S is Stable

I went with S yesterday with my lists of questions which the surgeon seemed pleased to be asked and then we listened to all the other nurses and personnel explain their jobs and what to expect for S's surgery today. I was able to get the kids off to school, run a few errands, go to my old oncologist to demand (for the 3rd time) that cell samples from my tumor from two years ago be sent to the National Cancer Center before going to S's hospital downtown and waiting for the morning surgery to be finished. I turned out that the samples had been sent the very day of my appointment earlier this week so I'll take the package of blank glass slides back to the NCC when I go in January. I managed to arrive at S's hospital before the surgery was finished.

The surgeon leaned out the consultation room and called my name around 11:45 so I went on in to find that he had entered from the sterile operating theater side of the room, leaving his sterile shoes behind the heavy door where they wouldn't pick up consultation room germs or so I assume. I had to smile at the effect, a bare foot surgeon in his green cap and scrubs confirming that the surgery went well and that 4 of S's vertebrae had been "improved" with titanium spacers and screws. A search for laminoplasty revealed many illustrations of the procedure.

The doctor was all smiles and happy to comfort me that I'd be able to see and accompany my dearest husband as they wheeled him by in his bed back to his 6 person room in a few moments. S was fairly groggy and in a little pain, as expected, but seemed to relax about half an hour after the morphine drip finished.

I stayed most of the afternoon as my former host mother was home with the kids (Thank you K.Y. san) and I wanted to make sure he was breathing OK after they took him off the oxygen later in the afternoon. Feet and hands are all in working order so there was no nerve damage from the surgery. He was disappointed that the feeling in his hands (the reason he was so concerned about getting surgery in the first place) didn't return immediately after the surgery. I have trouble believing he really thought that the compressed nerves would bounce back to tip-top shape within minutes of surgery. :-) I expect that he'll always remain a little numb, but less so than before and that the numbing will not progress now that he's had the surgery.

It'll be Tuesday before he can get out of bed and go to the bathroom and I think being immobile may be almost as hard on him as surgery. I'm relieved things went well but the image of the barefoot 50 something surgeon on the clean white floor outside the operating theater will remain in my brain as one of those "Japan Moments


Vicky said...

I am glad that the surgery went well. How is he today? How are you all coping travelling back and forth to the hospital? I'm hoping you'll all have a calm and peaceful new year.