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Two Days to Operation

May 30th, 2009

We drove up to Banner Desert Hospital Thursday morning for Don’s pre-op conference.  We spent an hour or so talking to an exceedingly pleasant and upbeat nurse named Joan, who is from Maine and had such a heavy New England accent that it sounded like a joke.   She took all his history and list of meds, and told us what would happen from the time we check in on Monday morning until he’s discharged.  She explained all the advantages of robotic surgery, which is much safer and easier to heal from, but takes about twice as long to do.  The surgeon has scheduled the operating room for 4 1/2 hours.  We’re supposed to get to the hospital at 9 am, and the surgery is at 11 am.  So Monday will be a long, long day for me, though Don will be asleep through most of it.

The Doctor told us early on that because of Don’s bowel resection back in 1965 there is a possibility that he has too much scar tissue for the robotic surgery to work, in which case they’ll resort to conventional surgery then and there.  He’ll be in the hospital 3 days or so with robotic surgery, up to a week if they have to cut the regular way.

In any event, Joan was very good at her job, and we came away feeling educated and fairly upbeat.  After we left the hospital, we grabbed some lunch and had a walk in the nearest mall, trying to get some exercise.  We got home around 2:30, and my ambitious plan was to sit right down and write on Book 5, but as it turned out, I could not keep my eyes open.  I lay down to take a short rest, and lo and behold the next thing I know it’s 5 o’clock.  This is most unusual – I don’t know where the sudden exhaustion came from, but there you have it.

In other plumbing news, after lots of measuring and cutting out of templates, I did buy a new sink to go into the bathroom to replace the rusted-out one that no longer holds water.  The plumber came out on Friday to install them, and we now have two new bathroom sinks.  They look marvelous.

It occurred to me yesterday that Don’s car has been sitting undriven in our driveway for close to three months.  When he first got sick, I was good about alternating cars, but since he’s been home and I’ve been chauffeuring him, we’ve been using our Toyota Highlander exclusively, since he can’t get in and out of the low-slung Saturn.  I was a bit wary about starting it, so I emailed all the relatives and asked if anyone had any advice about what I should do first. It’s hot and dry here, and I wouldn’t have been surprised if every fluid in the car had dried up. Fortunately, Don is not so sickly that he couldn’t check the oil and the water, after which I got in the Saturn and it started right up.  I drove it around for a while – it ran great.  I’ll drive it around a few minutes a day, and then after Don gets home from the hospital I’ll have it checked over and washed. Being a car idiot isn’t useful when you’re in charge of things.

Wish us luck for the stone removal on Monday. I’m hoping this is the beginning of the end of a months long ordeal. I have the oddest feeling that everything is going to be all right.

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