless you and comfort you at this difficult time.