December 17th … We got up early on the morning of the 17th and headed back to the hospital for my second surgery. This time we knew pretty much what to expect, which seemed to make it somewhat easier and somewhat harder. We checked in and went to day surgery where I again donned the necessary hospital clothing – way too big hospital gown, these weird mesh underwear, and gray slipper socks in one size fits all, with grippers on top AND bottom. My Mom says this is so you can wear them either way, and it is supposed to make it easier for people. However it really annoyed the heck out of me having grippers on the tops of my feet. Anyway, I finish getting changed, get everything all packed up for the staff to lock up, and say goodbye to my family. (Princess was with Aunt Maryann.) The guy comes in to wheel me away, and I remember him from 2 days before. He was the one who brought me my glasses while I was in recovery. Did I tell you that he looks SO much like the guy who plays “Chuck”? (on the tv show, ” Chuck” 😉 It turns out that after me telling him on Tuesday that he looked like Chuck, he went home and googled Chuck, lol. He said that he looks at his face in the mirror everyday, so it is hard for him to see the resemblance.
As we are about to leave a blonde haired lady sticks her head in and says something like, “are you Princess’mom? The one who had surgery 2 days ago?” I am confused by this. I don’t have my glasses on so I dig them out of my bag and when I look at her, I am still confused. I know she looks familiar… she tells me that her name is Amber and she was the one dressed as Mrs. Claus a few days before. Oh! I recognize her now… but am still so confused as to what she is doing there. She asks if Princess is with us and I tell her, “no.” So she comes in to my room (which has one real wall and 3 curtain walls and is not much bigger than the handicapped bathrooms at Wal-mart! She proceeds to tell me how she was so touched by Princess , and her amazing hug and her sweet spirit, that she went to the store when she got off of work on Tuesday night and bought Princess just what she asked for – a black monkey and a red dress. The dress was beautiful with sparkles all over it! The monkey was holding a baby (and of course Princess decided the monekys were her and her baby sister.) Amber also had a brown stuffed monkey for Bug. One of the nurses had told her we had a baby with us. Amber had no idea how old she was or if it was a boy or a girl. Amber also got Princess black patent leather shoes and a beautiful pink and black outfit with a matching black and white spotted fur coat with big pink bow and rhinestone buttons. Both outfits were both so Princess like! Amber had no idea how old Princess was or what size she wore, so she went up to someone in the store and said, “what size do you think a little girl this tall would wear?” And held up her hand to show Princess’ height. She was told 3T – which was exactly right! Amber told us that she knew what it was like to be in the hospital at Christmas time and what it was like to have family in the hospital at Christmas time, and wanted to do whatever she could to make it special for us and for Princess. I was so overwhelmed by the generosity of this complete stranger! Amber then asked if there was anything she could do for us. It wasn’t like a half hearted, “do you need anything?” kind of question. It was a deep, heartfelt, “if you need me to go to the store and buy you groceries and bring them to your house I will” kind of question. Looking into her eyes I knew that she meant it and I could ask for anything and if it was within her power she would do it. I was again amazed at the way this woman was reaching out to my family and was obviously already so deeply connected to us without even really knowing us… all because of the sweet spirit of my amazing little 3 year old. God has given her such an amazing gift for loving others, and in this whole process I have seen it unfold in believable ways and have seen her touch more people than I would have ever thought possible at such a young age.
Amber left and I went off to surgery. Josh, Bug, and my Mom went to the waiting room once again. They took good care of me in pre-op. The initial medicine they gave me to make me relax did not seem to work as fast or as strong as the first time, so I remember more leading up to the second surgery than the first. The best thing about the wait was when they brought this blanket that was kind of like felt on the inside and aluminum foil on the outside and then they plugged it into a blow dryer type contraption that kepe me nice and toasty warm. The nurse and doctors in pre-op were great and soon it was time to go to the OR. I don’t remember going into the OR first time, but the second time I do. I even helped scoot myself from the hospital bed on to the small, hard, cold operating table. I also remember the bright lights and them strapping me down to the table. They say I helped scoot myself the first time too, but I have no recollection of this at all, lol. The surgery went well, as expected and soon I was back in recovery.
Amazingly, I had the same wonderful recovery nurse as after my first surgery. I asked her (in my barely audible whisper) where her radio was. (During recovery the first time she had Christmas music playing behind me.) It was at a station a few beds down from mine. She went and got it for me and put it behind my head. I listened to Christmas music again as I lay there in an out of sleep. Diane was even more amazing this time than the first. She spoon fed me ice chips (my mouth and throat were so dry from the oxygen tube they stick down there, but I was too weak to drink.) She held a bowl to my mouth every time I thought I was going to be sick (thankfully I never did, just felt very nauseous.) She wiped my face and neck with a cool washcloth and gave me sips of water once I was able to manage them. It was like having my Mom there with me. When I told my Mom about Diane later she was amazed. She said the job of the recovery nurse is to make sure you are stable, and somewhat comfortable if she has the time. Diane went above and beyond and was so attentive. Every time I would call for her (barely above a whisper) she would somehow hear me and lean over close to me so she could hear me. She also again had someone bring my glasses. I didn’t remember asking for them this time, so I thought she just remembered that I needed them. She told me I did ask for them though. She also gave me pain medicine as soon as I asked for it. I made it to a room much faster this time. I was even there before Josh and my Mom, but they arrived just after I did. I had different nurses this time, but Kofi & Nokiah stuck their heads in to say hello.
So ends the second surgery and the start of my surgery recovery…