Arrived at the hospital at 7:30. Pre-op started around 9. I read all of Dragonsblood between 7:30 and around 1. It’s worth the read, and is especially good when coupled with an iPod to drown out the soap operas in the waiting room.
Seriously, I swear that hospitals ought to be banned from being allowed to show soaps in waiting rooms. It was bad enough that I was subjected to a couple horrible morning shows and a portion of the New York Columbus Day parade when I was in Philadelphia. But it was followed by absolute horrors on the soaps.
- First, lots of bawling from this grown man whose daughter was in a hospital bed for Lord knows what fabricated reason. Also: some woman lost a baby, and I don’t mean she misplaced it.
- Then, the next show takes us into the middle of some dead guy’s funeral. Because what we all really need to see when we’re in the surgery/ICU waiting room, with our own personal levels of drama and trauma to deal with, is a bunch of people mourning with the melodrama dial set on “high”.
- As if that wasn’t enough, the next show started with some guy being drug to his feet by his daughter after having his head all but bashed in by some unknown assailant, and ended with a nice-looking guy who was just trying to ruin someone else’s relationship collapsing on a porch. Sort of like the woman who’d had the stroke, whose kids were sitting a few chairs away from me.
- And then there was Oprah, who felt it necessary to tell me things about the human body I didn’t want to know.
The TV update-you-on-your-spouse-in-surgery thing in the hospital indicated Nighthawk was in recovery (post-op) by 1:15, which coincidentally was just a little before his mom and brother arrived. I popped out of the waiting room just long enough to greet them, get some yogurt, and totally miss Nighthawk’s doctor, who instead called me and let me know everything went incredibly well and he should be placed in a room soon.
By 4:00 we were hearing rumors that there were no beds available, so I finally cornered a nurse who invited me back to Recovery to see Nighthawk. He was understandably grouchy that he’d been counting holes in the ceiling for three hours. Since he wouldn’t waste energy being grouchy if he was in serious trouble, I took that as a good sign.
Nighthawk didn’t get a room until 6:30. It made for a long day, and he hadn’t even met his nurses yet.
On the other hand, once he was finally upstairs everything was great. I cannot say enough positive things about Presbyterian Hospital or the staff that we dealt with. They had a lot to manage, between the thyroid removal, the cystic fibrosis treatments, the diabetes treatments, and the fact that Nighthawk was running about 4 hours later than anyone’d expected just to arrive, but they did a great job of making him comfortable, making sure he had everything that he needed, and setting our expectations for the night. Nighthawk’s nurse even hunted down a recliner for me to sleep in, so I could stay there with him overnight.
We both caught some frequently-interrupted sleep between the end of Monday Night Football and 6:45, when the first doctor arrived to scope him out (literally) and remove the drain in his neck. After some blood work, a healthy breakfast, another check-in by the docs, and the usual rounds of meds they declared him healthy enough to leave, and he was given his discharge papers before I could even finish my (admittedly late) breakfast.
We were in the car and on the way home by 10:30 yesterday morning. Nighthawk was comfy in his recliner by noon, and I was off fighting with an idiot pharmacy where nobody can count until around 3.
So how is he? He still hasn’t gotten his whole voice back yet but he hasn’t been in any significant pain the whole time (hasn’t even been on pain meds for most of the last two days) and is in a good mood. He’s still pretty damn tired, which I pretty much expect.
To be clear, having the thyroid removed is not in and of itself a cure for thyroid cancer. There’s still much to be done, including treatments with radioactive iodine and scans and balancing of new medications. Whee. But the first hurdle has been surpassed, and we get a short break before the festivities continue.
And how am I? Relieved. And exhausted. Possibly as exhausted as he is. My day today consisted of calling back various doctors to schedule various follow-up appointments, and then visiting my own doctor for another round of battle-the-sinus-infection. (My in-laws, who had awesomely taken JessieDog for the overnight, also stopped by to return her today.) It’s currently just after 11:00, a time I could easily stay awake past two weeks ago, and I’m barely awake enough to write this post.
Tomorrow I go back to work. Tomorrow night I might get working on Saturday’s comic. With luck everything goes back to on schedule from this point forward.
Every day is a new adventure. This week has been a set of adventures I’m glad to say I had overestimated. Thanks to everyone who’d sent their prayers, positive vibes, or whatever, in our general direction.