Monday, November 30, 2009

The Surgery Pt 1

Ashton's surgery was for about....either 1 or 2 in the afternoon. Dr. Ha had another similar surgery that morning. That was difficult as it left ALL DAY to fret, but also good because we had time for the events in the previous posts.

They came to get Ashton and I to prepare him for surgery. We walked in and saw Dr, Ha talking with other doctors. They were laughing and joking. It is good to see doctors relaxed.

The room was large and had several bays, most with people in them that I could see. I wondered what everyone was "in for" (Ash calls me nosy, I prefer the term "concerned" hee hee). Who was sick? Who was hurt? Who was looking at their own mortality, and who was in there to get a thumb operated on? Seriously, I did not try to pry, but I also felt an urge to go around talking to everyone, seeing if there was any comfort I could give.

They brought a child who was going to have surgery. She was being wheeled around in a big red wagon filled with blankets and toys. I thought that was brilliant. She looked a lot calmer than we felt.

The fellow who came to put in the IV's etc was a man with really beefy hands. His fingers looked knobby and calloused and I wondered what hobbies or illness he had to make his hands look that way. Guitar? No, that would not make calluses on the knuckles. Hmmm. I was a bit disconcerted by the fact that he did not use gloves. I had heard someone mention about working in the ER and if there was no break in the skin, there is no danger from disease.

Ash was scared, but quiet. He did not appear frightened, but I could tell. Thankfully the pre-op preps were quick and soon the man said "Kiss your wife, we are about to go". Ash gave me a kiss and they wheeled him down the room. Ash later told me that whatever they gave him, he remembers the kiss, and then nothing.

It is weird to be standing there, after they wheel your loved one. I had no idea what to do, where to go. Ash was where I could not go, and the surgery was going to last many hours. Ash's folks were due in, but not for a while. You just sort of feel lost, left out. Well, I did, anyway. It was almost like if Ash was not there, then I had no reason to be there—like he was my ticket and without him, I was just taking up space. It was odd.

Someone told me where the waiting room was, though I am not sure who. It was a medium sized room with a tv in the corner and a phone on the wall. The phone would ring and whoever was closest to the phone would answer it. On the other end was an operating team. They would ask for one of the folk in the waiting room. The person who answered would call out the name for someone in the waiting room. It was an odd sort of phone lottery—when the phone rang, we would all look expectantly, hoping the phone was for us, telling us things were ok.

Near to me was a group of young people. I remember them talking about their displeasure with the new uniforms. Complaining about new uniforms is practically a sport in the military, but in this case they were right—using Velcro to fasten pockets (where maps and flashlights and rounds are kept), which makes a big RRRIIIIIPPPPPPPPP sound when you are trying to do covert maneuvers is ridiculous.

I was so envious of that group of young people--supporting each other, laughing and joking. They were obviously there supporting a girlfriend or young wife of whomever was in surgery. I was pretty much by myself at that point, just me and God. I wanted to join in their conversation, but I was too shy to even attempt it.

Now, to be honest, I would rather have the Lord than a bunch of people, but I am also human and sometimes I just want people around me. But that also seems to sum up a lot of my experience--the Lord puts me in positions where I have to focus on Him, not on a lot of people around me. I like it, it works well and keeps me focused properly.

However, soon I struck up a conversation with a lady sitting close to me. She was a very devout Catholic and noticed my headcovering. She and I talked about her life (she had had surgery decades ago for the same brain tumor that Ash had! In fact, I met MANY people who had that tumor or knew someone who did), as well as various missions and feasts. Because of my talk with the Catholic priest, I was able to mention a feast that she had forgotten about. I am not sure of the significance of that, but it was too perfectly orchestrated NOT to have been from the Lord. I mean, really, when does a hospital mess up enough to send you a Catholic priest who happens to mention a saint before he realizes you are protestant and needs to leave, and then just a short time later you strike up a conversation with a VERY devout Catholic woman who had forgotten a feast for a saint? Hmmm…. This is the first time it has ever happened to me! I am a firm believer in the Lord, not in coincidence! Somehow that needed to happen for some reason…I am just not sure why and I cannot WAIT to find out when I get to heaven!

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