Sunday, February 7, 2010

The Operation

Okay, so I had intended to blog on Friday, after my surgery, but, I simply didn't feel like it. So, I was going to write a post yesterday, but, frankly, I procrastinated. So I'll update you today.

Thursday, when I went to the hospital for the pre-op appointment I was running late, and for once it wasn't my fault. My husband had a work luncheon that went long, so he didn't get home until after I was already supposed to be at the hospital, and, as you may recall, I couldn't take the kids to the hospital with me, so I had to anxiously wait for him. Poor thing, though, he didn't even get to eat his entrée. They had to box it up for him, and he had even arrived at the luncheon 15 minutes early, so it wasn't really his fault either, just one of those things. Well, of course, since I was late for my appointment, I had to wait and wait to be called back. When I finally was called back the nurse was going through everything with me fairly quickly at first, and then she had to leave to find out when I was scheduled to be there for the surgery on Friday. (She couldn't have found that out before she called me to go back with her?) Well, once again, I waited and waited and waited. When I finally saw what time it was I realized that if the appointment didn't end soon I was going to be late picking the oldest up from school. So I got another nurses' attention and told her the situation. Because of rushing out of there I didn't even really finish the appointment. I was supposed to have a chest X ray, but that had to wait till the next morning. I've never understood why medical personnel seem to think that patients have all the time in the world to sit around and wait, and we never have anything else going on in our lives other than waiting for them. But, I digress.

As I reported in the last post, I found out during my pre-op appointment that I needed to be at the hospital the next morning at 5:45, childcare and crazy weather not withstanding. To be quite honest, I panicked a little at first. By the time I left the hospital, I had less than 15 hours to find childcare. I'm not sure why they couldn't have given me my appointment time before I went to the pre-op. I guess they just wanted to keep me on my toes. Well, it worked. I was driving down I-40 like a bat out of... well, you know, calling my mom in a panic, hoping she could make arrangements to come down that night, and spend the night. Who else was I going to be able to get to be at the house by 5:00am on such short notice, right? My parents live just over an hour's drive from me, and my mom teaches 8th grade English Lit. They were calling for a winter storm starting that night, so I really didn't expect her (or my daughter) to have school the next day. But Mom said she wouldn't be able to come because she wasn't going to be able to make arrangements for a substitute on such short notice. Let's just say I was a bit disappointed, and in an even greater panic, and it would be another half hour before I could do anything else about it.

After I got home with Korrynn, my husband and I tried to brainstorm about what we could do about the little childcare problem. Everyone we know either has kids or jobs, so to try to get them at our house at 5:00am seemed to be expecting a lot. I tried to rearrange the appointment time, hoping for a later appointment on Friday, but the next available time wasn't until the next Thursday. I finally just put a panic post on facebook. My neighbor, immediately, and graciously, called and told me I should have called her. Well, I ate my humble pie while we talked and made arrangements for the next morning. In spite of me, God was aware of every detail that needed to be arranged, and all I really needed to do was trust Him instead of panic. The funny thing is, Mom was planning to come down Friday after school to help me out on Saturday morning. (Well, that's not really the funny part, I'm getting to it.) She called me back later that evening, in a bit of a mild panic herself, because she realized that if the weather got bad overnight she wouldn't be able to make it to my house on Friday. She decided that she could make arrangements for a substitute if they did have school on Friday after all, and that she would go ahead and come so that she could definitely be there.

So with all the necessary arrangements made, we got up at the lovely hour of 4:30am on Friday to snowy weather. We got ready quickly. It was pretty easy for me since I wasn't allowed to have anything to eat or drink after 11:59pm on Thursday, I had already showered the night before, and I wasn't allowed to wear makeup (not that I was too concerned about looking beautiful while I was passed out on the operating table, after all I wasn't appearing in a soap opera). So we had plenty of time to get ready and head out the door with enough extra time to drive carefully on the snowy streets.

They finished up my pre-op stuff when I got to the hospital, and I still had plenty of time to wait and wait and wait before I was finally pulled into the outpatient holding room. Guess what happened in the holding room? That's right! I waited and waited and waited till they finally pulled my into the operating room (well, I did see the OR nurse, the anesthesiologist, the nurse anesthetist, and the surgeon, but all of those visits may have taken a total of 5 minutes). The only thing that kept me from anxiety at that point was praying. They pulled me into the operating room, helped me shimmy off the gurney and onto the operating table, told me to put my hands down by my hips, and I remembered no more. All of a sudden I was back in the outpatient holding room with a big bandage on my chest, someone calling my name, asking me if I was okay, and a very groggy feeling.

I was wheeled back into the recovery room where my husband was waiting for me. He told me that the surgeon had called him and told him that she took out one large lymph node and several smaller ones that were also inflamed. He also said that we should get the biopsy results by Monday. Of course he didn't ask any questions that would give him a better handle of the details. He was told the basics, so that was enough for him. The nurse went through some post-op instructions with us (good thing it wasn't just me there because I barely remember a word she said), and we waited for a wheelchair, then we went to the pharmacy and waited for my prescription to be filled, and then we went to the valet parking area and waited for our car. After all that waiting, we finally went home in the now rainy weather.

Through all this, I know God's hand was in it. Not only were the childcare details worked out, but the timing of the weather worked well for us, too. The nasty, icy weather came while we were at the hospital, and by the time we left it was all rain, and a balmy 33°F, so we never encountered really bad roads. Shawn has good benefits at work, and since this took place at the beginning of the year, there's plenty in our FSA account to cover the out-of-pocket expenses. Shawn has also been able to take some paid time off work, even rescheduling a trip out of town so he could be home with me. I have felt pretty good since I've come home other than being a little tired and sore. My mom has helped some with meal prep and housework (such a relief because I've been fatigued a lot lately and haven't been able to get the house as clean as it was before Christmas), and my neighbor and Todd's preschool director have volunteered a couple of meals. Plus, the peace I've had during this time has been absolutely amazing. I have to admit that when I first found the lump a couple of weeks ago, I was scared. I even cried when I called my dad to tell him about it. But once we prayed and I got that out of my system I have had an amazing sense of calm about this whole situation. I have been able to leave it in God's hands, and I know that God will get the glory through all this. He has given me this gentle assurance that He will take care of me and my family. I'm definitely believing that tomorrow I will get a benign report, but even if I don't, I'm not worried. God WILL be glorified no matter what news I receive tomorrow. So, now I'm waiting again, waiting to hear, waiting in God's hands knowing I can trust Him no matter what. Sometimes waiting is a good thing.

1 comment:

natalie said...

I'm glad your childcare needs were taken care of, and despite the craziness beforehand everything ended up going well. Hope your recovery is smooth!