“I’d like staples, please.”

These are not non sequitors, just another afternoon (and more) in the Lahey Pre-Op Outpatient Surgery Center. In the past few years I have spent more time in hospitals than in all of my previous life combined.

No, it isn’t always me as the patient, but I am there nonetheless. The last two surgical procedures (which weren’t on or for me) had two common elements:

  • the patient would have a VERY long recovery time coming out of anesthesia so be sure to pack work, reading, and knitting
  • I would be the driver going home afterwards

I asked for, and received (with some reluctance, but I got it) permission to remove my air cast to drive DH home after his surgery. The orthopedic surgeon lined up another x-ray for my foot soon after so if I mucked up my foot, the damage would hopefully not be too bad.

Tuesday’s surgery was one of those snowballing days where one glitch trips another switch which hinks something three steps after that. First, they moved the surgery to 1:15 instead of 7AM. Longer without food for poor DH who has already lost quite a bit, thank you very much. (I sneaked a peak in his medical records folder and they described him as slim, which he is, while I am not–WHINE!) I felt positively virtuous as I selected items that had no odor knowing how the wafting smell of cooking food would drive him crazy. I am “the Good Wife” .

I was reminded several times to remember to bring my other hard-soled shoe-boot to drive home with. Did I have books? Enough knitting? Money? He took such good care in making sure I had remembered everything (I had) that he forgot to bring his papers for the hospital.

This sort of thing (forgetting papers) is not uncommon (well, duh!) and it was really no problem to get it straightened out and push us off in the correct direction. He was listed first on the list for his doctor. Somehow he ended up next to last. The person before him turned out to be a non-trivial surgery, backing up all the patients on that line. They let me back in to see him while he was waiting on the gurney and that was where the doctor saw him beforehand and asked the question you saw above. I was about to say “Thousand Island” but he beat me to it with the request for staple closures. I brought him his Palm to play Hearts card game, and I pulled out my sock to knit. An interminable time went by.

Lahey is a teaching hospital/clinic. At one point there were five people (pre-op nurse, OR technician, anesthesiologist, surgeon, post-op nurse), myself, and the patient (DH) crowded around the OR gurney. So I left. Well, they “suggested” I wait in the family room and so I left…and got lost (of course) and found and redirected (follow the red dots on the floor to the elevators). It was about 2:30PM at this point.

The procedure was expected to take about 45 minutes. I did not see the doctor until 5:15PM. He had just left Stephen to the mercies of the post-op people and said not to worry about the time, it did go well and I should be able to see DH around 6. At 7PM I was getting more than a mite antsy. Most of the other out-patient surgery people had left with friends and family. Only four still remained. Then two. Yup. Hubby was still fighting his way back through the anesthesia. The family room nurse was going off duty so she delivered me to post-op where we remained until after 10PM. The nurses were terrific, staying well past their closing time of 9:30 to help finish up with the post-op gory details on DH.

Finally, I wheeled him downstairs, leaving him in the lobby as I went off (still in my air cast like a good doo-bee) to collect the car. I put the boot on in the car. It felt weird to have an actual shoe on but otherwise just fine. Driving an automatic was no problem. At that hour there was no traffic whatsoever.

You may recall we have dogs? Three at the moment? Thank heavens for the doggy door! They were SO happy to see us and get fed dinner! I was feeling all sorts of happy that I drove home easily (note: no traffic) until I took the shoe off and realized my foot was tender again and beginning to swell.

This morning the foot was still a little swollen but not tender or sore, and I am walking rather well in the air cast. Yeah, me!

One last little hiccup or so from the surgery. DH was forbidden to drive for 24 hours after surgery (no one said anything about that beforehand) and I am not allowed to drive until further permission is given. So I worked at home today. We didn’t get to see the grandkids or return Jakie home, either. While the latter is no-big, I really miss seeing them all on Wednesday nights for dinner. Somehow in the mix I totally forgot about chorus rehearsal on Tuesday evenings. bleah!

Tomorrow it is back to the “real” world!

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