Tuesday, November 07, 2006

His Surgery. My Embarrassment.

Well, things went well with Blaine's surgery yesterday. I intended to update when I got back to the hotel last night .... actually, I intended to update during the day (more on that later) but we got up at 3:30 am to make it to the pre-op check in on time, and I didn't get back to the hotel until 10 pm, and what is it about just sitting in a chair all day that makes you so exhausted? But I was, so I went straight to bed last night, after soothing myself with a Diet Dr. Pepper because the hospital cafeteria only sells Diet Coke, and NOT with styrofoam cups, I might add, and so I was really jonseing for my DDP fix, but I won't gripe because at least it's not that swill that passes for Diet Pepsi gag.

We didn't actually have to leave the hotel yesterday until 5:15 am, but Blaine was a little nervous, and had to take two showers with this special medicated soap they gave him, and did I mention he was a little nervous? So the alarm went off at 3:30 am. Ironically, it was 3:30 am the night before that we were just GOING to bed, after my all-day flying extravaganza Shuttle-Atlanta-Dallas-Layover-Seattle-Shuttle event.

Needless to say (but you know I'll say it anyway because I just can't shut up most of the time) I was still pretty tired yesterday morning. They let me stay with Blaine through the pre-op stuff, then wheeled him down for surgery and showed me the doors of the surgery waiting room around 6:30 am. I was one of the first ones there and the room was still pretty vacant. It's a good-sized room, probably thirty or forty chairs, with an employee attendant area, and thankfully no annoying television for people to hijack with The Maury Povich show, or anything. There are two small rooms off to the side, private rooms, with telephones. I assumed that's where people went if they needed to make a private call, but since the outer room was basically vacant, I decided to set up camp in the private room for a few minutes so I could hook up the laptop Blaine borrowed from work.

Unfortunately, because I am a moron, I left the password sitting on the nightstand at the hotel and the computer was basically worthless. Although I don't understand technology, and it makes no sense to me that I couldn't even operate the dvd player without the password, it seems I couldn't, so pretty much I brought the laptop and the movies with me for no reason. And of course, although I had it hooked to the phone line, I couldn't get on and do any sort of CB update.

I was frustrated, and tired, and annoyed with myself and my worthlessness, so I layed my head on the table. And fell asleep. The sleep of the dead. For about half an hour. Only to hear a phone ringing, and then someone's voice calling out, "Escoe? Escoe? Anyone here named Escoe?" I jerked awake and lurched out into the main room, only to discover it was now PACKED with people, people whose eyes were all ON ME, in my sudden awakedness. Only to watch the hospital-worker-lady hang up on the caller because I was too slow in my jerkedness, and then, only to have her chastise me, in front of the ENTIRE ROOMFULL OF PEOPLE, about how that room is a PRIVATE, DOCTOR'S ONLY CONSULTATION ROOM and NOT FOR MY OWN PERSONAL USE, and THEY HAD ALREADY HAD ONE DOCTOR UPSET BECAUSE MY TIRED BODY WAS DRAPED ACROSS THE TABLE AND HE NEEDED SOMEWHERE TO TALK TO THE FAMILY AND COULD I PLEASE MOVE MY STUFF BACK OUT INTO THE COMMONS AREA WHERE IT BELONGED??????

I. Was. Mortified.

I felt like I was six years old, getting caught with my hand in the cookie jar and getting my knuckles rapped in front of the entire school. I started sweating, and got that weird blotchy-rash thing on my chest. I do NOT do public humilitation well. I wanted to profess, "It was an accident! I didn't mean to fall asleep!" but at that point I was too embarrassed to even bother. Everyone. Staring. I know it sounds silly, but I could FEEL the eyes upon me of every other waiting room family, smirking because I got caught trying to get away with something. Trying to claim the private room for my own. When really, that wasn't it. I only wanted to check my e-mail real quick, honest! A furtive glance around the room showed no chairs available, so I just packed the computer back into the rolling suitcase, along with my book and magazine, and exited the room, trying to hold my head high, which is hard to do when the back of your neck is all sweaty and flushed.

And then I skulked around the hospital for the next twelve hours, waiting to hear from the operating room. I spent time in the cafeteria, the front lobby, and another waiting room I found. Thank GOD for cell phones, is all I can say, so I didn't have to face those people in the first waiting room again.

Anyway, what? Oh, yeah, Blaine. That's what this is about, not me and my neuroses.

The nurse told me they did prep-stuff (IVs, etc) for about two hours, then made the first incision at almost 9am. The doctor came to see me at 8pm, so surgery must have lasted about ten hours. He said the tissue transfer went well, he sent a few lymph nodes to pathology but thought everything looked benign, and overall he was very pleased. I asked, smiling, if he had managed to grab some dinner, and he said no. So then I asked, curious, if he had had any lunch. Or breakfast. And both times, he said no. So then I just blurted out, "Good heavens, do you even go to the bathroom the entire time?" before realizing that was probably not the most appropriate thing to ask your husband's surgeon, who you've only met a handful of times before this. PS The answer is no, in case you were wondering.

It took another hour before I could see him in the ICU, where he will spend the next day or two. As of last night, they had him completely sedated, on a ventilator, but no trach-tube, which will make him happy. The swelling and brusing had already started, and the incisions on his neck make him look like somebody tried to slit his throat. Well, actually, I guess they *did* slit his throat. :)

I'm headed back up there now because I don't know how early they will try to wake him today and I want to be there when he first wakes up. The next few days will be the roughest, with the discomfort and swelling. The doctor said the previous radiation will slow down his healing, but that he had high hopes this surgery, *this* time, will be the fix. I sure hope he's right, because after yesterday, I'm running out of places in the hospital to hide out.

1 comment:

Lisa Deaton said...

Hey there,
I'm so glad that Blaine came through the surgery without any complications. I know that things are back to normal yet, but hopefully they are going in the right direction! :) Sorry to hear about your brush with the Room Police...would have been nice if she pulled you aside to say a few words, pretty unprofessional if you ask me. Please give Blaine our best!!