Friday, July 13, 2007

Notes on the 4th surgery

Wednesday's surgery started earlier than we had planned after taking a last-minute call to arrive an hour earlier than was scheduled. The new 8:30 AM arrival time took us straight through the heart of Portland's morning rush.

We had nearly arrived when I let the car drift forward at the end of the freeway offramp and hit the truck in front of us. The unfortunate gentleman driving quickly pulled over and got out. We left each other amicably when we discovered that the impact wasn't even enough to remove the dirt from our license plate.

When we arrived at Meridian Park Hospital we were sent straight to Short Stay room B222, a favorite of ours (it's one of the only ones with a bathroom). They put Anne-Marie in one of the hospitals new heated gowns. (Have you seen these things? They inflate like the Michelin Man with the help of a little machine that looks like a 60's hair dryer.) The nurses and CNA's and IV people rushed around as usual until the anesthesiologist and Dr. Burgess arrived.

Anne-Marie was falling asleep and wheeled out of the room almost before I could say goodbye. When I arrived in the waiting room Pastor Gleason, who had arrived amidst the din, was prepared to take Mom and I to breakfast at the cafeteria. French toast was my selection. I was just finishing when I was called upstairs to speak with Dr. Burgess as soon as possible. When I picked up the phone Dr. Burgess was on the line, "This is Dr. Burgess and everything's OK! I just need to know if I can allow a nurse in the room for training purposes. I need your permission to do that" I was relieved and told her that it would be fine.

One hour passed. Two hours. Three hours. Finally, the doctor came down the hall and told me that all was well. Anne-Marie was in recovery and would be brought to Short Stay within an hour and a half. Pastor Gleason, who had been waiting for the report for an hour longer than expected, took his leave. Mom and I went back downstairs for lunch. I paired my culinary tribute to the land of Marianne with a French Dip sandwich.

We headed back upstairs to the waiting room. In just a few minutes, Anne-Marie was back in Short Stay. Anne-Marie was still very sleepy and in a lot of pain. Mom and I sat in the two chairs provided by the hospital and read our books. After an hour and a half, Anne-Marie was ready to return home. We left the hospital for home around 5:00 PM in the all-too-familiar Tualatin to Oregon City traffic.

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