Friday, October 22, 2004

Varieties of Luck

All went well with the surgery, and tomorrow I bring him home.

The hospital is an hour away, one-way. Forty-five minutes if I don't have the kids in the car with me, and I feel like flirting with the possibility of a speeding ticket. I've spent thirty-six hours on the road, just getting to him since he went in.

The surgeon found the cancer and cut it out of him. Now we wait and test and pray that was it, that was all.

It's always hard going to the hospital. I shift into the old self, the watchful, on-edge bitch who had to work within those hallowed walls for so many years. I wasn't in post-op recovery with him for more than five seconds before I called a nurse to correct five errors, including a backed-up abdominal drain reservoir that looked like a blood-filled hand grenade about to explode.

Tonight I suggested it might be nice to check and remove the drain, which hasn't produced anything for thirty-six hours, and earned a gushy thank you from the nurse who was too busy to notice or chart this. We're short-handed this week, she said, sorry about that.

He's sore and tired and ready to come home. I want the same, because I miss him dreadfully, and if he doesn't soon get out of that place understaffing will kill him, or I'll strangle one of these pinhead nurses.

A thunderstorm fried my internet computer's modem the day of his surgery, so this post is coming to you gratis his laptop. I called and ordered another new computer yesterday; the toasty one is three years old and I've rebuilt the damn thing five times.

The road trips have been good for the career. I've plotted three new books, all on the hand-held recorder as I drive. Keeps me from trying to run down nurses I see in the parking garage, too.

To say I'm tired and strung-out is a bit of an understatement. Too much lousy coffee, too many hours on the road, too many nights staring into the dark and knowing too much and thinking the wrong things.

Tomorrow I bring him home, where he belongs, where I can care for him and make sure it's done gently and timely and correctly. Tomorrow the world rights itself, and we go on.

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