Surgery was scheduled for the late morning of Tuesday, April 7. We made the decision to stay two nights in Seattle for the procedure (Monday through Wednesday) to give Anne-Marie a good night's sleep before and avoid a difficult rush hour drive home to Vancouver right after being discharged. Also--though it may sound strange--we wanted to take time to celebrate this moment by being in a quiet place together for a few days.
Surgery went well. Textbook well, really. This time took a little longer since they were concerned about (literally) wrapping every last thing up. I waited and walked the halls of the UWMC one last time till my call came. An extra hour of surgery and an extra hour of recover meant I was really glad I reserved an extra night of lodging in Seattle. We made it back to our room around 6:30.
Maybe it was that it was a lesser procedure that made Anne-Marie energized and cheerful that evening. I believe it might have been more that it was the last procedure. Anne-Marie rested well enough that I snuck out for coffee with one of my friends from the area for a few minutes. She woke up ready for the ride home.
This time the home side of the recovery was a little different because the kids weren't there, but I was. Usually during the days following surgery, it's the opposite. The kids were gone because Grandma had them for Spring Break. I was home because my workload at the office is so large that my boss offered me an unrefusable agreement. Because I was needed at least 10 hours a day, but only wanted to work eight so I could be at home as much as possible instead I could work from home and attend to Anne-Marie any time she needed me...I just needed to squeeze about 25 hours in before I got back on Monday.
So I brought my entire station from the office home and set up camp for five days on the dining room table. The agreement worked out fantastically. Why didn't we think of this before?
The kids came back on the weekend and I went back to work on Monday. Yes, the week after surgery was a struggle with Anne-Marie jumping right back in to the busy schedule of school and home and a husband who works a lot and even more than a lot lately.
Now that it's been a few weeks, we have made our way back to our semi-normal routine of controlled chaos. Knowing it won't be bogged down with surgery ever few months is the most incredible, freeing yet unfamiliar feeling. As I said before: What am I going to do with my vacation time? My sick time? My unpaid leave time? My cache of tired babysitter goodwill? My hospital cafeteria fund?
I dunno. Let's find out.