Sunday, November 29, 2009

The surgery...and the Thanksgiving that wasn't..

For those of you that follow on a regular basis, you know that I went under the knife last Monday, Nov 23. Not a big deal, just getting my gallbladder removed. However, it was a much bigger deal to me than that. The weekend before was rotten. I was a rotten person to be around. My temper was short and there was little that was effective at consoling me. I was pissed I had to have surgery, I was pissed my Mom wasn't here, and I was pissed because I knew my Dad would have a hard time. So, on Monday am, my troops and I converged at the hospital. On the way there, we stopped by the church so that I could see Mom. I went by myself and sobbed for a good 5 minutes on my knees. Attention God: I love you but this is NOT fair.

We arrived at the hospital and got the ball rolling. I went back to pre op by myself to get all ready. And, as I imagined, they were busy. However, the nurse that was about to be mine was dumb enough to fight with another nurse over who had to work me up right in front of my bay. That really started it off on the right foot....come to find out, I managed to land the most disorganized nurse ever. Granted, I was no wonder patient and I openly admitted that to her. However, I was none too pleased when she couldn't get it together...All I needed was to sign my consents so I could get my IV so I could get some damn DRUGS. However, an angel arrived shortly from my anesthesia team. She had been sent by my friend who was doing my anesthesia to check on me and get me rolling. And, get me rolling she did. With her calm voice and nature, she got my IV, got me calmed down a little bit, and got me some drugs. And, by the time I rolled in to the OR, I was making jokes. She was amazing. She held my hand and she did her best to make me feel better. She knew the circumstances and the monsters in my head that I was dealing with. And, based on how she treated me, I would venture a guess that either she has lost her Mom or she is exceptionally close to her like I was because she got it. And, my hand picked anesthesiologist provided amazing care as well. He was kind enough to not harass me as much as he normally does and to call my husband from the OR. I am not sure what I would have done without them. My surgeon also did fine work. My scars are going to be small and my ability to eat has been restored.

My dad was a champ. I know it was incredibly hard to be there for me without my Mom there for him. That was how they did things...they were there for each other. And, after my surgery was complete, he went to tell her that everything went ok. She already knew, but I know she appreciated my Dad's visit.

I was lucky enough to spend my days of recovery surrounded by friends. One of my friends was with me every single day until Thanksgiving. She kept me company, held my hand, rubbed my back, and tried to do all of those things my Mom would have. And, my friend Wilma was an amazing supervisor. I needed a little supervision....and her excellent nursing knowledge and care. As always, she came through with flying colors.

My Thanksgiving.....well, it wasn't. There was nothing about that day that made it seem like Thanksgiving. My Dad stayed in La Crosse so that he could be with my grandma and because he had a funeral service to attend on Saturday. My aunt spent the week at their place in Florida. And, Bryce and I spent it here. We went to church on Thurs am and stayed after to help serve dinner at the meal provided for our pantry patrons. Church was hard. I wasn't feeling thankful and I couldn't focus. However, one of the other members of the parish reached out to me. She came over during 'the peace' and told me that she understood that I was struggling and wanted me to keep going. Her husband died suddenly a few years ago and he is buried in the yard there as well. She understands what I am going through. And, she told me that I could slug anyone to gave me the platitude about 'just getting through the firsts' of everything....the first bday, the first holidays...all the milestones. She told me what I suspected, it doesn't get easier, you just do it....however you can.

I enjoyed visiting with her while we served downstairs as well. She's kind of an interesting gal. But, she gets it. She understands and she is now part of my army. I have a feeling I will need her and everyone else who has enlisted in the coming weeks.

My best description of Thanksgiving is a little odd. But, I felt like I was watching from above. I felt like I was observing someone else's life and I wasn't participating. I was an outsider. I would assume that Christmas will be much the same way.

I know I have a lot to be thankful for...however, when you are missing someone so much it hurts, that's hard to put in perspective.

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