This time tomorrow morning, John will be in surgery.
It’s been a strange and surreal few days. We’ve been very loving with one another, and also on edge with one another. We’re both nervous and wound up. We planned everything very carefully. Now it’s in the hands of the surgeons.
Tomorrow morning, the head of cardiac surgery will hold John’s heart in his hand. And mine, too.
I have his bag packed and in my car. He will be in the hospital about five days, if all goes well. He has to be at the hospital tomorrow morning at 5:00 a.m., and surgery won’t be until at least 7:30. It should be about four hours, give or take. So he didn’t want me to drive him to the hospital; he’s taking a cab. He’s totally OK with that; I took a cab to my surgery too, five months ago. I will go to the hospital mid-morning, park myself there and wait. He made sure to tell me where the hospital cafeteria is, assuring me that it has big comfy chairs and plenty of outlets to charge my phone. Always thinking of me.
I have a list of numbers. I have instructions. I have the durable power of attorney and medical power papers.
We tried to follow our usual routine this weekend, going to our usual places. John was told to eat a lot of leafy greens in the week before surgery, so I brought a ginormous tub of “Power Greens” and dressing to his house on Friday night, and made sure he noshed on it all weekend. We even brought a Baggie of it to our lunch restaurants and beefed up the salads he ordered.
I helped him vacuum and clean. I took him to get his hair cut. It’s super, super short, so that washing it will be easy for him.
The issues with his family and the mother’s estate/will were supposed to be resolved before his surgery, with a meeting of the siblings. His sister cancelled it, no explanation. So everything is still unresolved. This will probably get even uglier at some point. For now, however, we have other things to worry about.
John’s brother and sister-in-law have sworn up and down that they’ll be there for him. I’m still skeptical. But we’ll see.
I’ve gotten some nice texts and emails. People are being supportive and kind, and that means the world to me. Because, honestly, I’m a fucking basket case. I cried four times this past weekend. I’m supposed to be strong for John. And yet, he was asking me if I’m OK. That’s so not right.
Today, I tried to distract myself. I worked, I went to the gym, I went to the car wash. On the way home, a normally five-minute drive was about 20 minutes, choked with cars and honking, because of a bad accident and then road construction past that. I was screaming in my car at the stress of it. All I wanted to do was get home, you know? My nerves are so high strung, it’s not taking much to snap them right now.
John had promised to send me an email with all the contacts and information I needed. He forgot. So he sent it to me tonight, and I tried to print it out, and my printer wasn’t working.@#$%&!! Fortunately, I had the presence of mind to look up Troubleshooting and clean the print nozzles, which were clogged. I really wanted to throw the damn thing out the window, but knew that would be counterproductive. Please. Things really need to work right now. I have no fortitude leftover for even the least bit of complications.
I think it’s been the endless waiting that did me in. I’ve had too much time to think, too much time to watch John deteriorate. YEARS of this. Now all I can think about is the worst-case scenarios, all the bad things that could happen. This needs to be over. For both of us.
On Saturday night, we were walking to our restaurant and I could hear the all-too-familiar sounds of his panting for breath. Even a short, flat walk does it. He never complains. But that night, he said casually, “It will be nice to be rid of this.” Yes indeed, my beloved Captain Understated. It will.
John will be home for six weeks. He can’t drive, but he will not need home care. I’ll make sure he has everything he needs. Unfortunately, even though he has a nice new TV, he has the crappiest of basic cable and doesn’t get any of the good movie stations. So I bought him seven DVDs, seven of his favorite movies. Those, plus his usual History Channel and CNN, will keep him occupied, I think.
I’m an atheist. I don’t believe in God, so I don’t pray. Friends have asked if I mind if they pray for John. No. I don’t mind. I’m honored for anything anyone wants to do for him. It’s more than his family has ever done.
So yes, please. Positive thoughts, vibes, whatever you want to send John’s way, please do. And to me, too. So I don’t fall apart. So I can be strong for him. Or at least put up a strong facade publicly and in front of him, and fall apart and weep in private. As I’m doing now.
Dammit. I wish I weren’t such a baby.
Tomorrow is tomorrow. Tonight, I need to get some sleep.
Thanks for reading my babbles.