Friday, April 12, 2013

Notes from the hospital...

Some scattered thoughts because that's the only way mine come these days...

  • I think voice lessons should be part of medical training. I had a hard time leaving Chris at pre-op. What if I needed to be in the operating room to ask the right questions? Something like, "Can you help me understand why that's the right scalpel? Are you sure you need to use a saw?" The nurse anesthetist was an easy-going guy from New Orleans. He noticed my angst and in that smooth Cajun drawl said, "We're going to take good care of him," and I thought, "He sounds like Harry Connick, Jr. Everything is going to be okay."
  • Cancer has done for me what six pregnancies and about a million blood draws did not. I've always been queasy about anything to do with blood or needles. When I was pregnant with Rand and at the OB for bloodwork, when the nurse took out the needle, I closed my eyes, turned my head and started taking slow, deep breaths.
Nurse: (sympathetic concern) Is this your first pregnancy?
Me: (sheepish smile). No, it's my sixth. I'm just a wimp.
Maybe my mind has a limited space for fear and worry and cancer has monopolized that real estate because when the surgeon offered to show me a picture of what he removed from Chris' leg, I looked at it. For a long time. I wasn't even a little unnerved. There's a category of food I won't be eating again, but I'm not a big fan of it anyway.
  • PT guys don't mess around. Fourteen hours after surgery they had him on his feet.
  • A volunteer came by and asked if we were okay. I said, "We're alright considering that he just lost 1/4 of his leg. She's a cancer survivor and quipped, "We're all missing bits and pieces around here."
  • And it's now clear why the doctor wouldn't give us many post-op details before surgery. He didn't want us to curl up on his floor and cry. This is going to be a long, hard recovery.

From the Book of Common Prayer, Prayers for use by a sick person

In the Morning

This is another day, O Lord. I know not what it will bring forth, but make me ready, Lord, for whatever it may be. If I am to stand up, help me to stand bravely. If I am to sit still, help me to sit quietly. If I am to lie low, help me do it patiently. And if I am to do nothing, let me do it gallantly. Make these words more than words, and give me the Spirit of Jesus. Amen.




  1. I'm sitting here, trying to figure out which one-quarter of my leg they would be taking out of me. No matter how I figure it, it's an awful lot to get around without. Wishing Chris the speediest recovery managable.

    And I've always loved that prayer from the BCP, especially the doing nothing gallantly part, which is very difficult, in my opinion.

  2. I just had a minor knee surgery and have not been nearly as gracious as you and your family are being. (Not good at the sitting quietly.) May Chris do well at the torture that is PT. You are all in my prayers.

  3. Yup, leave it to medicine to forever spoil food groups. It makes me borderline vegitarian, and I'm a Texan through and through.

    Here's to hoping that Chris doesn't clock his PT person. They're pretty hard, but for good reason.


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