So I'm sitting - along with my sisters - in the ICU waiting room, er, waiting.
They brought my mom down to the OR a bit after 6 AM. As I type this, it's 9:36 AM, and so far we haven't gotten any of our three updates, and there's a good chance that they haven't actually started operating yet.
I readily admit that I'm pretty scared and anxious, but I do feel confident that she'll make it through. After all, she had surgery to clear out a blocked artery in her neck on Friday - which was sort of a trial run for the main event - and she made it through that with no trouble whatsoever. Granted, it's not nearly as invasive a procedure, but it's still pretty major surgery. Apart from being groggy from the anesthetic, she was fine right after it, and got better as the day wore on. I have to say that I was impressed by her resilience.
It was good to get out of the hospital over the weekend, and to sleep in a real bed. The downside was that my mom doesn't have WiFi in her apartment, and her Internet connection is actually slower than the free WiFi here at the hospital. On the other hand, my mom's Internet connection doesn't block any domains the way the hospital's does.
Saturday morning I got a text from my friend Kevin inviting me out to breakfast. We ate at the Suomi Restaurant. I can't remember the last time I ate there. Probably at least 15 years. Sadly, as I'm not the most sentimental person in the world, it's not as though I had any wistful reminiscences about the place. Still, it was good to see Kevin - while we've talked/e-mailed/chatted in the interim, it's been years since I actually saw him - and the Pannukakku I ordered was good. I wouldn't have thought that I could get tired of bacon and eggs for breakfast, but after a week of having little else in the way of options* in the hospital cafeteria, it actually happened.
Saturday evening I went to see Megamind - which is hilarious - with my brother-in-law and my niece and nephew.
Kim hit a deer on her way to bingo on Saturday night, and, to add insult to injury, she didn't even win anything once she got there. The deer did a fair amount of damage, but her car is still drivable.
Yesterday Kim and I headed back down to Marquette. She and I watched a boring video about what to expect today and after the surgery, and a bit after that my friend Gretchen came by to visit for a while. Hadn't seen her in years either.
I got put back in the same hospitality room I'd stayed in last week. The one without a bathroom (or a window).
They gave my mom some Xanax last night so that she could sleep, and this morning they gave her, in the nurse's words, " a lot of Valium" before wheeling her on out.
And that brings us to this point, in the waiting room, with the waiting.
Apparently during my stay here last week I was a big hit with the nurses, what with the whole devoted-son-who-flies-in-all-the-way-from-Virginia-and-stays-at-the-hospital-to-take-care-of-his-mom thing.
Not that it did me any good - the cutest nurses, and there were a few, were all married with kids - or like that was really what was on my mind.
One nurse that my mom had for most of last week was really good - well, they've all been very good, but she stands out because I was around her more - and frequently commented on my awesomeness. At one point when I was out of the room to eat lunch or whatever, she had asked my mom if I'd ever been married. My mom told her that I had, and gave a brief summary of how that worked out, to which the nurse responded, in reference to my ex, "That little bitch."
Hopefully once my mom gets through the surgery - which, despite my anxiety, I'm positive she will - it won't be too long before they take her off the ventilator (generally happens anywhere from 6 to 24 hours after the surgery) and she'll be able to talk before I head back to NoVA tomorrow. Of course, it might be better if she's still out of it when I leave so that she won't be sad when I go.
*They did, on odd days, have this yogurt bar that I really liked. I was thinking it had been a M-W-F thing, and was looking forward to it this morning, but unfortunately they didn't have it. They didn't even have much in the way of packaged yogurt to choose from.