Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Back surgery (update)

I got back home perhaps half an hour ago. Didn't intend to be away from the house this long, but - in my haste to get inside the hospital where my daughter would shortly be undergoing surgery - I parked in a restricted zone and got towed. "Oh, no!" you cry. "Oh, yes," I embarrassingly admit.

So anyway, my son-in-law will be picking me up again tomorrow morning and taking me over to where I can retrieve my car ($191 for the privilege). Then, he will head back over to the hospital where my daughter, hopefully, will almost have finished her breakfast - having left just enough for him to scarf up in an instant - and be ready to go back home out to Katy, only this time she might be able to actually sit up in his vehicle instead of having to lie down while traveling in it.

She's doing well. No, she's not been up and walking around yet. That first big adventure will be later this evening when she has to get up to go to the bathroom. (Her IV apparatus and pole will have to go with her, so she'll have a nurse's assistance.) But, she's moving all of her toes and everything seems to be OK in that department, which is wonderfully welcome news.

She didn't go into surgery until 2:30. My son-in-law and I were with her for about 45 minutes beforehand, reassuring, talking, telling jokes and laughing, holding hands ... you know, all that kind of stuff that goes on when people who really care about each other are nervous. It was an anxious time.

Then she went into surgery and I went outside to have half a cancer stick. That's when I discovered my car had been towed. I had left my cell phone in the car (Of course!), so my son-in-law got on his to find out all the poop on where it had been taken, etc. and blah. Oh, my!

While he was doing that, I found my way to the cafeteria. Their offerings included shrimp scampi, which I ordered. I thought, "What's done is done, Goldenrod. Besides, you're hungry, so let's eat." I found a table and ate while playing some solitaire. (It had been years since I'd played solitaire. I can't believe I remembered how!)

And that's where he found me a few minutes later. After giving me the info about my towed car, he asked what I was eating. When I told him, he said, "Hmm!" And then he went to get the same thing. It wasn't bad. It was while we were still there in the cafeteria - I wasn't finished eating yet, but he was! - that his pager thingee went off.

Someone wanted to see us. We were a little nervous about the quickness of the page. After all, it hadn't been 45 minutes yet! What might have gone wrong? We quickly packed up "our" (mostly "my") stuff and went to the second floor, where Dr. Kushwaha was waiting.

He appeared calm, which was immediately reassuring. His first words were, "The surgery is over. Everything went as expected. We removed the .. ... .... and she'll be in recovery shortly." He answered a couple of questions that each of us had, and then gave us an important piece of information that we hadn't known before.

All three of us ... my daughter, my son-in-law and myself ... had heard, over and over again that day, how important it was that she restrict her physical activity for 'x' amount of time after the surgery. We all thought that it was to prevent any more extrusions from the damaged disc.

That's partly it, of course, but the surgeon told both my son-in-law and myself - we were standing there together - that the disc would, if given the uninfringed-upon space and time it needed, repair and seal itself. That sounded almost miraculous to me. I repeated this to my daughter, in my son-in-law's hearing, and he confirmed what I said. My daughter cried out in joy when she heard that. "There could be no better incentive," she said, "to do exactly what the doctor orders."

I had only a couple of bad moments today when, shortly after going into post-op to see my daughter, I thought I was going to pass out. I had to sit down quickly, a couple of different times. Very strange. This happened only once before that I can recall, in 1986, but that's a whole other story for another day.

When we first went in to see her in post-op, she looked exhausted to me ... absolutely exhausted! She was crying. She'd been so afraid she wouldn't wake up. The stress she must have been under the past couple or so weeks cannot really be understood or even imagined by you or me, I dare say.

She kept telling me how glad she was that I was there. I was glad to be there, but I know (for sure!) that I didn't add anything to the mix, except - perhaps - a mother's unequivocal love for her daughter, which she's always had.

I just finished sending her an e-mail. She has her laptop with her. I don't expect her to respond. I hope that she's in neverneversleepytimeland. I'd call my son-in-law, but my phone is in my towed car. Oh, the frustration of it all!

I'll know more tomorrow morning, of course, after he picks me up. Meanwhile, keep your fingers crossed that things are progressing as smoothly as anticipated, and I thank you all - once again - for your positive thoughts and supportive comments.

[9:05pm ... PS ... heard back from my daughter via e-mail ... she was still awake ... said she's "fixin' to" (that's a Texas expression) take another 'walk' and then go to sleep.]


whalechaser said...

Glad to hear it is all going so well! (except for the car thingy)
I'm sending good wishes and healing prayers your way.

Goldenrod said...

I just tried to call my daughter in her room at the hospital. First, tho, I realized I didn't have the number, and so I called my son-in-law. Thought sure HE would have it! He said, "It won't do you any good. She's out walking around right now." Isn't that wonderful news?

He didn't know the number off the top of his head. Said he'd have her call me when they got back to the room. Hope he remembers! (He doesn't, always.)

Obviously, we've been to the impound lot and retrieved my car. Everything was still in place - tires, hubcaps, coin change in the driver's side door (from all my years as a taxicab driver), cell phone ... what a relief!

Many thanks for your good wishes, Whale. Don't be such a stranger!

Jacky said...

I'm glad to hear that everything went well, (except for your car taking a side trip!). Great news that your daughter is out of her room walking around.
Take care and tell your daughter, Hi!, from my daughter and me.

Craig Peihopa said...

Thanks for the updates Goldenrod. I think you said it best, without really saying it. When people we love are in any sort of concern, the car, the inconveniences pale into the background and despite the cost and angst, it is always more manageable because our focus is always on those whom we love and care about. We all love you! and send our best to your daughter.

Chuck said...

Glad all is going well with your daughter and car -- a very scary time.

Goldenrod said...

Just got off the phone with my daughter (again!) ... she's home now, and is SO glad to be there. She's taken one nice nap since getting back around noon, and is fixin' to take another.

She is able to do some of the little things that we all take for granted, like standing up to brush one's teeth and sitting down on 'the throne' w/o being in agony.

She wrote a couple of posts before going into surgery - they're both fairly poignant, particularly the one written Tuesday night - and she has given me permission to identify who she is so you can read them for yourselves, if you wish.

My daughter is "Polimom", and you can find her blog at No doubt she'll be doing an "I'm home!" post soon, but just now she's resting. I hope she remembers to include a paragraph or two on the girdle-type contraption she is supposed to frequently wear these first couple of weeks. She says it's ugly as all get out, but that her daughter (w/the help of a friend) has plans to 'pretty it up' tomorrow evening. She pooh-poohed my suggestion of colorful streamers. That way, I thought she could pretend it was a hula skirt. She thought I was out of my mind. Oh, well! :)

She got your message, Jacky, because she's been reading my posts plus all of the comments. She liked it and wanted you to say "Hi!" to Krystal for her.

That's it for now, folks. More later, probably. Big sighs of relief all the way around this direction.

Goldenrod said...

PS. I forgot to tell all of you something. Polimom's blog is set up differently from mine. You cannot sign up for e-mail notification of additional remarks, for example. And so, if you want to see if she has responded to something you said (and she usually does!) - or, what someone else has said, you have to keep checking back with her blog. I find that bothersome. Also, first-time commentor's (my sp.) remarks are moderated, so your comment (if you decide to leave one) will not appear until she has had a chance to read and approve it. After that first one, you're 'good to go'.

Tammy said...

Read this post of yours yesterday and wanted to say how relieved for all of you that it went very, very well!

Also, I wanted to say that you can actually click on a button that will let you know about following comments. It's the one in (or near, can't remember) that says "RSS feed for comments on this post." If you click on that either before or after you leave a comment, it will email you following comments. It also works if you don't leave a comment (just like on blogger).

Goldenrod said...

That's interesting, Tammy. I remember trying that RSS feed thingee last year sometime, and it didn't seem to work. (At least, I never got any follow-up e-mails.) I'll just have to try it again, won't I? :)

The Bug said...

I'm glad your daughter is doing well!

Two stories: When I was in Zambia I had a friend who was in a car accident & broke his back. We went to visit him in the hospital - & there he lay in traction, with a brick hanging from a rope they'd attached to his head somehow. For the first & only time in my life I totally passed - on his feet! Yikes! I also almost passed out on Dr. M when he had outpatient surgery. Apparently it was good that I didn't choose the medical profession!

The other story - Dr. M, being from NC often says that he's "fixin" to do something or other. One day one of his yankee friends, who was highly amused by the phrase, shouted out, "no one in this office is fixin to do anything!"

Goldenrod said...

Bug, I read your comments to my daughter over the phone. She's resting in bed right now. (She had a bad day today. Lots of pain.) She LOVED them! Laughed and laughed. Thanks a bunch for sharing them with us.

Polimom said...

Greetings, Goldenrod's friends! I just want to thank everyone for the kind thoughts and wishes. It's been a difficult month or so, and all help has been both welcome and needed.

And Mom? Thank you. For everything. I love you.

Nancy said...

Now it's my turn to catch up, and I'm sorry to hear about your daughter's tribulations. It sounds like everything turned out well - I hope so. I'm sure your presence added more to the mix than you know - that unequivocal love thing is HUGE.

Goldenrod said...

SO good to hear from you, Nancy. Let us hear from you more often, OK? :)