Playing Doctor

SOBUMD has gone under the knife.  Well, robot.   In her constant bid to be the most optimised woman in the world, she’s done away with her appendix, uterus, cervix, gallbladder, plica in her right knee, and several kidney stones.  This time her digestive system was on the hit list, and so yesterday, on the eve of the seventh anniversary of her first hysterectomy, she had a paraesophageal hernia repair and fundoplication.  Which is really fun to try to say after your third Scotch.

The procedure was scheduled for 10:45am, so of course we had to be there by 08:30.  The procedure actually started just a little after 1pm.   I told the nurse that, since I hadn’t taken anything by mouth for more than 4 hours, at this point they could operate on me.   They gave her a nice shot of whatever Ruffies want to be when they grow up, I kissed her giggling head as she got loopy, they wheeled her off, and I went to find a nice quiet spot to read and type, or possibly lunch.

This hospital center was laid out by the guy who built Gormenghast – you’re either in the Main Tower or the Pavilion or the Third Side North Wing or the East Inner Waiting Area or the West Outer Waiting Area or the Shared Infection Common Area or the Cafeteria – not to be confused with the Other Cafeteria, which has coffee.

I walked through the cafeteria to see what was available for lunch.  You’ve seen those big hospital cafeterias, right?  This was like that, except smaller and without any of the good looking food.  I checked out the Other Cafeteria, which had coffee, but they didn’t have much else that looked decent.  Finally I availed myself of the “extended” cafeteria option about three blocks away, where the menu included Hanger Steak (rare), Ozzie rolls, and fries with mayo.  Hey, a man’s gotta eat.

From there I found the local library, thinking that a library is a good place to read or write quietly.  It turned out to be Take Your Obnoxious Brat to the Library Day; there are disadvantages to summer break.  Mind you, reading is a vital part of learning, and I encourage the idea that people should take their kids to the library.  That’s probably why I myself so seldom go there.

Eventually I gave it up as a bad job and went back to Gormenghast Hospital, where I commandeered the “Consult” room in the Left Outer Pavilion Common Wing, on grounds that it was small, quiet, well lit, and hey, I was consulting with my book.  The Dr found me there after working on SOBUMD for two and half hours and told me all was well – or at least as well as it could be after pulling someone’s esophagus down 2 centimeters into their stomach and stapling it there – and that she’d be out of surgery in about another 30 minutes, and then an hour in recovery.   (He’s the boss, so he has his minions close ’em up.  It’s like the pilot who has his co-pilot do the takeoffs and landings.) 

I finally got to see her, just as she was waking up from the Rohyponol they’d slipped in her IV.  She saw me and asked what had happened, so I told her I didn’t know how to tell her this, but they’d amputated the wrong leg.  She was still pretty loopy, so I told her I also had brought along that power of attorney document I just needed her to sign.  The nurse looked up rather sharply at that, until she saw SOBUMD snickering. 

Then I let SOBUMD hold her security iPhone – just holding it made her perk up a bit, even though I wouldn’t let her turn it on.  The nurse was filling out the Room Attendant forms, and asked, “”Do you have any spiritual or cultural needs we should attend to or be aware of?”  

“Really, just her iPhone…”

They don’t kick you out at 8pm, but they do make getting your car back a real pain in the ass, so I left before the valet parking witching hour and came home to ensure order. I left SOBUMD snoring, sleeping like a baby, albeit a baby in the NICU with a chest tube, three IV lines, oxygen, an NG stomach tube, and a catheter.   Of course, babies probably don’t get as much morphine as she got, so at least she’s got that going for her.  

I needn’t have worried about coming home to restore order.  Our friend Lauren and her son had driven down from Delaware to stay with the three lunatic urchins this week.  While I was with SOBUMD, she had taken the kids to the pool, gone shopping, made dinner, mowed the lawn, and re-financed the mortgage on the house.  Today she’s painting the outside of the shed dormer, changing the oil, and bringing Candice Olsen over to redesign the basement.   Lauren said this morning that she was going to sleep last night, but decided to re-caulk the windows instead.  She’s amazing, and we couldn’t do this without her.

Today I’m back with SOBUMD, who’s enjoying her morphine with every shot, and mostly sleeping.  She’s whispering, which is understandable considering the amount of tubes and wires to which she is rigged, but when she whispers it is a message of thanks for all the well-wishes and good thoughts and prayers that so many of you have mentioned – and I echo that whisper.   (Mind you, she’s also whispering that chest tubes really suck, but hey.)  Thank you all; she’s on a solid road to recovery and looking forward to getting back to life. 


6 Responses to “Playing Doctor”

  1. glad to hear she’s on the mend and enjoying the morphine!

  2. Glad things went well.

  3. Thank you both – she’s home and, well, not comfortable, but she’s home at least. Comfort will come later. Right now, pain meds!

  4. Hope all continues to go well – thinking good thoughts for her and for you.

  5. @Diane, thank you! She’s getting better, slowly.

  6. […] following weekend was reported in near-real time, with SOBUMD going under the knife.   I’m glad to say the surgery was an unmitigated success and that in the month since, […]

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