Wednesday, November 28, 2007

the patient

Before surgery:

After surgery, below, the Patient is hooked up to his cold water pump that circulates in the pad on his shoulder for 4 days. And you can see his nifty black sling with a support. He got to bring them both home.

The Patient is comfortably watching MSU basketball as I write. The pain block is still in his system. He'll take Vicadin before "bed" to help when the block wears off.
"Bed" will be a recliner chair, most comfortable apparently for rotator cuff patients.

The surgery was fine, the doctor told me she repaired the rotator cuff beautifully, and she also found a bicep tendon that needed help. So she cut it! He has two on that bone after all! Who needs two? No, really, I trust her.

You see I am not showing many pictures of the Patient. That's because I waited four hours in the waiting room.

I slept.

I read.

I talked with a very funny bus driver waiting for his wife.

I drank coffee.

I watched CNN.

And I took pictures.

"Sıkıldım," we say in Turkish, which means a combination of boredom and anxiousness. "I was restlessly bored." I wanted to know how things were going.

Happily, the first stage of the ordeal is over and successful. Now on to the rest of the story.

Thank you, thank you, thank you everyone for your wellness wishes for the Patient! We were, and are, touched and encouraged by that.


Ginnie said...

Bless your heart, dear sister! I thought of you both often yesterday. SOOOO glad everything went according to plan. Rauf is right. With all the people loving Don and caring for him, he's bound to pull through this the best way possible.

But now YOU! I know that Turkish word (without knowing!) and can only imagine what all you went through yesterday while you waited. You described and showed it all so well. Thank you for letting us know what it was like for YOU. Sometimes it's the care-giver who needs the most TLC!

mystic rose said...

glad to know it went well, Ruth, and thank you for posting.. :)

Take care of yourself as well.

Anonymous said...

Great News!!! So glad to hear that all went well. You and Don are very lucky that your surgeon is very methotical and noticed the extra work that need to be done.
Who is the wonderful surgeon? wish Don well as he recovers.

Loring Wirbel said...

The nice thing about a long wait for a well-practiced elective surgery is that you're feeling pretty optimistic about the outcome. I'll be doing the same as my mom gets some microvalve heart work done. But many people in hospital waiting rooms have been conditioned by the Hollywood E.R. and Gray's Anatomy images, where every long wait implies a heartbreak, or at least high anxiety, at the end. I bet you were a calming influence while waiting for Don (except for waving that camera lens around!).

swedehart said...

Fa la la la la la la la la! Thanks for the Turkish lesson, I wonder if I can pronounce it correctly? Is it phonetic?

lesleyanne said...

i love all your photos, they made me smile from ear to ear.

i talked to the papa!! he sounded totally normal, not as if he had just been through major surgery. glad it's all over and now on to the recovery. i'm so glad that he has you and Pete there to take care of him. and soon me in 3 weeks!!

i think my favorite photo is that of your book with the energy bar wrapper. was that a luna bar?

freefalling said...

So, that's the word I've been looking for all these years - "Sıkıldım" - I know it well.
It sucks!
I think you captured it beautifully in your photos. Will you have to go back and re-read what you read?! I find the brain doesn't take it in properly when you are in that state.

You know what I find so poignant.
The paleness of Don's fingers in the second shot.

I hope he is enjoying the pain relief - thank god for drugs.
I wonder how much football he'll be able to watch before he goes stir-crazy?!

Ruth said...

oh, thank you Boots. What I dealt with in the waiting room was nothing. I was comfortable and fine, such a nice hospital. In fact, all the staff were extraordinarily kind and humorous, we were both tickled by that.

And, BTW, Don is being so self sufficient I really don't have much to feel sorry for myself about. I have to yell at him when he starts doing something by himself. He doesn't like asking for help, as you can well imagine.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Mystic Rose, we really appreciate your support and encouragement. I have to post, it's my outlet. And besides, I had to do something with all those silly pictures. :)

Ruth said...

Anon, you're right that Dr. Julie Dodds is an excellent bone surgeon. We count our blessings for having access to fantastic medical coverage and care. Thank you for your well wishes, I'll tell Don! (Hey, Don, Anonymous wishes you well!) :)

Ruth said...

Hehe, Loring, well the bus driver opened his conversation with me, "well I don't normally like to get my picture taken, but you go on ahead." But I was such a chicken, I didn't do it. Even when invited! Can you believe it? He ended up being such a calming influence to ME, that I really wish I'd snapped him. He was an absolute riot.

Otherwise, when the bus driver left, I was pretty sneaky with it, and only the guy behind the US magazine was with me in the room then. And he was hiding.

When's your mom's procedure?

Ruth said...

Oh, Swedehart, you would LOVE Turkish, I predict. It is totally phonetic thanks to the Latin alphabet. That "ı" is pronounced like the "u" in "put" but higher in the roof of the mouth. Close your teeth and say "u" as in "put." There is vowel harmony in Turkish, and that makes it nice too.

Ruth said...

Wesewey! I wish you could have been here with me, sitting in the waiting room and cuddling. You can have your turn waiting on the Patient when you get here. But he's being pretty independent and it's driving me crazy. I'll let him drive you crazy too.

Hehe, energy bar, luna bar. NOT! Try PayDay. :| I am totally addicted to them and I get to a certain time of the day, and PayDay lights up neon in my brain. Thankfully the Gift Shop was stocked.

Ruth said...

Freefalling, you're so perceptive. Yes, yes, I will have to go back and read what I read. I stopped reading "The Ghost Writer" right in the middle of a paragraph, and I thought, what is wrong with me?? But of course, it was a little thing called distraction.

I didn't notice the difference in the color of Don's fingers. :(

Yes, thank god for drugs. He is starting to feel now, but he's handling it with one Vicadin every 4 hours. (Details, details.)

We're trying to give him a variety of activities. Besides washing dishes, vacuuming and laundry, he's doing Sudoku, crosswords, reading the paper, watching the Food Network, reading email, sleeping and pacing. He fell asleep watching the second basketball game last night, bless him.

Ruth said...

Swedehart, Wiki has the Turkish alphabet and pronunciation:

They have the "ı" pronounced: uh, as e in open. But still, it is with the teeth closed and the sound high at the back of the roof of the mouth. :)

Anonymous said...

Sounds like a PERFECT time to do a movie marathon, a well anticipated activity for "sickies" in my home.

Paydays....ummmm, yummy...the perfect combo of sweet and salty. Do you have the chocolate Payday in your area.

Your hospital looks so nice and clean. Glad the staff was so kind, it makes all the difference. Best wishes for Don.

Loring Wirbel said...

Ruth, mom got her catheterization Nov. 14, she's having a TEE done on Dec. 7, and she will probably have surgery late December or early Jan. at Vanderbilt in Nashville. She says surgery will have to be after Dec. 14, because nothing will stop her from seeing the Rockettes' touring show in Nashville then. (Um... yeah OK). I'll probably go to Nashville for the surgery. Meanwhile, tell Don I hope he's riding the bucking mechanical bulls soon!

Ruth said...

Anon., hes I would be watching movies non-stop, but Don isn't as big a fan. We do have a Netflex queue lined up though.

Yes, we have chocolate PayDays, and they're yummy, but I still prefer the original! :)

This is the hospital where I was born over 51 years ago, but it's a completely new wing. Yes, the staff made our stay very very pleasant.

Thank you, Anonymous!

Ruth said...

Loring, hehe, that tickles me about the Rockettes. Good for her, she knows what she wants. It's nice you'll be with her down there. All the best to her.

I'll tell him what you said about the mechanical bulls. Yippeekayayayeeeheheeeee! (think Steve Martin in "Parenthood.")

Rauf said...

Many English words have been indianised in different languages.
Not boredom but the word BORE has become very indian. Bore Addikkidu, Tamil, Bore Maarta, Bore lagta, Hindi,
how is the movie ?

Now i can't even remember what is the Indian word for Boredom

'Tension' is one of many English words used in Indian languages

Hope Don is recovering fine Ruth

Ruth said...

Thank you, rauf. Don is doing better than I expected. I hope he'll be fine when the pain meds are gone.

Isn't "pajamas" an Indian word? I wonder how many Indian words we've adoped into English?

Amy said...

Thanks for the update, Ruth! I sure hope Don is feeling better with each day, although I understand he will continue to experience a certain level of pain for quite awhile. Much love to you both!

swedehart said...

Is the stress on the first syllable?

Ruth said...

Amy, the Patient is doing surprisingly well tonight. Thank you for your encouragement and love. :)

Ruth said...

Swedehart, just the slightest stress on the last syllable.

DrowseyMonkey said...

Glad to hear all is well.

Ruth said...

Thank you, Drowsey.