Up at 4am. To the hospital before 5:30. Let the games begin! We do not sit around and wait for long. We are taken back and put in a prep room. Nurse comes in and asks questions and is way too cheery for that time in the morning. Then she leaves us so Ken will be able to get “dressed”. More like UNdressed. Gown and socks only.
Let the fun begin! Vitals checked, tons of questions asked and answered. Then the shaving starts. Yes, I said shaving. TEEHEE! Ken got almost all of his front half shaved. Neck down. He had already shaved his face the night before. He made sure to tell the young nurse who was shaving him that he was a bit ticklish on his tummy. She was avoiding that while others where coming and going and talking to him. This process took the better part of an hour. The whole time she worked hard to keep the more private parts covered. When she did get to shaving the stomach area, it was VERY amusing. Ken had to clench all up and make faces while trying not to laugh. Trust me, there were some escaping giggles.
More vitals and questions before he was taken away from me and I went to the waiting room to collect my beeper. The beeper was my life line to Ken. Now, I will not say that I was scared or even really worried just yet. I had instructions on how the day would go and what to expect. I knew there was a board in the waiting area that told you where your person was in the process. I had a color coated card to be sure I could read it. I had a beeper that would go off any time there was news and I needed to talk to someone. I also had three of the most awesome friends waiting for me.
Lisa, Teresa, and Kerry were waiting for me when I came out. They drove over from Illinois the night before and stayed near by. I was so glad to see their sleepy faces! After greetings and a little discussion they went down to the cafeteria with me. I would not have made it through without the distraction they brought me. It went a little like this… I would check “the board” and one of them would check on me. The beeper would go off and I would go find out what was going on, and they all watched my every move. Once they knew life was good, they went back to the jokes and the stories. The teasing and the laughter. Yes, that is what friends are for! Eventually his sister, Vicki, showed up too. She was there for the talk with the surgeon and this was very helpful.
When surgery was over they told me they would come get me when he was settled and I would be allowed to visit for 10 minutes every hour. Only 10 minutes!?!?! OK…I guess. I was retrieved and went back for my first 10 minute visit. He was aware and looked at me and squeezed my hand. That was all I could ask for at that point. After my 10 minutes I went back out to say good bye to my fantastic friends. I could not thank them enough for what they did. Then his sister and I sat and waited until the next visit time.
More waiting and progress stories to come.