while amy rests, i figured i'd post something on her blog for anyone that may be interested in a general breakdown of yesterday's activities.
the day has come and gone.
yesterday we arrived at the hospital at about 5:45am to check in. amy was a little nervous, but carried her self with a strong sense of determination to get the procedure done. by 7am we were sitting in a small room, surrounded by various specialists, assistants and nurses. some were taking vitals, others were hooking amy up with electrodes, one discussed anesthesia with her, and everyone made her spell her entire name and date of birth (like 5 times over).
by 7:30 dr. chase (anesthesiologist) was giving amy the magic cocktail that would put her out. he said it would be like she had a couple of margaritas. by the looks of it, i'd say it was a little stronger than any margaritas i've ever made. amy was in good spirits, primarily thanks to dr. chase. he was good-humored and very clear about his role in the procedure. i think he made some very comforting remarks that helped bring some peace to amy's mind. at any rate, amy was wheeled out of that room shortly thereafter (already sedated and slurring her speech), and disappeared down an unfamiliar hallway.
then, we waited.
mom, dad, ben and i went to a family waiting room and waited to hear from staff. ben taught me to play gin and gin rummy. by the end of the day i think i cleared most of my debt, probably owing him about 35 cents (a point is worth a penny).
around 10:30am dr. heffez (the great brain surgeon) stepped into the waiting room. for anyone that is unfamiliar with the doctoral abilities vs. bedside manner discussion, this interaction was a classic illustration of that. the dr. simply said that amy did "very well". he simply stood there and looked at us. amy's dad asked if there were any surprises. dr. heffez responded with, "no surprises." i think he made a parting comment about when we could expect to see her, then stepped out.
i suppose this is a topic for a separate blog, but i have no issues with dr. heffez's brevity. i'd rather have the best operating surgeon working on my wife, with no real "personal skills", than a doctor who can make me laugh and is mediocre. in either regard, amy was now resting in a different area of the hospital. we would wait about another two hours before seeing her.
around 12:30 we went to the ICU to see amy. now, she won't know until she reads this, but i about passed out when i saw her laying there in the bed. she had (or has) several tubes running into her arms, IV's, oxygen, antibiotics, machines humming, buzzing, beeping, leftover iodine scrub on the back of her neck, and a weary look on her face. she greeted us with a joke, of course, then told the nurse that she couldn't muster the energy to say what she had originally wanted to say to me. apparently she and her nurse (katie) had plotted to play the amnesia game with me. she said she wanted to say "who are you?" when i came in. hilarious amy. hilarious.
i've never seen my wife in this kind of significant pain, nor have i seen her in a state of complete dependency like yesterday. it wasn't easy. although, similarly to how she has carried her self over the past 5-6 years, amy is pushing through it. this is clearly the most miserable phase of the treatment. amy will have to lay flat on her bed for roughly 24-36 hours post surgery. after that, she can begin sitting up in increments of 10 degrees (to balance the pressure in her neck and head). hospital staff says that she will spend a total of 2 days or so in ICU, at which point she will be transferred to a recovery ward (provided everything goes well).
the family and i have taken turns just sitting with amy, passing time by simply watching her breathe, reading a book, chatting with her, or feeding her ice. her nurse told her last night that she may be able to handle jello this morning. as i'm writing this amy is (or appears to be) resting peacefully. that really eases my mind. yesterday seemed to be an inconsistent dance between sleep and restlessness. the poor girl was drugged, teetering on the edge of sleep, but couldn't stay asleep. i stayed here over night with amy to make sure i was available if she needed anything. i ended up nodding off a few times in the world's most uncomfortable chairs. although, if the nurse came in i woke up.
i think the family will come relieve me some time in the next couple of hours. they will sit with amy while i go back to the hotel to catch up on sleep.
to everyone that has sent their well-wishes, thoughts and prayers, thank you. it means a lot to all of us. amy will probably be able to communicate with people in the next few days. which reminds me, most of us are il communicado while at the hospital due to a lack of cell phone use here. i've got my laptop now, so if you'd like to send amy any messages, i can certainly read them to her.
that's all for my first blog. thanks again to everyone for your support.
jeff (and amy)