Monday, July 10, 2006

The Day of the Surgery

The day before Jeff's surgery was, of course, July 4th. The kids went with GrandDad to Naomi's cook out, but I didn't want to leave Jeff there all by himself, so I just stayed home. We did not do anything, Jeff was not able to. The kids came home around 11 and said they had a really good time. Naomi and Jerry had taken them to see some fireworks and they all said that it was a wonderful show. It was at that point that I decided that I might as well just stay up because it was almost midnight and since I would need to get up around 4:30 or 5, I might as well stay up. I could sleep at the hospital, or so I thought...

So, I started doing some cleaning. At around 2:30 am, I couldn't stay awake any longer, so I decided to go to bed for a couple of hours. I set my alarm for 4:45, ended up getting up at 5am, took a shower and got everything to load in the car. Jeff was already awake, he had succeeded in staying up (he had slept most of the day before) so he was ready to go. I got his overnight bag in the car, put the pillows in the back seat for him to lay on, and we were on our way.

We arrived at the hospital at around 6:10 - he was supposed to be there by 6:30 so we had plenty of time to get in there. As there were not many people there yet, the parking lot was practically empty and we got a first place parking space, right near the door! :) Such a big difference from the week before!

We went in, signed in, and took a seat. They had given us a pager for when they were ready for him. So we just sat and talked, made jokes and waited. It didn't take long before the pager went off and Jeff was taken back to get ready. So, looking around, I found a couch in a less used area and went over there to sit. I'm not real comfortable sleeping in public places, so I just read the book I brought until they paged me to go sit with him while he waited.

The pager went off around 7:30 and I was taken back to sit with him in the small curtained off area. Doctors and nurses came and went, checking different things on his chart, asking questions and such. His surgery was scheduled for 8:30.

He said he should have gotten a tatoo of Sponge Bob and Patrick digging a ditch on his butt so the surgical staff would get a good laugh when they flipped him over to do the surgery. That would be very funny... We talked in hushed tones because there were so many other people around. I got to sit in a comfortable recliner and could have easily gone to sleep. His mom and sister arrived around 8:00 and I was asked to leave because the room was too small for so many people. It really wasn't that bad, but I left and stood out in the hall area waiting.

I watched people walking around, answering phones, going in and out of curtained areas. Around 8:20 am I was able to go back into his 'room' until it was time to go. Barb and Naomi went out to the waiting area at that point. Two nurses came in, an older woman and a young guy. She was instructing the young guy on what to look for in the chart, what to check on, and what questions to ask. Then she said, "There isn't an RPH in here, there is usually an RPH in here. I wonder why there isn't one here."

She continued to leaf through the pages looking for the RPH until I finally asked, "What does that stand for?"

"Recent Physical History" I think she said, although "Recent Patient History" makes more sense. Anyway, it was a history of Jeff's medical stuff. :) She said Dr. P always included that, she couldn't understand why it wasn't in there. She went off to call someone to get it faxed and left the new guy in our room. He began leafing through the paperwork on the clip board, too. He appeared a little nervous, so I think he was just trying to look like he was doing something important. I don't remember him saying much. The older nurse came back and said that she had called them and they were going to be faxing the document that was needed. They could not proceed with the surgery without it.

I wondered if it made Jeff nervous to have a new guy in the surgery room with him? I didn't say anything though, because if he hadn't thought about it, I did not want to bring it up. They finally got the paper that they needed (via fax) at around 8:40 - not too bad - and they began to wheel him down the hall. I got to walk next to him until we reached the waiting room doors, but since they had not begun the medication to put him under yet, he did not say anything silly like the last time.

I went out to the waiting room and joined Barb, Naomi, and Jerry (who had been parking the car when Barb and Naomi were in with Jeff). We sat and talked, telling funny stories that made us all laugh. We all took turns going to the gift shop and looking around, and just walking around for a break. The time actually flew by, and before long there was a nurse asking if we were the ones with Jeff - they had been trying to page us to talk to the doctor, but the pager was not going off. So we all went to talk to the doctor - the surgery went fine, he was able to remove the ruptured part of the disk and everything went fine. He was now in recovery and would be in a room for us to visit in about 1 1/2 hours.

It was around 10:30, so that meant we had until noon. They gave us his room number and we went back to our little waiting area to wait some more. Jerry had been looking at a magazine which had homes for sale in it and had found what he thought were perfect houses for me and Naomi.

The one he picked out for me was in a wooded area and had separate housing for guest (he felt this would be the perfect place to put the kids), a chef's kitchen, a pool (I think!), and a 5 car garage. Yep, sounds good to me! Too bad it was in Columbus and way out of my price range!

Naomi's was considered an "entertainers home" where there were a bunch of fire places, a very nice pool, a spiral staircase, and a whole lot of open spaces! OK my memory is not that great and I can't remember all of the details for both houses... :)

They were both beautiful houses, and it gave us something to do for a little while. At around 11:45 we decided to go on up to the floor he was going to be on and wait in that waiting room. It was much quieter up there. I went to the room he was supposed to be in around 12:10, but he was not there yet, so I went back to the waiting area. Around 12:30, he was finally in there, but had apparently just gotten there. I had barely said hi when she came in and closed the curtain around him and started asking questions and checking his bandages.

I waited for her to finish and went to get the rest of the crew waiting. Being the bad patient that he is, he was begging for one of us to slip him some food. He was not allowed to eat for at least 2 hours, and then it would be a liquid diet. His mom had brought him a little basket of chocolate, he also had some lifesavers in his bag, as well as a variety of other snacks he had packed. Naomi also had brought with her some Cheez-its - which is one of his favorites. He managed to talk me out of a single lifesaver before anyone else came in - he said he had a bad taste in his mouth and begged... so I gave in.

Then he managed to talk Naomi out of a single cracker.

He wanted the chocolate very badly, but Barb was very firm with her "no." Of course he pouted, but that did not change anything.

He then said that nurses kept coming in and looking at his butt. That they all must be talking about him somewhere because they kept coming in and making him roll over so that they could see his butt. *rolling my eyes* Couldn't possibly have anything to do with the fact that his incision was on his lower back... no, it has to be his butt they're checking out! :)

Anyway, as you can see, his sense of humor is still intact. Barb, Naomi, and Jerry had to leave to go to their respective jobs, so I pulled up a chair and sat next to the bed with him. We talked, whispering a lot because there was another patient in the bed next to him. It was an older man who was trying to get released from the hospital. They came in to take him for a walk around before he could go and one of the ladies said, "I'm gonna tell you 3 words now, and when we return you will have to tell me what those 3 words are - Table, pencil, tennis."

The man turned to his wife and said, "Write those down, will ya?" Which brought laughter from all. Jeff looked concerned and after they left he said, "You should write those on my hand really quick because I will never remember those!"

Rolling my eyes again I said, "First of all, if they were to do the test to you tomorrow, they probably would have different words! Second of all, I don't think they are going to test YOUR memory so that you can leave. I think he might be in here for a different reason than you are!"

I managed to not give in to all of his requests for food, no matter how much he begged. They then brought a tray of food in for him - all liquids of course. Chicken broth, jello, cranberry juice, orange Italian Ice, lemon-lime soda, and coffee. The broth was in a bowl sitting on a plate - a very thick plate. Jeff thought there was something under the plate and was very disappointed to find there was nothing.

I stayed while he ate, and a bit longer after that, then it was time for me to go. I needed to get home and relieve Jim of my kids - he had come over to watch them while I was at the hospital. I went home, took a nap, went to the store, fixed dinner, then went to bed around 10. It was a long day, and I was very tired. There was a lot that needed to be done on Thursday, too, so I needed a good night's sleep. :)

1 comment:

Barb/Mom said...

You better believe I was firm with that "NO"!! The last thing I wanted was to be the one who made him throw up and pop his stitches!! Once again Mom plays the meanie!

Oh well, I'm just so thankful he did great during surgery and has such a fantastic care-giver! Thanks Katie!!