This surgery thing is no joke. Recovery is brutal. At least it is for my sweetheart. It’s amazing how many things have to be in alignment for the human body to function properly. The hospital staff is testament to all those moving parts.
There are the doctors, of course, who diagnose and perform surgery and order medications and monitor recovery, but they’re just a part of the much bigger community that makes up the team of people providing care and services at the hospital.
The nurses are the ones on the front lines. They’re with the patients the most, taking care of everything from pillow position to administering medication to providing support for hallway walks. They take vitals, assist with bathrooming, clean wounds, and keep patients spirits up. They are amazing.
Then there are the nurse’s aides, the phlebotomists, the physical therapists, the nutritionists, the patient transport specialists, the patient care coordinators, the cleaners, the volunteers, and all the other people whom I’m forgetting but who also do a great job. The hospital never closes. It never slows down. It ticks on like a clock, constantly there working for the people who need its care. I’m so grateful to all the people who make it happen.
My guy is still in the hospital. His body has taken a beating, but with this incredible team of people on his side he’s getting stronger day by day. As much as I appreciate and admire the people at the hospital, I hope that soon we can say goodbye to them for good.
First, my sweet friend and former colleague passed away after three years of dealing with the demon known as cancer (and no, I won’t give it a capital C). My heart aches for her family, and for the many students whose lives she touched, who have experienced a significant loss, many for the first time. Our school family is hurting, especially her fifth grade son and his friends, and her kindergarten teammates, who love her very much.
I would have gone to her celebration of life, but I was dealing with a drama playing out closer to home. You see my sweetheart is in the hospital. Here’s the short version of the tale. You can’t tell him I told you. He’s a very private person.
Him: Feels like I’m sore from doing crunches. Me: You’re doing great exercising.
Him: This is a little annoying, but no big deal. I won’t say anything to anyone. Me: (nothing, because he’s said nothing)
Him: Off to work I go. I’m fine. Home from work I go. I don’t feel well. I’m going to lay down. Me: You don’t look well. Want to go to Urgent Care? Him: No.
2 am Him: Can you stay home with me? I don’t think I can drive myself today. Me: Of course. Do you want to go to the Emergency Room? Him: No. Me: Let me call in and do sub plans.
7 am Him: Let’s go over to the doctor’s office. They’re open but don’t pick up phones until 8. Me: Ok. Doctor’s office: You can be seen at 10:10. Him: ok
10:25 am Medical professional: Go to the ER. Me: biting tongue. Him: ok.
11:00 am Emergency Room intake begins
6:30 pm Him: pain is at 8 of 10. Surgeon: This should take about an hour, maybe an hour and a half. It depends on what we find.
7:00 pm Him: pain is unbearable. Me: I love you. I’ll see you after surgery.
10:00 pm Surgeon: It was bad. I called in a second surgeon to assist. He’s resting now. Really, it was bad. Me: thank you.
He’s been working to recover since then, but there have been some issues that have cropped up along the way. He’s got a few hurdles to overcome, and it’s going to take time.
I’ve spent most of the past four days in the hospital with him, and I will again today. Gone are the days of restricted visitor’s hours. The health care team that works there is incredible. They are professional, hardworking, and so kind.
I’m going over there after I pay some bills. I worry about the bills, but right now that worry gets pushed to the back of my mind. I’m more concerned about his recovery. I’m also concerned and conflicted about work. Mine, not his.
My wonderful teammates made sure the sub had all she needed to teach on Thursday, then on Friday they wrote my lesson plans for me and gathered all the materials. There’s no school today, but what about tomorrow?
Should I go to school? Should I go to the hospital? Should I work now, while he’s hospitalized, knowing that he’ll need me more when he’s discharged? But what if he needs some other procedure? I want to be there.
I feel guilty about leaving my students, but I know they’ll be fine without me. Ultimately, I know he’ll be fine without me too. I feel needed yet superfluous in both situations. This is a tough one. Maybe I’ll let him make the call. Maybe.
I won’t give you the hug your loved ones thing. You already know that. I just needed to get this all out. If you’ve read it all, well, thank you.