We’re Waiting

The surgeon even unwrapped a sterilized pen to put his initials on my mom’s arm.

So far I’ve been impressed my everything that’s gone on here at the hospital. We’ve been kept with my mom as much as possible. She’s in surgery now.

There are a lot of people involved in her care. There’s the anesthesiologist who’s got a med student tagging along. He also supervises a nurse who’ll be monitoring my mom. There are at least two other nurses who’ve been by and, of course, the surgeon.

He’s young–but that’s not saying much since everyone seems young nowadays. Actually he reminds me of the Elliot Gould character from the movie M*A*S*H. That was back when Elliot Gould was young… and thin… and a household name.

Everyone is systematic. Questions are asked then asked again. The surgeon even unwrapped a sterilized pen to put his initials on my mom’s arm.

My mom’s arm has been numbed. She has also been given a more general sedative. We’ve been told she’ll be pretty woozy the rest of the day, even after we leave the hospital. No heavy machinery for my mom!

My dad and I walked to the cafeteria for breakfast. This hospital is immense. We got lost on the way back–twice! One time we took the wrong elevator and ended up on a surgical floor.

There’s a large flat panel monitor mounted near the TV in this waiting room. It flashes info on all patients scheduled for the E.R. They are identified by number followed by the last, first and middle name of the surgeon. No initials here.

The rightmost column shows my mom’s procedure began at 8:22 AM. Now we wait for her elbow to be repaired. The surgeon will come and see us when everything’s done.

Semi Private Room

This is a nice hospital, but it has one old touch, semi private rooms. I think, by and large, hospitals favor private rooms now.

I mention this, because I’m listening to a surgeon explain bypass surgery to the man in the next bed. It’s not a pleasant conversation. The flimsy curtain between us is not stopping the sound.

This man, like my dad, came in expecting an angiogram and nothing more. Now he’s going to have his chest cracked open. He’s been told to plan on taking 6-8 weeks off from work and that the procedure will leave him feeling as if he’s been hit by a truck!

Holy crap. I don’t want to have a surgeon have this conversation with me. I can’t imagine the emotions they’re feeling on the other side of the room.

Political Waste

Our mailbox was full of campaign literature today. I don’t remember this much in the past.

The mailings are mostly single sheet, heavy stock, oversized. No political postcards heading to the Fox household this year.

One was an ad for Rep. Nancy Johnson, who is in a very tough race in Connecticut’s 5th District. It was paid for by a surgeon’s political action committee.

I’m not in Nancy Johnson’s district!

This doesn’t seem like an easy mistake to make. My zip code and town are both well removed from hers.

That it was surgeons doing the misplacing is the most troubling part of this story. I want my surgeon infallible!

The Pain Is Gone

This entry was originally going to be named, “Steffie -The Pain Is Gone,” but I was afraid it would be taken the wrong way! Steffie’s not gone, but her pain is.

A few weeks ago, while visiting the orthodontist, the decision was made that her four wisdom teeth would have to go. That’s a lot of wisdom.

Steffie finished her school semester, went to Florida to visit my folks and then flew back to get this dental work done. The actual surgery was done Thursday with the thought she’d recuperate over the long Christmas weekend.

Everything went really well. The surgery was easy… or so we were told. Steffie came out with swollen cheeks and everything between her chin and tongue numb.

We expected her to suffer somewhat on Friday but when the pain persisted into Saturday and Sunday, we knew something wasn’t right. Originally she applied ice, took Motrin and suffered in silence. When things didn’t get better she started taking a stronger painkiller.

I don’t think there’s any way for Steffie to understand this – I certainly couldn’t have understood before I became a parent, but Helaine and I felt every bit of it. Even more, we felt powerless that we couldn’t make her feel any better. A parent is supposed to comfort their child.

This morning Helaine called the oral surgeon to tell him of Steffie’s troubles. Within a few hours they were seeing him.

It turns out Steffie had two dry sockets. I’m no dentist, but I think it means the little clot of blood that protects the surgical area was gone. Within a few minutes, but after enough a lot of pain, Steffie was fine.

It was amazing to see her return home happy after knowing she left hurting. I’m really glad Helaine called the surgeon today… probably not as glad as Steffie is.