Well, we are back at Baptist hospital. This time, it was for my Grandma’s surgery. Now, Grandma hasn’t been in the hospital since gallbladder surgery in the 60’s. But this is a much needed surgery to improve quality of life and she didn’t have much choice in the matter. I was fortunate that I was able to be there for the morning of the surgery since school did not start back until Tuesday. And, just being around her for a few minutes, I learned some cool things about her and my Mom.
1. Never be afraid to speak up!
This came in quite handy when a nurse came in to put on Grandma’s paper hat. She said “How are you, Mrs. Allen”. Both of them spoke up rather quickly….”That’s/I’m not Mrs. Allen!!!” We’re all so thankful that all she did was put on a hat instead of give any kind of examination, administer drugs, or any other procedures.
Then the surgeon came to see her..or rather, shuffled in the room on CRUTCHES!!! She voiced a little concern over her surgeon hopping around on one leg while she was cut open on the table. He reassured her that it was just a knee scope procedure and he only needed his hands to do the surgery. We are still wondering if he sat on a stool or a chair.
I should also mention that after the mistaken identity, doctor on crutches, and long nervous wait, she asked for the knock-out medicine. I don’t blame her. When life is chaos and sedation is an option….don’t wait.
2. Never be afraid to ask for what you want.
Warming blankets. When you’re going under the knife and imagining all kinds of interesting outcomes, nothing feels as good as warming blankets. My mother is the one who asked for these. They brought two for Grandma and kept them changed out when they got cold again. It never hurts to ask. I think she may have asked for a drink of water, but that was out of the question.
3. Always be prepared.
I promise these words came out of her mouth.
Put these (glasses) in my bag on the left hand side, top zip, makeup bag. The case is in the makeup bag.
I should also mention that the only “makeup” may have been a tube of chapstick.
Her bag was neater than my house. She had everything she could possible need in one bag with a gazillion pockets and compartments and she had the inventory of each one imprinted on her brain. Amazing.
The last update was Grandpa took her home and got her settled and sent my Mom home to rest. She stayed in the hospital overnight so she didn’t get much sleep. Grandma was really drowsy and just not feeling like putting on her dancing shoes, but she was glad to be home. I hope to hear great news tomorrow.
My Grandma is a rock star. I bet she learned that from Mom 😉
While Grandma was in surgery, I was starving. I committed a cardinal rule when traveling. I didn’t bring any food with me. And because I had cleaned out the car, I didn’t even have my bags of oatmeal and granola. I can almost always find water and a microwave. So, breakfast was the best I could find in the snack shop.
I remember clearly how good to cafeteria food was while we stayed at the ICU waiting/living/overnight room. When our lives were upside down, finding a routine was critical. We timed our visits to the cafeteria around the 5 different visiting times to see Dad. We looked forward to those trips to see him and yes, we looked forward to eating. Food was a comfort. It’s stable when NOTHING else is stable.
Walking back into the cafeteria, I got a little emotional. It had not changed. I was overwhelmed with memories and relieved at the same time but still anxious for Grandma. I immediately went to the soup counter to see if they had vegetable soup on the menu for lunch. I can’t tell you how many bowls of soup we ate in the 20+ days we filtered in and out of the cafeteria.
Then I got emotional over breakfast. Not in a good way.
The granola bar was not bad. The yogurt had to go. It’s been so long since I’ve had anything but plain greek yogurt. This stuff tasted like chemicals. I tried to swallow a little more because I needed the protein but I couldn’t get past whatever was tasting like paint.
Today was definitely a day spent with people who warm my heart. I’m glad I got to be there even for a just a few hours.