It is my honor to write this as Doreen's "guest blogger" while she is unable to post herself - I am her husband, Jeremy. This is one post but I have been writing it throughout the course of the day so the thoughts are fresh in my mind.
This morning went very smoothly. We both slept well last night (so nice when you place your trust in Him, as His yolk truly is easy) and woke up to the alarm and jumped into action. We already had things packed - Doreen had a bag with bathroom items and some clothes with lots of space for me to take her clothes back. I packed my laptop, a book, several protein bars and a bottle of water. I had a protein shake for breakfast (fast and easy) and we got dressed then called security to give us a ride to the hospital.
Security was there in a flash - the place we are staying (the Barnes Lodge) is truly a blessing. Friendly people, attentive staff, and very easy to move around the campus. We got in early and waited for the registration to open and were second up. It was straight from there to our "module" which was where she was prepped. They hooked her up and took some blood (which was nice, because it could be drawn from her central line instead of having to stick her again) and then we waited. We met the team and they were all friendly and helpful. The fellow was a little late with the consent form but that was all in order and they administered the first pass of anesthesiology.
That was funny - I gave Doreen a kiss, she gave me a smile and her glasses, then the anesthesiologist asked her if she felt anything yet. She said "no" but then immediately her eyes started drooping and she was telling them how she did not want to be awake being rolled into the operating room. They told her she would be going under and may see a bit but probably wouldn't remember it. They had her do her wake up tests (squeezing a hand, moving feet, etc.) and rolled her away.
I was told my first update would come at 9:00am so I headed to breakfast. I had just loaded a plate when the beeper went off. I just set the plate aside and rushed back to the head desk wondering why I was being paged so early. It turned out they just wanted to get the pager back because I would be moving to the 7th floor waiting area and would receive phone calls or visits instead. So I dropped it off, headed back, found my plate and paid for it and enjoyed a nice breakfast. After that it was easy to find the waiting room.
It's very cozy here - no one else is waiting so I've got the room to myself. The wireless is good so I'm "dug in" and looking forward to the updates which I will share here. I'm actually surprised I'm far more calm than I imagined I would be ... but I've truly approached this in prayer and with the knowledge it is in His hands, and that has been more comforting than you may believe.
Received the first call. Just started surgery but everything is going well so far. Feeling good and making friends with ... the wireless (great connection here) and the coffee machine (great coffee).
Received the second call. Everything is going great. They are putting the screws in now and said it's moving along as expected. I'll call a few people with updates and then go get some lunch in the cafeteria.
Lunch was good - someone told me the South cafeteria is better than the North one and I have to agree. I got a spicy chicken sandwich. After that I realized it would be a few hours until my next update so I decided to walk back to the Lodge - it's only 5 minutes away - to drop off Doreen's items. It was a nice walk (yes, it is cold here but not raining) and felt great to get outside. I just dropped off what I needed and walked back then got settled again in the waiting room.
Thank goodness I feel relaxed and know Doreen is in great hands, so I was not anxious when 1:00pm came and went as I knew they would call when ready, and sure enough the phone range right at 1:30. Surgery is still going on as expected. Expecting another update in a few hours followed by a visit from Dr. Lenke after the surgery is done. Praise Jesus!
Received another call. They are closing her up, waking her up, and taking her to the recovery room. I should hear final updates and next steps in the next 1 - 2 hours. It's been a long day but so far everything has gone well. I'm looking forward to hearing the final updates and seeing her.
Thank goodness for books. Been relaxing and reading to pass the time when I'm not sharing updates on the phone or email.
Saw Dr. Lenke and he told me the surgery went really well - straightened her up quite a bit and she came out well as well. She is being moved to ICU and I can visit in about an hour.
6:00pm Update - We're Done! (Or, Just Beginning...)
We're done ... I got to see her. Obviously looking rough after a full day under and on her stomach, but she was lucid and could speak softly. She got to hear her mom and dad and daughter. The only hitch I know of is that she was feeling a lot of pain after the surgery. They didn't have the push-button administered yet and were working on it. I hope they can manage it but we also know it will get a little rougher before it gets better and are ready for the road ahead.
I left due to the shift change to grab a bite and update this. I'll go back to see her tonight and then visit in the morning. The surgical team will meet with her then and determine if she can be moved to a hospital room or needs to stay in ICU longer.
Thanks everyone, been a day ...