Thursday, August 23, 2007

Surgery Day

Today is the big day.

We had to be at the hospital at 6:15am today. My tentative schedule was:
  • 1 hour 15 minutes for getting up, shower, morning routine, feed bunnies, etc.
  • 1 hour to get to the hospital (The hospital is about 40 minutes away undernormal traffic conditions, but I allocated an hour for the trip, b/c you can never tell with Bay Area morning traffic)

So that meant we had to be up by 4am. (Ugh!) Neither one of are morning people.At least I could have coffee.

The morning routine took a lot less time than expected, so we got on the road about 15 minutes early. And except for a 5 minute traffic snafu at a major interchange, traffic was pretty light, so we arrived at the hospital a full half hour early.

There wasn't any point to going in early, so we bucketed the seats all the way back, and took a 20 minute psuedo-nap (just resting, never actually going to sleep). There's a lot things we don't like about our Chrysler 300C, but I've gotta say that the seats are pretty damn comfortable. They bucket all the way to flat, Plus seat-heat! I love seat-heat.

The hospital parking lot has Valet Parking?!? WTF? You'd think this was a fancy-shmancy hospital, except that the building where we check-in for surgery is a trailer.

After the ubiquitous signing of misc papers that I'm sure we've signed 20 times already, we get to wait in the waiting area. After about 20 minutes, they take Mrs S. off to pre-op, leaving me alone in the waiting area. 15 min later, I'm lead into pre-op, thru a construction zone in the hospital, with lots of noisy power tools running.

Pre-op is a big room, subdivided into lots of litle rooms by curtains. We get a corner. The construction noise is still very loud, and very distracting. Waiting for surgery is anxious-making enough. The experience isn't enhanced by a soundtrack of power-tools.

So far, the experience is reminscent of going to the airport: Get up early, go for a long drive, check-in,wait, go to a different area, wait so more... And then, to make the airport-travel analogy complete, the curtain-room next to ours gets some tenants -- a family with two crying toddlers. Construction noise and crying children... joy.

Eventually the medical team comes in to prep one of the toddlers for surgery. The toddler switches from crying to sheer wailing. Like Spinal Tap, his volume knob goes all the way up to 11. While this is going on, I'm wrestling with my sense of decency. I feel like I should feel sympathy and compassion for the poor child, but all I can think of is that I wish the kid would shut up. I feel at a little better after eavesdropping convinces me that the kid isn't crying due to his medical condition, he's just cranky.

The little boy is finally taken to surgery, and the place is reasonably peaceful. (construction noises still abound)

Our surgeon is late. She says that somebody wrote the wrong time down on her schedule. This doesn't exactly fill me with confidence.

The aneasthetist gives Mrs S. some happy juice. It works almost immediately. Mrs S doesn't get all loopy like patients do on Dr 90210, she just got relaxed.

The cart her off to surgery around 8:10am. The surgery is supposed to take about 4 hours. So there's a lot more waiting in my future.


  1. I hope that everything went well today! Here's to speedy recoveries and smaller boobies.

    Mr. S, did you stop at the hospital gift shop for an "Itty Bitty Titty Club" T-shirt?

  2. A link to those shirts, just in case you didn't get one.

  3. Hope it went well - here's to a speedy recovery :)