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Buttons, pushed

So Tuesday was my dad’s surgery, and while my mom and I were waiting for the surgeon to page us and report on how it went, I wrote a little post (so glad the hospital had WiFi). Trouble is, I hit Save and not Publish. Doy.

Anyway. The good news is, the surgery went well. About half an hour after they’d moved him from recovery to his room, he even cracked a couple of jokes. (Although he did keep groggily asking about the cost — would watching TV incur extra fees? Was the in-patient rehab he’ll need after dismissal included under his insurance? And oh yeah, where was his wallet again?)

The bad news is, he’s now conscious enough to know how much pain he’s in. As the spinal block wore off and he could feel what was going on below his chest, the pain became intolerable. We tried to get him to push his PCA button at regular intervals for morphine, but he hadn’t kept up, so the pain was too much for it to do much good. Something in my chest broke to see him trying to change position and he said, “I just want to blow my brains out right now.” His nurse said there was nothing she could do, but his surgeon had told us that if the pain got to be too much to handle, we should have him paged so he could up the morphine dosage. We finally got a nurse to do so, which finally helped get things under control. After that, he was much better about clicking the PCA and maintaining a high enough dosage to get some rest.

The hospital is very new and nice and seems to consider itself a luxury resort — it only has private rooms (thank God), patients are referred to as “guests,” meals are called “room service” and are available round the clock (you even have to call down before each one and order what you want from the menu), patients are encouraged to make use of the 24/7 “concierge service,” and the cleaning staff are “environmental specialists.” I was disappointed that there’s no minibar, however.

My mom and I stayed overnight a few minutes away from the hospital Tuesday night — good thing, too, as both of us were massively sleep-deprived and neither could have managed the hour-plus drive home. That, combined with the cumulative stress of the day and not eating induced a strange state of zombietude and near-tears. It was all I could do to hold it together and not take it out on my mom, who I could tell felt even worse than I did.

Yesterday he was a bit better than he’d been right after the surgery, but he had another downturn last night when his blood sugar spiked to crazy-dangerous levels and he either a) popped a stitch and lost a lot of blood before a doctor came to staple it (his account last night), or b) he pulled out his IV (the night nurse’s report this morning). I’m hoping that when we get there today, we’ll have a clearer picture of what happened and why.

My mom is (of course) anxious, and I’m trying to do what I can to be stable and helpful. But it’s hard not to be irritated when she fusses over me (”Will you be OK to make your own breakfast?”) and when there’s precious little time when I can be quiet and alone. I knew this week would be no cakewalk, but it’s much more draining than I’d imagined.



3 Responses to “Buttons, pushed”

  1. Ezra says:


    Visit Ezra

    Well, we’re thinking of you and your family, Trixie.

    When you get back to the ‘ville we’ll make you a big extra-spicy bloody mary.

  2. Terri says:


    Visit Terri

    What he said!

  3. Paula says:


    Visit Paula

    Keep us posted, Trix.


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