Friday, October 15, 2010

A Stay at the Hospital (How it all went down)

Surgical Waiting Room After Hours
 The normally bustling hospital becomes a calm, unreal setting at night. Things take on a different aspect with no one around, spaces normally full are empty, but footsteps and echos of the day still reverberate through the halls. TV's talk to no one, phones ring and no one answers. Occasionally one comes across a sleeping figure, but you don't intrude and tip toe on by. The other night I was whistling tunelessly as I crossed this waiting room only to find there was still someone waiting patently for the result of their loved ones surgery, I apologized for disrupting their musings, but she said she welcomed the distraction.

Just two days before I had been in her place, sitting alone in the dimmed light, waiting while all others had moved on, fretting about the time the surgery was taking, trying to not let my worst fears creep in. Even the very supportive and harried receptionist had left for the day so I was really alone. The TV was across the room and around the corner, casting it's epileptic glow on the walls and murmuring the news to no one. The cleaning staff had worked around me, chatting amiably to each other in Spanish and completely ignoring me. They try to be unobtrusive, but it comes off as being exclusive instead. And the phone keeps ringing...ringing and no one answers.
There is community art here, but this cow has to grow on you.

Finally I get up and walk around to stretch my legs and notice a sign placed on the reception desk. "Answer Phone When It Rings After Hours". Oh. Maybe all that irritating ringing was for me. The next time I answer. It is for me. The news is good, Doyle was being closed up and the Doctor will come and see me soon.

I walk past the cow statue in the main Surgical waiting room lobby, and rub it's head. This becomes a pattern with me over the next few days, comforting the cow somehow comforts me in a strange way.

The Doctor tells me the operation took twelve hours, but he is confident it went well. He looks dog tired, yet quite pleased with himself. I am profoundly impressed with his manner and abilities, he just saved my husbands life and he is concerned about my welfare as well.

During the operation, Doyle's Aortic Artery was replaced with a dacron artery, to accomplish this, two complete surgical teams were assembled and worked on him at the same time. His left lung was deflated to make room for many hands and his kidney removed and iced to facilitate it's arterial repairs. After the graft was in place his lung was re inflated and the kidney reattached. This over simplification of a very complicated surgery, but I think you get the picture.

I am called to the ICU unit and there I find Doyle still under, tubes sticking out from every visible opening and IV's everywhere. He has 15 IV bags hanging. He looks pretty good considering his ordeal, but he's too quiet, and it occurs to me I have never seen him this way before, even asleep he snores and moves about. This disturbs me but I am assured he is better off being unconscious than being awake with his breathing Tube(s) in place.

I am introduced to Justin and Cyndi, Doyle's personal nurses and am suddenly aware that angels sometimes wear scrubs. They deftly move about the bed checking this and moving that, all the while telling me Doyle's status and his stages of recovery. I feel confident in leaving Doyle in their capable hands and getting some sleep in the TLC visitors room.

The next day is out of a horror movie, Doyle is conscious and fighting the breathing tube, until it is finally removed and he can speak and breath on his own. The nurses tell me how remarkably resilient he is, that most people don't breath on their own for two days.

The next two days are not easy, I sleep very little, if at all, and Doyle's having a rough time of it, but steadily improving. So much so he is moved out of ICU, or TLC as they call it and placed in regular room two days ahead of schedule.

Once in his room he demands, and gets, food. He sits up and walks his first day. The next day he is pacing the halls. The Doctors are pleased. The nurses stop fussing over him and let him wander into their private lounge to get at the good coffee, every hour another tube or drain is removed.

Doyle at home
His surgery was Friday, and on Wednesday he is released. This is some sort of record for this kind of surgery and we feel very strongly that his recovery was due to the outpouring of thousands of prayers from friends and family. We comment constantly about the positive waves of love that wash over us during our ordeal.

So here is Doyle at home on the couch, not feeling very photogenic, but he allows me to snap a pic to let people see he is OK. We took a walk in the fields today and he's a bit tired and sore, but is improving every minute.

Our plans are still to leave for Florida as soon as the Doctor says we can, which should be in Mid November. Until then, we are staying at the farm, family and friend have offered to help with what little packing we have left to do. Doyle should be recovered enough to be back cooking in January, just in time for Alafia, or maybe even Boomer's Powwow on New Years Eve.

nd comfort.

1 comment:

Smokep said...

I am so VERY glad Doyle is up and around again. I think I have seen that expression on him before but not with the bright light on top of his head! :-)

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