1. First and foremost, the bypass was a success, and Pete came home Friday afternoon, ahead of even the bastard Blue Shield’s schedule. Now, here are some thoughts while with Pete during the week.
2. When he first came out of recovery, my thought was, “A man who can never sleep without interruption is sleeping like, sorry to say, the dead.”
3. There are infinitely more tubes than you ever seen in a movie or on TV. Pete’s response? “You mean House lies?”
4. I have almost no recall of my own three stays in the hospital giving birth, so the only comparable time spent is when my father had brain surgery (twice). Still, it seems like there were more tubes around this boy, by a three-to-one margin.
5. I believe in extending kindness whenever I can, especially to those who control my husband’s comfort. In two words? Bribery matters. So, I gave out boxes of Girl Scout cookies to the operating room staff and to the ICU staff and to the cardiac unit staff. Sadly, the first nurse assigned to provide 1:1 care to Pete was on a diet.
6. If we’re supposed to watch our salt intake, how come all of the bags of fluids they were giving him were sodium chloride or heparin sodium?
7. “There are the needy and then there are the greedy, if you know what I mean,” said the elderly volunteer staffing the waiting room for surgery patients’ families. What prompted this? The mental case hanging out in the waiting room who just pops by for free coffee and cookies.
8. Internet access in the room – in the form of the nurse’s computer – meant we’d be able to find out the results of the United v. Lyon champions game as it happened. Until he knew how much the chest tubes coming out would hurt, “watching” the game as it happened was his major concern.
9. In the end, it’s a workplace, the ICU, and on a Monday, everyone wants to know how you enjoyed your weekend, did you hike, isn’t the weather grand, and so on. Meanwhile, in room 2114, the man recovering from a triple bypass spends the night in agonizing pain that no one can do anything about. Thankfully, his nurses didn’t chat it up with the others. They held his hand and murmured that things would be getting better.
10. I’ve never done anything worthwhile in my life, save maybe reproducing. The doctors and nurses? Yeah, there’s a worthwhile line of work.