Friday, December 01, 2006
ER, live from the waiting room II
A well-wisher and friend left hugs on the first version of this post, and inadvertantly used my, and Mama ER's, last name. I had to delete the whole post and repost it 'cause I couldn't figure out, fast, how to get to where I could just delete the comment. Careful, y'all. The current ordeal is very personal to several of us; but my anonymity is the single most important element of this blog.
8:10 p.m.: Correction: Mechanical valves, not bovine, because she's already on blood thinners and mechanical ones work better with them. She's out and in her room in the CCU. We'll check in on her for a minute, then go home to rescue Riker, the pupsicle. ... Y'all are the best bloggy buddies ever. (Dr. ER says the doc, who lied when he said he wasn't tired [two long surgeries today], "still smells good." Sheesh.)--ER
7 p.m.: Both valves in; both bypasses complete; surgeon closing her up; we're to see him at 8 p.m. or thereafter; an hour later, Mama ER will be in a room in the Continuing Care Unit where she will have her own nurse 24/7 the next two days.
6 p.m.: Second valve installed. Next: two bypasses.
Through the wonders of Dr. ER's laptop and Wifi, here I sit, in a waiting room of this really great hospital, blogging. What a wonder.
Mama ER's surgery started at 2 p.m. It could last six hours, they say now.
I went to work to take care of something, and between there and the house, to feed the domestic livestock, I let myself boo a little hoo, letting it hit just how serious this is.
Mama ER was happy as a lark this morning, despite the obvious discomforts. She was ready to get 'r done. She had been loved up and prayed up and told that she, and all of us who love her, is being lifted up in prayer by real-world friends as well as bloggy buddies all over the country.
Her surgeon even gave her a smooch! He looks sort of like one of her grandsons -- the youngest of the two brothers; one of my nephews -- with a goatee and a mustache. ("And he was hot, and he smelled real good," Dr. ER says). Mama ER had sparkles in her eyes. Everyone here has been so sweet, but not condescending, and very respectful of Mama ER.
A lady chaplain came in and held her hand and prayed with her a beautiful hopeful, honest prayer. No pretending, by anyone, that this will be a snap. No daring to assume "special knowledge" from above as to the outcome. Just real gratitude to be in such good hands and to be prayed for, thought of, good-vibed, good-karma'd and hoped for by so many.
If all goes according to plan, Mama ER will be heavily sedated and will not remember the next two days or so. Then, she will be in this hospital at least five days before being sent back to the hospital in Fort Smith. Beyond that, I don't know.
Mama's surgeon was a University of Oklahoma football player! I guess, in light of circumstances, that that's OK. :-) But, ha ha, Dr. ER is wearing a beautiful hideously orange-and-black Oklahoma STATE University hoodie.
Poor Riker, the regal Pembroke Welsh corgi, got stuck outside in the snow and cold for the evening because I forgot to let him back in the sunroom with Bailey, the "special" weinie dog who needs a short yellow doghouse, because I just forgot to let him back in after separating them to feed them awhile ago. He will be a pupsicle by the time we get home!
Ice-T, the cat for whom Dr. ER and I work, seems close to normal, behaviorwise. And hey, let me tell ya: Guess who is a natural at giving a cat a pill? Yours truly. The critter didn't know what happened, it happened so fast. Afterword, he sort of collapsed against me as if to say, "I give. If even my daddy is going to feed me pills, I will quit fighting, 'cause I must really be sick."
The weather outside was somewhat less frightful today. Sun shining, ice and deep snow melting. But it'll refreeze come dark and be treacherous again. The Fire of the Ice Storm, by the way -- there is always a big fire after an ice storm, I've learned -- is in Anadarko. The little town in south-central Oklahoma has a big peanut processing plant on fire, about a mile from downtown, and they are evacuating people, lots of them elderly and sick and shut-in, I'm sure, because they're worried about pesticides and other chemicals getting into the air.
FLASH: Just now, at 5 p.m., update: The surgeon has put in one new valve -- one of two now. (It's a cow valve! Some of you know that I have to consider that a good sign. :-) I love cows in all forms. Dr. ER's mama got a pig valve a few years ago.) Next: another valve; then a now-indeterminate number of bypasses.
Now you all watch yurselves on the ice so that you don't end up in the hospital with her.
The best thing is, Mama ER has come out of surgery in great shape, much better than the doc had even expected. She has tough days ahead of her, though, but we'll be here to help her pretty eyes twinkle again real soon.
The hospital sounds wonderful. I went through some things similar with my mom in 1999, but we were at St. Anthony and I was desperately disappointed. I wish more hospitals used the model of the one you're using.
I'm hoping you all get a good restful sleep tonight while Mama E.R. is likely to sleep soundly herself.
Take care of yourselves, too, and you'll be able to help Mama all the better.
Will keep her in my prayers and thoughts.