Link’s Daughter’s Surgery Update | Ear Biscuits

– I want to give you an update on my daughter Lilly's major back surgery Now that it's over, I think, I want to thank all of you for your support, for your prayers, for your, just your consideration

A lot of people sent gifts and cards of encouragement to her and it's, um, it was all very touching and it really helped (upbeat music) The great news is that the surgery went exactly how we hoped I mean, it went off without a hitch Her, she had severe scoliosis, which is her back was curved sideways like an S I mean, looking at the x-rays, I mean, I talked about this on the other Ear Biscuits, so you can go back and listen to that, but it definitely floored us back in January, so a lot of this year has been leading up to the surgery, which as of the recording of this episode, was one week ago

One week ago right now, we're moving in to like her hospital room and where she would spend the next five days Now she's at home recovering She's doing great It's amazing how she can roll over in bed, roll out of bed, walk around, walk down our street, take pictures of flowers – She's taking pictures? – [Link] That's what she likes to do

– I didn't think the doctor was allowing that yet – Well with the spine, taking pictures has very little to do with the fusion of your spine – Right – Which was fused from L4 to, let's see – [Rhett] L's at the bottom

– L's at the bottom, T's at the top T4 to L3, which is the vast majority of her back I mean, and she's got a scar that she's very proud of, and we all are, that goes the majority of her back, that's healing up great But the fact that they went in there and they put two metal rods that they custom bent They like smooshed her spine to be back, no longer in an S

They custom bent rods – I don't even understand how they did that – So she can have proper posture And then they attached those rods using titanium screws, huge screws, into her vertebrae – You know how many people– – And then six weeks after that she's fully recovered basically

– Here's the thing, you know how many people they had to go through before they got to the point where they do it this way? – Oh, yeah – Think about the first guy – Oh my goodness I mean, it wasn't– – They just opened up the back and they were like, what do we do now? You pull this way, I'll pull that way – I'll push here

– And then he died (laughs) I mean, seriously – Well yeah, I mean, someone who's like a last resort type of thing, that's what my kids are asking, what happened? – Well, for the vast majority of history, you just lived with it – Maybe we could get a doctor in here to talk about that Maybe Lilly's doctor will come in here, Dr

Tolo, he was amazing – But seriously, though For like 9999% of human history, what human history's 200,000 years or more – And there's plenty of people who, you're saying who lived with it and that was it

– I'm saying, the vast majority of people who've ever lived just lived with it and whatever, wherever it ends up, because it increases over time, I know that's one of the reasons that you got it corrected – [Link] Right – But then you just think, okay, you're born in 1950 and then they've got some sort of thing that they do, but you were telling me that just like 20 years ago– – Because when the curves progress, you can't, I mean, it like smooshes your organs in such a way that– – It can kill you – You die – But like you were saying that like 20 years ago, you'd be in a cast, like a full body cast, or maybe, I don't know, 30 years ago, whatever for like six months

– Yeah – And now they figured out that, oh, if we get them moving right after they've got all these amazing medicines that they can give you, pain relievers and stuff – So that you're able to get up and walk I mean, the first night, let me tell you a little about this surgery and then I'll get back to that point, in terms of her recovery I just wanted to share the experience with you guys

I mean, we got up at like four am to get to, I was about to say the airport, we didn't have to fly anywhere – Sometimes it feels like an airport – To get to the hospital by like five, you know

It wasn't until 7:45 that she went into surgery, so there's all this prep and checking in and taking blood again and all this stuff It's so nerve wracking to know that, you know, okay, this is it, this is the moment we've been waiting for all year and it's about to happen I think she was most concerned about getting the happy juice, is what they called it, which kinda relaxes you in the pre-op place, before they give you an IV – Did they offer you some? – Well Christie asked for some because she was pretty anxious at the moment – But they didn't do that

They don't give it to the parents – They did not, they did not give her or me any of the happy juice – They have that at the hospital bar (laughs) – But she, I think Lilly was just concerned about what's it gonna feel like? Because she was told that she wouldn't remember stuff at a certain point, so what's it feel like to stop being able to remember? – Feels like nothing at all – It doesn't feel like anything at all

You don't remember And so then they gave her the IV and they they said we're gonna wheel you into surgery, and Mom and Dad, you can walk with us until we get to the, I mean, we came to these doors that were, in my memory, they were orange, like, so I guess they were orange I didn't take the happy juice, I think I remember – In my memory, they were what they actually are – They were different, they were alarmingly colored doors that we were not allowed to go through

– That's why they're orange – And then the nurses who were wheeling her in said "okay, this is where you have the hugs and kisses" Because I didn't, they didn't want to say "this is where you say goodbye" because that would be really morbid and tap right into our fears that we were saying goodbye – Right, because there's, what, like a one in 1,000 chance, I don't know, a small chance, it happens to somebody People go under for general anesthesia and they don't wake up

– Well there's, and there's risk of paralysis and you know, yeah, or death I mean, I had to sign a form that spelled all that, literally pointed all these things out Like these are the, it's very, very unlikely, but you know, she could die, she could be paralyzed You know, it's like freaking scary We didn't do it right before that, we did it months before that moment

– Right, they don't put too much on you at once – Yeah, I didn't want to, but even in that moment, that was a very difficult moment when we were saying, you know, kissing her and hugging her and saying "all right, we'll be waiting" And that, because you don't know when the toughest point's gonna be Because you knew the surgery was gonna last a long time, but I'll say after the fact, that was definitely in the top three, maybe the worst point, when it's like, you know, okay, you're actually saying "I'll see you on the other side of this surgery" So that was pretty difficult

But then they whisk her away and they whisk us into an elevator and down into the waiting room, and they give you a pager so you can walk around, kinda like at a restaurant type pager But then they have screens up there that have her number, they don't have her name, so no one else would know where this person is So she had her number and you're just constantly looking up there, waiting and, you know It was six and a half hours of waiting – Yeah, that's crazy

– I mean, the surgery was, actually we come to find out later, they started the surgery late So the actual surgery was five hours But we were out there waiting and all the board told us was she was in the operating room, or pre-op, which she had already passed that She was in the operating room according to that screen, for six and a half hours, and then they moved her to recovery and that's when we could go see her And they came out every three hours and said "everything's going okay

" – But every time they come out, you're like what are they gonna say? – Yeah, it's like that moment when somebody comes, and there was just a receptionist that they would call and the receptionist would relay it, and I thought if something was really going wrong, someone else would come out, so I took, I found ways to take comfort in my interpretation of how they would do things if they were going wrong that were different than how they actually told me But that six and a half hours, I mean, because you were there, we had other friends there, and it was extremely helpful to, you know, pass the time Christie had friends that brought a cheese plate, and you know, it was like– – Gotta have the cheese plate – Had the semblance of a party – Charcuterie

– We were like offering some charcuterie to other people there who were there, because other people's kids are in there, too – Everybody needs charcuterie – There was another number who was waiting for seven hours It's not like we were the only people going through something this scary And then the doctor, we finally met with the doctor and he said everything went great, they straightened her out

He said "we actually went too far and then "had to come back a little bit" – [Rhett] Overcorrection – Well, it's, there's an art to it apparently You know, you're bending these rods manually, you got a freaking blacksmith in there, dink dink dink – Yeah, it's very hot, he had to stick it in water

– He'd melt the thing and there may be horses in there too, I don't know – [Rhett] I doubt it – There's a reason they don't let me in there I don't want to see the blacksmith Or bump anybody

– The risk of you getting injured by being in the operating room was significantly higher than the risk to Lilly (laughs) Just your presence there – If you mention an IV or blood, I'm probably gonna faint – [Rhett] Right – You know, like Lilly was laughing at me half the time, every time they'd talk about the IV

The doctor said everything went great, and then we go back there, and she's in, her face is all swollen, her lips are swollen, it looks like she'd had some sort of plastic surgery – Well maybe they threw in a freebie – You give her a lip enlargement for free? Or are you gonna charge me for that? – The Kylie package – But it was, because she's face down for five hours while they're doing this surgery – But was it face down on like a massage donut or something? – They didn't let me in, I don't know, I didn't ask that question

– But it had to be something that was, it wasn't like just put her face down in a pillow – Yeah, they wouldn't suffocate her, yeah, I imagine that it was like a massage table donut – But just being in the same position for six hours without moving alone is enough to– – And she was very groggy Before we went back there, her legs were moving around so much, which is a great sign – Well I'd say so

– But they were moving so much that they had to sedate her more because she was moving around too much because she was disoriented So by the time we saw her, she was like more sedated and it took her an hour before we were able to have a conversation and, you know, we told her "your back's straight" and she started crying And, you know, the anesthesia will make you, it can make you really emotional, and I was like "are you okay?" She was like "I'm just so happy" It was great, you know That was her first reaction, was like tears of joy that it worked and, ah

So then by that night, they moved her into the hospital bed, they, as a practice, they make you sit up the first night She sat up, vomited what she was able to drink, because she was on clear liquids, she was so weak The next morning, they got her to stand up and take a few steps, which was extremely dramatic – I saw that video – I wasn't there for that because I was– – You missed your daughter's first steps

– I was with the boys because it was important, you know– – Excuses – We both couldn't stay there the first night I stayed with the boys to be a support structure for them, and then I got there as soon as I could after getting them off to school, and then, so I missed that But if I was there, I probably would have gotten vomited all over because she took two steps, vomited again, and then she had to get two units of blood over that day to get some sort of strength because of what she lost during the surgery But then she really turned a corner after that, and then the next day she was up walking

She had to do like a, she had to demonstrate she could walk up stairs before she could come home It's miraculous what, I mean, we talked to a woman from back in North Carolina who's a friend of ours who's 50 years old, who went through the same surgery, and she said it took her a year to recover It's gonna take Lilly six weeks to recover – Yeah the age is such a significant thing – I'm like "can you feel these titanium bars in your back?" She's like "no, I kinda feel like," she kinda turns like Batman

She can turn her neck, but she's not used to the way her muscles, the way her back sits – Well I'm sure she's gotta– – But she doesn't feel the– – And you've gotta heal completely before you're willing to start moving it around – But she doesn't feel like, the bars, and I'm not poking on her back or anything – I wouldn't suggest doing that for a while (laughs) – But she made it, I mean, I think the final, a big milestone was when we got in the van leaving the hospital to come home, and we get in, she gets in the front seat with all her pillows, Christie's in the back seat and I'm in the driver's seat, and I just had a flashback to the moment, to the day we found out that she was gonna have to have surgery, like the first diagnosis

The story I told where we got back in the minivan and all three of us just cried, and I felt like it came full circle when we got in the minivan again, leaving the hospital, for the first time and we all looked at each other, and Lilly was like "we did it" So, you know, the first time in the minivan, it was like, we need to do this, I need this surgery That was her take immediately We had to be convinced it was the right thing to do, and then it was, at the end it was like, we did it So I'll never forget that moment when we could breathe a sigh of relief and know that, okay, it was successful and, I mean, there's weeks of recovery ahead of us, but I'm so grateful to, of course, all the doctors and nurses, and I can do the Jimmy Kimmel thing

But I'm not going to, where he mentioned all the doctors and nurses – Well you can mention the Children's Hospital– – Children's Hospital LA, yup Donate to them I'll get on the Jimmy Kimmel wagon – Do that

– I've done it, you should do it too Yeah, but they do amazing work there, and uh, yeah It's not over, but for the most part, it's over, so I wanted to give you the update, and that's it – Well we're glad that your bionic daughter is– – Yeah, she's part Wolverine and part vampire, getting over people's blood – Well on her way to 100%

– Yeah man – [Rhett] To hear this Ear Biscuit in its entirety, so you don't miss a thing, follow the links in the description to Art 19, Apple podcasts, Spotify, and anywhere else podcasts are available – [Link] To watch more Ear Biscuits, click the video on the left – [Rhett] To watch more from This Is Mythical, click the video on the right – [Link] And don't forget to subscribe by clicking the circular icon

– [Rhett] Thanks for being your mythical best

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