progress. slow, but still progress

Matt is home from Iraq! I’m so glad he’s finally home. His mother, Diana, emailed this picture of Matt and Kristine, which made me really happy and cheered Stanley too when I told him about it:


Sunday was a very long day. Very long. Stanley was sitting in a recliner when I arrived around 11ish, and George was there keeping him company. Stanley said they got him up very early—it was still dark outside—and gave him a bath. George cheered Stanley considerably and I was really glad to see that he was able to stop by. Then I guess the narrowness of one’s world while recovering was reinforced once again when Stanley, who doesn’t really care that much about food, told me first thing, “Never get egg beaters, they were [gagging noise].” Me: why didn’t you just get oatmeal? S: I wasn’t awake when they called to find out what I wanted, and eggs sounded good, so ...

The nurse came in a had him walk to the window and back. Stanley was stunned at how difficult it was. It’s one thing to read about how much surgery smacks you down, but it’s another thing entirely to experience it—particularly for someone who’s been extremely active. Later the physical therapist came by and gave him a set of warm-up exercises to do and walked him again, a little farther. S was pretty white by the time he got back, but went through the finish-up exercises. Jeff and Ben came by to visit and S was really happy to see them.

After they left, S became really ill—apparently he’d been queasy for hours but said nothing, assuming that it would pass. He’d been queasy on and off Saturday as well. Sweet jesus—I explained to him that he needs to tell his nurses when he’s feeling queasy or dizzy or weird so they know how to adjust his meds, and no more of this stoic shit, damned granite-headed New Englander ... he also thinks he cracked a tooth during the operation; I hope he remembers to tell THIS to his nurse.

Here he is pre-op, mugging for Helene and me:



On Sunday afternoon, PA Bill finally got a chance to remove the tubes in S’s neck, a kind of pacemaker, he explained as he clipped stiches and pull wires out of Stanley. Weird. Also removed the bandages so the wound could start healing:



I was pretty surprised at how neatly it was sewn. No staples! I asked PA Bill about this, and he said, “It depends on the surgeon, how big of a hurry they are in the process. It’s faster to staple.” Seeing how carefully Stanley’s chest was stitched made me feel a LOT more confident in the outcome, left me feeling a lot less worried about something not being quite right. I figure if Dr. Robinson was careful enough to not take the quick way out, we have nothing to worry about. Stanley is pleased because he wasn’t looking forward to the more-typical frankenstein scar, which is what Dad has.

The feeling quesy and trying to get through without pain pills really took a toll on Stanley. He was gone, clutching his coughing bear:



Eventually he did tell the nurse, and got his pain pills. He said there was no way he’d manage a third walk today. The nurse also pointed out to him that he needs to get more food in his stomach because there are so many meds he needs the food to settle his stomach. So he at a tuna sandwich and some peaches for dinner—the biggest meal he ate since coming out of the OR.

He slept, I read. He slept, I talked a friend through some website stuff. He started perking up a bit after 60 minutes, turning on Criminal Intent. He saw about half of this show. He managed to stay awake for most of Deparate Housewives and Boston Legal. The problem with these shows, though, was it hurt him to laugh! The room is so awful—it’s so hospital green—the pictures are not touched up—that when I got home I ordered flowers to be sent to him, a pretty, cheeful arrangement.

Since a snow storm was due to hit after midnight, I decided to head home around 11 pm. Only—the snow hit around 11. It was shocking how rapidly the roads became treacherous, but at least the people I encountered where driving like they knew how to drive in the snow (slow and steady). Or so I thought, until about 3/4 mile past exit 18 in Westport.  On top of the Saugatuck River overpass was a really nasty accident, so just past the Sherwood Island exit, the traffic slowed to a crawl. It was so frustrating because my exit is 17—so close to home I could walk yet trapped on I95. I’m relieved at the crawling traffic, though, because not too very long after I got home I saw on the tv that southbound I95 traffic has stopped completely—the same cars for the last forty minutes on traffic cam. Bummer.

After I FINALLY made it to exit 17, I figured I was nearly home free if I just took it really slow. But I couldn’t get up the hill—my car was literally sliding backwards!! So I had to do this weird backup and turn the car around manuver to get back to Rte. 136 and crawl me way back home via the “long way. Not too much trouble with that because there was very little traffic. And I was so glad to see Ginger and Twitch!

Monday morning I will have to hook up the Snow Fox and test it with the real stuff. After I dig out the outlet! I would be looking forward to it, but I really want to be at the hospital as early as possible, so this storm is messing up my plans!

I should stop here as I’m so tired the words are coming out so weird ...

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