Boy, it surely is the truth that there is nothing better than that good old, green, green, grass of home! And you never realize that until you have to go off and leave home in the distance, not really 100% sure that you'll return in one piece or not either.
Last Thursday, Mandy and I loaded up the car and headed out of town. Our destination -McGee Hospital down in Pittsburgh, PA where I was schedule to have major surgery the next day -Friday, July 30th.
Before leaving the area though, we had to make a couple of stops -the bank, post office, grocery store to load up our cooler with ice and then, last stop, to gas up the little buggy.
On our way out of town, Mandy's phone rang and it was the hospital calling to give us our instructions for the next day -mainly, my arrival time at the hospital -which they said was to be at noon Friday. At the time, as Mandy repeated the recorded message to me and I tried to write down the particulars that we would have to know, the fact that they said my arrival time was to be noon didn't register with either of us.
Not until we'd taken care of our errands and got gas and she was busy tucking the receipt for the gas into her wallet did it register that they had given us an "Arrival" time of noon.
When that dawned on her, she looked at me and said that we really didn't have to go to Pittsburgh then if we didn't want to as we could easily get up in the morning and get there by noon with no hassles.
Doing that would also eliminate the expense of a motel room and I could go home and do the prep for the surgery in the comfort of my own home, in the privacy of my own bathroom!
What more could one ask for anyway?
So we turned that car around and headed back to the house.
On the way home, we stopped at the mail boxes in town to check our mail and when we pulled up there, our neighbor and good friend, Shirley, was there, getting her mail too. I told Mandy before she got out of the car -because I knew Shirley knew we had planned to leave on Thursday and she would be inquiring what we were doing, still in town, to tell Shirley that we weren't going to Pittsburgh after all because I had changed my mind, chickened out and wasn't going to have the surgery after all. (Trust me, I knew that would get a huge rise out of Shirley and I was also risking her coming over and lambasting me with a lecture about not thinking things through, etc.)
So Mandy hopped out of the car and yes, Shirley -true to form -asked her what we were doing there now and Mandy told her "The old so-and-so decided she's not going through with this and I can't get her to change her mind!"
Boy, wish I'd had my camera with me to have been able to get a picture of the look on Shirley's face and that finger, waving and wagging at me as she hollered that I better get going to Pittsburgh as she didn't want to hear any nonsense like that, for sure!
About that time then, Mandy started to laugh and explained to Shirley what had happened, about the arrival time, etc., and we were just going to "relax" -as much as one can when you're doing the cleansing prep required before abdominal surgery and get a decent night's sleep at home to leave about 8 a.m. then for Pittsburgh. Yeah, Shirley likes a good prank like that!
So Friday, away we went.
We arrived at the hospital about 11:45 a.m. and Mandy's long-time best friend, Missy, met us there as she had promised Mandy she would come and sit with her while she waited out the surgery till I was out of recovery and such. Thank goodness for Missy doing that too because the surgery was expected to take about 2 hours but ended up lasting close to four hours instead!
They ran into a few problems with loads of scar tissue and radiation residue plus lots and lots of excess bleeding too -so much so that I had to have three transfusions while on the table.
But finally, the surgeon came out and told Mandy that they had taken the uterus, tubes, cervix but that he couldn't find the ovaries and had no clue where they had disappeared to! They also did bladder repairs along with a full repair of the hernia I've had around the stoma from my colostomy for the past 2 1/2 years now as well. A lot of work for the four surgeons in the operating room, for sure!
But anyway, I'm happy to say that after four days in the hospital with no further complications at all, they released me yesterday to make the ride back to my home, back with my kids and my grandkids too!
Not that I am totally pain free now but each day, the discomfort and pain does lessen and now, I have to return next Tuesday -August 10th -to have some kind of test run on the bladder to make sure it is functioning properly and have the staples removed at that time too. If all is well with the bladder, I will also then get to leave this lovely catheter behind then as well -an added feature they sent home with me!
Oh well. Can't have everything all the time, can ya?
It was really quite comical at times too yesterday when Mandy came to pick me up as she had brought Maya and Kurtis with her. She figured since picking me up wouldn't involve a lot of sitting in a waiting room, or things like that which the kids do have a bit of difficulty with, that they would be okay to bring along for the ride. And for the most part, that was true.
Except for one minor thing at the hospital -elevators!
Kurtis is petrified of elevators! So was Maya at that age and it's really only been the past year or a little over that, that she doesn't wig out completely about getting on an elevator.
When they got to my room, Kurtis came running in and up to me and told me "Is just an elevator. Not scardy. Just and elevator and I pushed the button too!"
I thought Mandy had managed to talk him into self-calming himself about the elevator ride up to my floor but it turns out, he only got that calm attitude about the elevator AFTER they got off it and walked down to my room!
When we went to leave, the fussing, crying and wailing began in earnest all over again and kept up until we exited the elevator in the basement by the parking garage. Meanwhile, Maya was even trying to talk him into calming down, telling him it was nothing to be afraid of. Of course, as soon as we got to the car and they got in their seats in the back of the car, the fighting started up with one wanting whatever toy the other had an eye one and then there was hitting -and screaming -and crying -and spitting (yes, that would have been Kurtis who spits now when he is angry with his sister) and all in all the next hour of the drive involved a lot of commands from Mandy for each of them to hand over whatever toy they were hitting the other with so by the time we stopped for a quick potty break, almost all their toys were on the floor of the front of the car!
Then there was singing -since there were no toys left in the backseat for them to fight over by then and their singing is quite a treat too -trust me when I tell you that! There was also some conversations they had between each other using their own private vocabulary -a bunch of jibberish really which Mandy nor I had a clue at all as to what they were saying. After that, there was a conversation with Kurtis in which he announced, over and over again, many times "I have surgery!" Don't have a clue even today what that was all about!
But it was a trip we won't forget, that much is for sure and actually, considering all the circumstances, they really weren't that bad after all.
Quite entertaining that twosome can be!
But it sure was nice to whiz along Interstate 80 particularly the last 55 miles of our trip home as that section is heavily forested and the trees -all green and full and beautiful -just impacted me even more about how lucky I am to live in this part of this beautiful state.
So last night, I checked my e-mail, read some of the posts on my Facebook and tried to work on clearing out my reader -which at that time had 364 posts showing up on it to be read!
I finally got it all cleared out tonight about a half-hour ago and decided to take a nice refreshing shower since it has been horribly hot and muggy yesterday as well as today and after that, to do a little post here just to let everyone know I survived and am getting better by the day!
Thanks for all the cards and prayers and help people have been giving us during the time I was in the hospital and since I got home too. Phone calls galore, food too -all very much appreciated too.
This morning though, I got up around 6 a.m. and made coffee and when Mandy came down stairs around 7 a.m. as she was getting coffee for each of us, the gray cat of ours -who had been outside, hunting all night apparently, appeared at the back door by throwing herself against the screen and hanging on there. And when she did that, she about scared the living daylights out of Mandy because she had a big fat old mouse in her mouth! You never heard such screaming or saw such jumping around as Mandy did at that sight! And Maya -well she just stood there howling in laughter at her Mom's actions!
So now, it's going on 1 a.m., I'm feeling somewhat cooler from the nice comforting shower and ready to curl up in my recliner to sleep there -again -tonight. I'm not going to sleep in my bed because if I were to lay down there, I would have nothing to brace myself with in order to get up and out of that bed! Sucks to get old and a bit decrepit at times, ya know!
And tomorrow -I'm gonna enjoy to the max another day at my home, with my kids, my grandkids and friends and neighbors around me!
Live really is good, isn't it?