On Friday my middle daughter, Katie, underwent surgery to have her gallbladder removed. We appreciated all your prayers and well-wishes.
This morning (Saturday), as I sit here typing, Katie is across the room utilizing the recliner that was supposed to bring me joy and comfort after my rotator cuff surgery – it didn’t. I’m glad it’s helping her.
Hopefully and prayerfully…and please continue to pray for her…Katie will be up and going much better by tomorrow. However, I have my concerns.
Things I Learned
Katie is as unique as they come; there’s no one like her. She is uber sweet, persistently positive, the sunshine in a dark room, and the one person for whom saying “It’s my pleasure” when serving customers at Chick-fil-A is not good enough…she says, “It’s my sincerest pleasure!”
But Katie is also the least pain-tolerant person I know, and she hates needles with a passing-out passion. Therefore, anyone who gives her pain, or allows pain to persist, is likely to be served something other than chicken.
So, in bullet-pointed fashion, here are some things I learned on the way to the hospital, before Katie’s surgery, during Katie’s surgery, and after Katie’s surgery, including the first day of recovery.
On the way to the hospital…
- Maintaining a positive attitude is a good thing.
- Maintaining unrealistic expectations is a bad thing.
- Doctors and hospitals are always running behind, so it’s no use stressing; you’re gonna be late to check in – laugh about it.
- Make sure you bring a gender-appropriate bag in which you will be responsible for lugging around 25 pounds of clothing, books, snacks, and phone chargers while moving from room to room. A grown, masculine man can grow weary of “nice purse” comments when the virtual suitcase in which the items are packed is pink.
At the hospital…
- If you’re going to make use of the free valet parking, make sure all your important items are secure or on your person before giving your keys to a guy with questionable hygiene.
- It is possible for a nurse to think you’re a different patient, take you to the wrong room, prep you for a different surgery, all before asking if your name is the same as on the chart she’s looking at. Instead of having her gallbladder removed, Katie almost got a colonoscopy!
- Pray a lot, then just trust God to handle everything.
- Remember that sweet smile; it may be a while before it comes back.
- Don’t say “goodbye” as they wheel you away to be cut on.
- Boyfriends have a tendency to hog the visitation time.
During Surgery – the Waiting Time
- Bring your own food to nibble on, or else take out a loan to eat.
- One must take the initiative to make new pots of coffee in the waiting room – the staff doesn’t care to drink tar.
- Taking a book to read is a great thing, but be prepared for distractions… like worthless morning shows blaring on the waiting-room television, or visitors who don’t understand that one of the reasons you went along with the whole surgery thing is that you knew it would give you a couple of hours to get some guilt-free reading done.
- Hosptial Wi-Fi is crappy.
- Those intolerant to pain are nearly impossible to comfort.
- Uber-sweet, godly little girls who are intolerant to pain may surprise those in the room with their intimate knowledge of vulgarity.
- Dad visitation privilages trump boyfriend visitation privileges.
First Day of Recovery
- Calories don’t matter when making breakfast – at least for the ones NOT recovering.
- Whiny, pain-intolerant people can get on your nerves, but you have to love them anyway – just keep giving them pain pills.
- All it takes is one abdominal surgery to make an opinionated young woman reevaluate her beliefs on birth control and her desire to have children.
- My first grandchild from Katie will probably be Chinese or Korean.
Again, thanks for your prayers and well-wishes. If nothing else, I learned a few things.