Sunday, August 7, 2011


Saturday morning Ra and I were sitting outside the main entrance when a rusty old toyota truck drove up. We glance over and notice it was Ammon's neurosurgeon, John Durham (but everyone calls him Bull). The nurses told us he was a real down-to-earth kind of guy. He loves the outdoors. For summer vacation he gets on a junket and cooks for the sailors. Dr. Durham's "mountain man" personality was confirmed when he pulled up in that truck hopped out and walked toward us. He was dressed in jeans and a T-shirt, his curly gray locks adorning his head. "hey I've got a couple days off but I'm coming in to check on your son. How's he doing this morning?"

Ammon was scheduled for a dressing change at 10am. I walked in a little late. His wound was exposed. Dr. Durham looked my direction as the door opened, "it's your mom", he said to Ammon. "Mom you're supposed to knock first." By that time I had seen the open wound. I guess some might've passed out or shrieked in some sort of fashion but I just looked at it and said, "I thought it would be worse." I walked into and across the room and could see that Ammon was cringing in pain. I dropped all my stuff, walked to his side and held his hand. Tears of pain trickled down his cheek as he lay there enduring the agony. The process was difficult. This will happen every other day for a while.

There are experiences in life that fill our souls with joy and remind us of that which we love most. Ammon has been given that opportunity. He's been asking for days, "when can I leave the hospital" and the answer was never good enough for Ammon. After his horrible experience with surgery #4 and then having the dressing on his wound changed this morning we all knew he needed a break. Dr Durham understands a longing for the outdoors so he granted the request. WE WERE OUT ON A DAY PASS!

First stop was The Sanctuary House. We ate lunch under the shade of the apple tree and kicked back for a while. Uncle Paul showed up baring gifts from Hawaii and Canada. We like it when Uncle Paul visits. He lives in Gilbert, about a 2 and a half hour drive from Flagstaff. He's a flight attendant for USAIR so he picks up little things for us every once and a while.

Rakai got bored and said, "let's for for a drive." There's mountains all around and he had been doing some online research. He wanted to go to the top. We filled the cooler with snacks and water, loaded up the cars and off we went.

The kids were in one car while Ra, Paul, Carly and I were in the other. How did that work? The sensible ones in one car, the crazy ones in the other. The road turned from asphalt to dirt then all too soon we were off roading on a treacherous rocky road. The sensible ones kept honking the horn. They would send Hamilton to talk to us, "he's okay mom. He said it doesn't hurt that much. Let's just keep going." Paul was monitoring the altitude on his fancy dancy watch 6 thousand, 7 thousand, 8 thousand feet. Rockier and rockier the road became, more and more worried were the sensible ones. At 8,300 feet we ran into a lady who was running down the road. "There's a meadow just around the bend. It's really beautiful." We kept going and...we made it. Ammon wanted to go to the top. Pictures speak the immeasurable beauty of what we saw from the top. It was SPECTACULAR!

Ammon's bewitching moment was 7:45pm. A quick glance at the fancy watch and we realized we had one hour to make it back. Oh...I forgot to mention that only one car was able to make it to the top so we all piled in and headed down to meet the other car that was parked on the side of the treacherous road. Lots of bumps and jerks and moans and groans later and we were separated back into the two cars.

The nurses were pleasantly surprised to see that Ammon was returning right on time. Not even one minute late. Yah...we did that cause we want them to give him more and more day passes.

On this Saturday and after lots of pain and cabin fever, Ammon saw the sky again. Lots and lots of sky. Mountains, rocks, wildflowers, forest - the great outdoors. It's right where he belongs.

Welcome home tunnel

The beautiful meadow.

Family - except Isaac and Karamea and MIA. Well not really. we know where they are and we miss them.

Hamilton and Ammon taking in the view.

Just leave me here and come back and get me in 3 weeks.

One section of the treacherous road.

1 comment:

Liahona said...

Great pictures! That looks like a rough road, but with faith and persistence and optimism, you can get through any challenging road...