Surgery Day: Good News and Bad News



First the good news.

It begins with the fact that I have a friend good enough to have flown across the country from California to North Carolina to take care of me for a couple of days. A doctor, no less. Having a friend like that? Pretty good news.

Next was the quality of the care at St. Joseph's Hospital in Asheville. Everything was top-notch. I am using the word "everything" with great precision here. We were told to take a seat; before we picked one we were called to the desk.

When I asked the lady checking us in how she was doing, she said, "Finer than a frog hair cut four ways," and the check-in - for a new patient never ever there before - about five minutes.

Straight back to the pre-op area, no delay. Just as fast, experienced pros not only did all the pre-op stuff - they hung out and offered pure hospitality. I have been in a lot of hospitals. These folks were superb. Half an hour before scheduled time, I was gurneyed to the operating room.

They knocked me out and the next thing I knew I was in the recovery room. I wasn't in bad shape, things just hurt a little, and yet there was a nurse with me the whole time. Every minute. Same thing in the second stage room. These nurses weren't just doing their jobs. They were living exemplars of compassion and care.

Then - discharged as soon as I felt I could walk well enough. The nurse gave me her extension and hammered it home about ten times that I had to call her before the end of her shift to let her know how I was doing. Thank you, DLM, and thank you Mike, and thank you Dana - everybody was the kind of nurse you would wish on your children or best friends. Please everyone else forgive me for spacing out a little tonight on names, but everyone is in my heart with complete gratitude. Same for the surgeon, Dr. DeMatos. And the hospital, which was so well-run, caring, clean and staffed by just the greatest people.

The next part of the good news is that I got to come home to the You-Know-Who Kahooki Roo. For a dog who can bomb around the forest and jungle, over the tops of mountains, through raging rivers, across the prairies and fields and deserts, the World Bear has a demure side. She never jumps on anyone. But get this - she jumped up in greeting on my friend Karim, out of nowhere yesterday, after he had been here for more than an hour, in a clear sign of welcome and thanks. She has never done that before. Never once.

More good news - the kindness and caring of all of you reading this. I'm such a big baby and you were all so sweet about it.

When I got home from the hospital, Roo sat down and stared and stared at me with her big brown eyes and then hopped up and down like her relative the Kanga about 50 times. You all know how that feels. She had to spend six hours alone - not that that's such a big deal, but she's never had to do it before, so in a way it is.

So all of that is the good news. I feel incredibly fortunate.

There is also some horrible, terrible news: uh..., let me think... I'm a little sore. Well, kinda. Not much. It only hurts when I laugh. So, that's a pretty awful degree of suffering, don't you think?

It's possible to have a minor surgery, and come out of it on the other end feeling blessed. 

(Can't write much - feeling the cut in the gut a bit, not much, but still....)