October 29, 2015

Slice of Life | Surgery Day

Today was surgery day.

We had to be at the hospital before the shuttle service started so we took a taxi. We had a good laugh when I told the taxi driver that he smelled good! (Well, he did!)

We returned to the 18th floor. The waiting room today had a beautiful view of the city.

A nurse started getting Jim ready for surgery with eye drops and questions about his health. She said he would be getting asked which eye and his name often. (He did!)

When it was getting close to 9, Jim was rolled down to the third floor for surgery. We chatted about New Brunswick and family with the person who took us.

We went to the third floor and Jim was rolled into the pre-op room. (I think that was the name of it. It's the room just outside where they do the surgery.) Jim was asked more of the same questions and then his IV was put in. He was told he had great veins!

As I watched the coming and going in the surgery area, it was intriguing. (I had flashbacks of my favorite show ER, but there was no drama!)

A young doctor walked in and Jim said, "He's the same age as Ethan."(He really did look the same age!) It was one of the many things we laughed about!

He turned out to be our resident anesthesiologist and he came over to ask questions and talk to Jim. He was professional and kind, and then the head anesthesiologist stopped by and added, "We will take good care of you."   

When it was time, we gave each other a kiss and he was rolled in. Since the diagnosis, Jim has been steady and strong. This did not change even minutes before surgery.

They advised me to get a tea and then settle in the family room. Not a tea drinker, I went for a treat and then headed there. The family room was down the hall and it was small with a pretty mural on three walls. There was a family waiting for their wife/mother who had been beside Jim. The husband was a sweet older man who I shared smiles and a few words with.

The surgeon, Dr.Hatem Krema, came to the waiting room an hour after Jim had gone in and told me that the surgery went very well. It was when I sat down that I got teary with gratefulness. Took a moment to just close my eyes and give thanks and hold in tears with my hand.

Jim's nurse and an orderly came for him. When they rolled by me, Jim said "How are you?" drowsily. As we neared the elevator, he then said, "That was fun" in the way Jim can say things. 

Jim asked me to send a picture to the kids after he returned to his room. While I was taking it, he put his thumb up.

When Jim had surgery for a hernia a few years ago, it took him longer than expected to wake up. He shared this information during all questioning. It did not happen this time, but he experienced the migraine and nausea again. He was quiet trying not to move, and his nurse was helpful in finding another medicine for pain that would make him less nauseous.

We were right outside the nurse's station. Later Jim said, "It sounded like a comedy club out there!" We laughed! It was a lively and happy environment and Jim's care by the nurse was beyond excellent. 

Dr.Krema came by late afternoon. He told us that the surgery went extremely well when putting the plaque on the tumor. In his beautiful accent, he said it went "as smooth as butter". 

Around 7:00, Jim started to feel more like himself. I teased him that I knew he was feeling better because he was getting sassy! When I sat by his bed in the afternoon. I thought I was being good at being still and not talking, but he later told me I was like my mom with the bags in the kitchen at Beulah! (Oops! I guess he could tell I was eating M&Ms!)

We went for a little walk. I still giggle when I remember the disposable slippers they gave him. They were like ballerina shoes! (I will need extra permission to share that photo.)

We sat for a bit in the waiting room while he watched some football. I nodded off in the chair beside him.

I went downstairs to find some supper. It was early but everything was closed in the lobby. I saw a staff member from another floor heading home and I asked her about a vending machine. She took me to one that was tucked away on another floor.  She even offered to take me to the store on her walk home. The kindness overflows here.

Our evening nurse was as lovely as our day nurse, caring for Jim and helping me feel comfortable too. I was offered food from the kitchenette and she found a blue chair that pulled out into a bed for me to sleep on.

No matter the position or where we cross paths in the hospital, every person we meet at Princess Margaret is helpful, kind and professional. I wish I knew all their names and I hope I can always remember their faces.

Thank You, God, for the people who serve at Princess Margaret.

Thank You, God, for bringing Jim through surgery. 
As the surgeon said, it went "as smooth as butter".

You are the Great Physician.



  1. Loralee,
    So glad to hear things went well. As usual your kind heart and strong faith show through in your story of Jim. I loved hearing the stories of all who helped through this challenging time. It's good to know there are so many caring people in our world.


    1. Thank you for your sweet message, Cathy.
      It warmed my heart.


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