Wednesday, November 19, 2008

More Stuff

Now that I've had a chance to get unpacked, and caught up on some work, I have time to write a little more about the last couple of days. Sis got here on Monday about 2 p.m. and we left for Ann Arbor shortly afterwards. It's about a 90 minute drive. We got there, checked inn to our motel, and then went for a short drive to find the hospital. It's a big place, and she had to be there very early in the morning on Tuesday, so we wanted to check it out so we would know where we were going, especially since it would still be dark!! When we got back, we had an early dinner in the restaurant. Sis could only have clear liquids, so she had beef broth and two bowls of jello ... and they didn't charge for it!! I thought that was nice!! After dinner, a friend of Sis's from college, Cindy, who lives in the area stopped by. She and Sis are both musicians, among other things and Cindy brought her guitar, so the two of them took turns playing songs they had written. I wish I was that talented, but all I could do was listen. I didn't dare even hum along, since I can't carry a tune at all!! Cindy left, and we showered and turned in early.

Our wake up call came at 4 a.m. That's the first time I've seen that side of 4 a.m. in quite a while!! While we were sleeping, winter arrived!! It was only 19 degrees in the morning, and the car was covered with a dusting of snow!! I knew it was coming ... but I had hoped it would hold off for a while!!

We found our way to the hospital. I had been worried that I wouldn't be able to handle all the walking. They had valet parking available, so I knew I wouldn't have to walk blocks from the parking garage. I have MS, and coupled with a back problem, I have trouble walking more than short distances. I was pleasantly surprised to see that just inside the door, they had a row of Amigo electric carts for patients and visitors to use. I just had to sign one out and it was mine for the day. What a relief!! I usually use an electric cart to do my grocery shopping and they really are a lifesaver for people like me. I do fine at home, and I do pretty well when I'm out if there are places where I can walk for a little bit, and then sit for a few minutes, and then walk some more. But those long hospital hallways are killers!! It turned out, I didn't need to worry at all!!

Once it got light out, it was one of those bitter cold, clear, sunshiny days that I just love. I find the cold invigorating!! I'm one of those "ladies of a certain age" who carries her own heat source around with her .. so I'm usually too warm. Actually, in my case, heat source is putting it mildly. I have my own personal blast furnace!! I took a couple of breaks from the waiting room to step outside for a bit. It was certainly refreshing!!

The surgery took about six hours. Another friend, Diana was there, so I had company while I waited. And I had packed a tote back with some bottled water, some granola bars, a book to read and some knitting, so the waiting wasn't too unbearable. By 3:30 p.m. or so, Sis was in recovery, and I was allowed to see her. They would only let one of us stay with her, and since Diana didn't have a chance to see her before she went in to surgery, I only stayed a few minutes, and then I left for the motel and Diana stayed with Sis.

Once I got back to the motel, I crashed!! It had been a long day, and I thought I would take a little nap. I fell sound asleep and didn't wake up until Diana called me at about 8 p.m.!! I must have really been tired!! Diana stayed at the hospital until about 10 and then she came back to the motel to spend the night. We both got a good night's sleep and had a nice breakfast before going to the hospital again this morning. Sis was awake, kind of woozy from the pain meds, but her sense of humor was intact, because she was making jokes. She had been up walking a short distance already. I was only there for about an hour, and then she said she needed to sleep. I had planned to stay a little longer, but thought it was kind of silly to sit there and watch her sleep, so I left for home. Diana is staying with her until tomorrow, then another friend is coming on Friday, and I will be back there on Saturday.

The weather cooperated, and although there were snow showers in the area, the whole drive home was clear and dry. I enjoy driving, and the traffice was light, so it was actually kind of a pleasant trip.

I'm glad to be home though. And glad that this is behind us. It's been a source of anxiety for Sis for a long time. Whether to have the surgery. When to have the surgery. Fear that something would go wrong. When she was in the hospital last year, we started a web page where we would post her progress and her friends could check the website for updates. We're using that again, since so many people are interested in her progress and today I was looking back at some of the old posts. It was one year ago today that she first went back to her own house ... four months after she left to have a surgery she told me was "no big deal."

Life sure has a way of taking some twists and turns you don't expect, doesn't it?



Needled Mom said...

I am so glad to hear how well things have gone for your sister. I am sure that she must have been terrified after last years incident.

Thank goodness for the electric carts for your use. They are wonderful.

Your writing of your "furnace blasts" is familiar to me as I have a friend with MS who complains about the same thing. She is an art quilter and has been making these fabulous cooling vests. I guess the heat is a common problem for people with MS.

Enjoy your snow and have a safe trip back on Saturday.

Sara said...

Glad to hear that things have gone well for your sister! Still keeping you in my thoughts...

Shari said...

Still keeping you and your sister in my thoughts and prayers.