Monday, October 30, 2006

We have the technology! We can rebuild him!

As you can tell from my title, Daddy-O came through the surgery like a champ. This was one of the longest days of my life, and I'm practically delirious with exhaustion, but I wanted to write about this while it's still (semi-) fresh in my mind.

We all got up at 5AM this morning, had breakfast (except for Daddy-O, who had to fast), and drove to the hospital, which is only a 5-minute drive from my dad's house. It's only a few years old, and it was obviously built with the wealthy citizenry of [smallish Minnesota town] in mind; I swear, when we first walked in, I thought we'd gone to a hotel by mistake.

Anyway, we took the elevator up to the orthopedics center, and Dad filled out his paperwork. Then the nurse took him in back to prep him for surgery, and R and I sat by the fireplace and chewed our fingernails until she returned and said we could go back and visit him.

When I saw him in that hospital bed, looking so small and vulnerable in his hospital gown, with an IV in his hand, I almost burst into tears. The impending flood was dammed, however, when Daddy-O turned and said to us in an affronted tone, "They shaved me." Then, just in case the implication wasn't clear, he hissed, "EVERYWHERE."

I smirked. "You got some manscaping done, eh? That shit's gonna itch when it grows back."

"I can always count on you for encouragement, little Ro."

The surgeon walked in, and when he introduced himself, I winced because he shares the same name, first and last, with one of my absolute least favorite people at the Cube Farm. But he was very personable and explained everything thoroughly, so I liked him.

When it was time for Daddy-O to be wheeled into the OR, I kissed his cheek and whispered, "I love you." Then R did the same, and we went out to the waiting room, where I excused myself, went in the bathroom, and cried for five minutes. Then I washed my face, returned to the sofa, and picked up my book.

Several chapters later, I glanced at the clock. By that time, Daddy-O had been in surgery for about 30 minutes.

Fifteen minutes later, Dr. B came out, and if you'll pardon my indelicacy, I practically shit my pants because I thought something had gone wrong. Before I could say anything, though, he told us that the surgery was finished (!) and had gone very smoothly, Daddy-O was alert (I didn't realize this until the surgeon mentioned it, but Daddy-O didn't actually get put under; he only had local anesthetic), and we'd be able to see him once he was moved to his room.

Shortly after Dr. B left, G arrived; she would have come earlier, but she had a patient of her own to see. We updated her, and when the nurse came out and said Daddy-O was situated in his room, we went upstairs to see him.

Frealz, people, this hospital is the shit! All the rooms are private, and there was a couch, a DVD player and VCR, and a flat-screen TV. The smell of lavender was in the air, and soothing New Agey music was playing. A card on the table said that volunteers bring around a cart of magazines, books, DVDs, and---peep this---Playstation 2 consoles and games twice a day! (I might just have to bring in my newly acquired copy of Bully; I'm sure Daddy-O would love to see the hawt boy-on-boy kissing, or perhaps even take a turn at beating up some greasers.) No pillow-top mattress or swanky bed, of course; it was standard hospital issue. Daddy-O was sitting up, looking pretty freakin' good considering that he'd just had major surgery. We all gave him a kiss on the cheek, and then we sat on the couch and talked to him. When the nurse came in to check his IV drip, I could tell she was already charmed by him. Then the reiki healer (I shit you not) came in to work on him, and SHE was obviously smitten as well. "Oh, [Daddy-O], you're so funny!" she purred, laying her hand on his arm. I swear he could sell ketchup Popsicles to a bride in July.

We stayed until it was obvious that he was getting tired, and then we took off. R and I came home and napped (I get to sleep in Daddy-O's unbelievably comfortable bed while he's in the hospital, seeing as I'm the guest and all), and then I had to get up and fix the toilet seat, do the laundry, figure out the printer, call various relatives and Daddy-O's assistant (who cried, "Oh my god, I'm so glad he's okay, I love your father like a father!", which---although it was obviously heartfelt---struck me as so absurdly funny that I had to bite the inside of my cheek to keep from laughing), and call the exterminator, since a nest of paper wasps has taken up residence just outside of Daddy-O's bedroom window, and the little shits keep managing to get inside, which doesn't exactly make optimal conditions for recuperation. Finally, with all our poop grouped for the day, R and I took a long walk, and then we came back and had dinner, and then we went back to the hospital, stopping by Borders first to pick up some magazines Daddy-O had requested.

The second time around, he wasn't quite as peppy; I think the whole ordeal had finally caught up with him, and he was taking full advantage of his morphine drip clicker. Still, considering that he'd just had major surgery that morning, I think he was doing pretty good. The hospital where he's staying doesn't have set visiting hours, so we didn't need to clear out at any given time, but he kept drifting in and out of sleep, so we only stayed for an hour.

I'm pretty freakin' drained myself, so even though it's only 9PM California time, I'm going to crawl into bed and crash. But I wanted to update you on how Daddy-O's doing, and also thank everyone for your kind thoughts and e-mails, which I honestly think kept me sane over the past few days. I owe a few phone calls/e-mails, but for now, the backs of my eyelids need investigating.