It’s 5 am and the sound of Rock a Bye Baby is echoeing through the hallway. You see every time a baby is born the hospital where I spent the night that tune is played. What a wonderful way to celebrate a new life. It’s difficult to believe how many emotions one can experience when mortality is on one’s heart.
I’ve been sleep deprived for the last month (all self imposed I add) by my incessant making of mental lists whether they were for me/us/ the honey do ones. We joked that I had to get all I could get out of the patient before he was laid up for the month of restrictions of lifting, etc… The healing would take a while…
In fact one of those tasks was to replace some roof shingles that had blown off with one of the severe gusty 50 mile an hour winds we recently endured. Who wants a roof to leak on top of everything else going on?
My Natureman, of course, had insisted at first he’d do the re-shingling. Unbelievably when he eyed those missing at the edge of a second story deck peak he admitted maybe it would be a good idea to avoid a fall before his operation. We looked for the extra shingles saved from 18 years ago.
I couldn’t find them in the garage until I spotted them a couple of days ago as I stood at the kitchen sink window. There they were patching up the chicken coop’s little roof. Never did get those shingles ordered/ the Amish lined up to come do the job… The day of the operation was yesterday.
At this time yesterday I had driven us down our dark country snowy driveway and slippery county highway. It was our first real winter snow during which I as a Southerner would usually stay home/ await the plows to clear the roads but I didn’t have a choice yesterday.
Even the patient wanted me to relinquish driving but the man had enough on his mind and was coffee deprived. As you know we made it as did Simon and Sam. We overheard waiting room conversations of folks who left home at 2 am traveling from their Iowa/Minnesota/ Wisconsin homes much farther away. We all were anxious. We who sat and awaited operations that lasted from a couple hours to much more.
Irv’s operation was shorter than the predicted 5-6 hours. His surgery was done in 3. Recovery room stays normally run an 1 1/2 to 2 hours and we certainly were ready to see the patient after the consult.
What held things up in the recovery room was that his room was not available. He spent from 11 until almost 3:30 in the recovery room. I was allowed to go in to see him alone where he asked me how scary he looked. I told him he didn’t look so bad. He knew the kidney, mass and adrenal gland had been removed . Then he added that a nurse told him he had stopped breathing and a couple of chest compressions were necessary to revive him. I thought he must be hallucinating you know still groggy from the drugs. His floor nurse later concurred his story. Indeed the space in between drug dosage had him a bit too relaxed. If I say that my heart lost a couple beats you’d understand, right?
Irv drifted in and out while we visited. He just wanted to hear us talking. Later in the evening he began talking, politics of course. The tears started and it was not a pretty cry. From not knowing how he’d fare the surgery to back to his normal political dialogue was just too much.
Irv’s post op night was filled with a lot of tossing and turning, bed adjustments, pushing the call button, nurse visits every 2 hours but you know what? The man is here just like that newborn ready to face a new day and so am I…
Thank you to all the medical staff, friends and family.