I awake at the usual time the day of my surgery; 5:30 a.m. My kitchen counter has paper work strewn all over it; doctor bills, insurance filings, hospital dos and don’ts. I look at the basket of ironing and proceed to iron. My sister questions me. She tells me to leave the ironing it will give her something to do while I recuperate but I cannot. I iron, pay some bills and try to file some of the mountain of paper work. It is busy work, I know, but it is part of my normal routine and I want normal. On the way back from the mailbox I stop to say hello, get a hug and good wishes from my neighbor, Ron. Todd comes around 9:30 a.m. to pick up my sister and I and the three of us head out for the hospital. Everyone at the hospital is extremely nice. They take me back to begin the prep work for the operation. Todd, Kristy and Glenda are beside me and I am ever so grateful for their presence. Paige is in Minneapolis with her students. I go over the procedure with the nurse, once again with the anesthetist, and finally the surgeon. I will not let them administer the last little bit of “happy juice” until I talk the surgeon. I pray for peace to fall upon my family and for the surgeon. The drug is administered and I am out. When I regain conscientiousness my room is filled with people. I want to acknowledge that I know they are there but I cannot keep my eyes open. I hear their voices softly talking as I fade in and out. By the time my oldest grandchildren arrive in the early evening, I am beginning to have some bearings about me. Ethan and Lance come into my room and both speak very quietly, “Hi, Grandma.” I hold out my hand to them as Ethan’s eyes well up with tears once again. I invite my boys to crawl up beside me on the hospital bed. Doing so helps to quiet their little minds and hearts. I assure Ethan that I am alright. Lance asks questions with his voice but Ethan questions with his eyes. My two youngest grandchildren are too young to comprehend anything is wrong with their Grandma Nicki. They are unable to physically be with me but we Face time at night with our I Pads. Maxton sings to me, Carter blows me kisses and I tell them stories. We can see each other but we are not together. I miss them but cannot lift or hold them. I feel badly for long distance grandparents. I am fortunate my grandchildren live close by.
I don’t sleep well the night after the surgery. Every few minutes the bed starts up and rolls under my body to keep the blood flowing and to prevent any bed sores. As soon as the bed stops, the right leg pump comes on and tightens against my legs. When the right one finishes the left leg pump starts. This goes on all night long. In the early morning hours 4:45 am my door quietly opens and there stands my son. He thought he could creep in and I would be sleeping but I am awake and I speak to him. It surprises him. We talk. He and Ethan are a lot alike. They are deep thinkers. I know he shares his concerns with Paige and I am grateful for their close relationship. Todd is more like me than people realize. We have always said Paige was more like her father. I don’t know what I would do without Todd, Kristy, Michael and Paige. They are a part of my strength. I am released from the hospital the day after my surgery. My own bed beckons me and I eagerly answer the call.