Since we had packed for the hospital then night before, when the alarm went off at 4:30, we were up dressed and in the car by 4:47! Let’s just say the traffic to downtown Chicago is a BREEZE that time in the morning! We actually made it to the hospital by 5:45! So we went to valet the car, and they valey doesn’t “open” until 6:00, but he parked our car anyway!
By 6:15 Tony was in a hospital gown and ready to go. But not so quick! They had to do a blood test to make sure his blood was at a certain level. And while I am sure there are wheels in motion we just don’t see it seems like everything is in slow motion! The surgeon then comes by to “mark” his legs. He asks Jeff again which leg is having surgery, he says the right one, and the doctor then takes out a sharpie and writes “yes” on his right knee and “no” on his left knee!
And then the waiting game begins! He finally gets taken down to surgery at 9:45 and no one comes to tell me anything until 12:15! There was one small area that was still infected, but his white blood cell count was low, so the replacement went ahead as scheduled. The doctor came and talked to me around 1:15, says Tony will be going to ICU and that by 3:00 I should be able to see him in the recovery room.
Luckily my Mom came over at around 11:30 and after we heard he was out of surgery went to get something to eat. Now here’s the weird part. This is a pretty big hospital, but the cafeteria is only opened from 11:00 to 1:00, with a hot station, i.e. hamburgers and grilled cheese made to order. Then two entrees – yesterday was seasoned catfish (no thanks!) and chicken tenders. Their salad bar was a baked potato bar, with chili and cheese whiz. There were really no good choices and the funny thing is that a huge banner was hanging in the cafeteria that said “National Nutrition Month!”
My mom got a burger and I got two chicken fingers and corn and green beans.
Then at night, the cafeterial is only open from 4:00 to 6:00, but not hot food. The potato bar was set up again, two soups, “salad bar” which I put in quotes because it was iceburg lettuce and ranch dressing!
So I see the chili, pick up a ladel and as far as I could tell, no onions, so I put it in a to go bowl and off to the cashier I went.
Cashier: “You can’t get just chili, you have to get a potato with it.”
Me: “All I want is chili, and besides, my husband is in surgical recovery and it would be kind of hard to eat a baked potato.”
Cashier: “But I don’t have a chili button, just a potato bar button on my register.”
Me: “Can you charge me for soup?”
Cashier: “”But when we sell chili, its more than soup.”
Me: “Can you charge me for two soups then so I can get back to my husband??”
Guess what my total was for “two” soups and two packages of crackers was? $1.66! All that hastle for $1.66!
So they wanted to put Tony in ICU, but all the beds were taken and there was a wait list, no way of knowing when he’ll get in a room. Then Tony asked “what do I have to do to get a regular room?” Simple. They take him of the pain medication that he administers himself, and if he needs pain medication, he’ll just ask the nurse. Eureka!
But not so fast. Phone calls to all his doctors making sure its okay to be admitted to a regular room. So from the time it was approved by all not to go to ICU and actually put in a regular room was two and a half hours!
Finally, at close to 7:30, he’s in his room. But you know the crazy part of hospitals? You never get any rest there! From the nurses coming in to do blood pressure and temperature, to doctors making their rounds, to guests in the room across the hall popping gum so loud you would have thought she was standing in front of us, to all the beeping machines – it never ends.
But the worst part is that when he ws in the hospital in December, I already had taken those days off as vacation days, but I only took yesterday off and now its back to work. If I were to leave for the hospital after work, during rush hour traffic, it would take me two hours to get there. We both decided that didn’t make any sense, but that doesn’t mean I don’t feel guilty not being there for him.
When I talked to him this morning, he was already dressed, eating breakfast and soon heading to physical therapy – they don’t waste any time!
Okay, I need to finish getting ready for work. The plan is to do the 30-day shred with my co-worker at lunch – see you later!