We had to arrive at 515am for the surgery. Crazy early but it always seems this way. We checked in and are shown to our room. The nurse is efficient, just another Monday morning for him. "Get undressed, gown on open in the back, there are socks for your feet. We will be back for you shortly." With that we are left alone.
Just another day in the hospital. We Pray together before they wheel her away. I really don't like these days. Andrea seems sick on days like today. I watched her in the bathroom sick but unable to vomit. There she stood in the hospital gown, "Property of the US Government" written across the back. All I could think is our life was not supposed to be this way. It was just a tiny lump.
Soon the nurse came in. Prayers are finished, questions asked to verify Andrea is Andrea and once more I watch someone wheel Andrea down the hall. We make small talk to avoid the seriousness of the situation but it is obvious to us all. We all know we won't ever meet again. The nurse seems aware of our fears and the fact that we are uncomfortable being here. Our private life suddenly shared with a stranger. We round the corner and it is time for me to say goodbye to Andrea. The nurse is kind enough to give us a moment to say goodbye. I kiss Andrea and they leave me standing there. I watch as they continue on still making small talk, Andrea's answers have that usual happy tone. I try to remember every detail of the moment for obvious reasons. Then I'm alone the waiting room is empty and I don't want to go in there. It is the loneliest of times when they take Andrea away. Time to sit alone and fight off thoughts I don't want to have. Was that the last time to kiss Andrea? Was that my last memory?
It was not supposed to be this way.
I just got the call they have started the procedure. Lord be with Andrea, give her peace and the Doctor skill.
Others have begun to join me in the waiting room. All of us trying to busy ourselves trying to pass the time. A doctor enters and talks to a woman. There are smiles and laughter. I'm glad things are working out for them.
I can't help but think about my wife laying on the table asleep with people busy all around her. Machines beeping and monitors displaying evidence of her life. I hope she is comfortable. I hope a lot of things right now. I hope the doctor is good. I hope this surgery works. I hope Andrea is not hurting. I hope the doctor brings good news.
I met an old friend last week he is my age and we talked and caught up on things. It turns out his wife died just a month ago after going in for surgery. He was still hurting, you could see it in his eyes. He told me, "It is the first thing you think about when you wake up and the last thing you think about when you fall asleep." I would have never guessed we would be at this point in our life having this conversation.
It was not supposed to be this way.
It has been 30 minutes since they called. That is about how long the procedure should take. Now I watch and listen for the door each time it opens.
Guess what the doctor walked in as I was typing the last sentence. Everything went well he was pleased with the procedure. Andrea should be out in 30 minutes. Another hospital visit under under our belt. I pray it is our last one. I pray Andrea will not have to go through this again. Like Dr Atkins told Andrea when she had gotten out of ICU, "Hospitals are for sick people, its time for you to go home."
I agree its time to leave here. Time to go see Andrea and kiss her once more. Andrea small but mighty. That's what I call her. She has more fight in her then I will ever have. Next time you are sick imagine feeling that way everyday for almost four years straight. I can hardly take it when I have the flu for three days. But when I do you know who is there still trying to take care of me? Andrea. What woman, what a wife, what a friend.
Well its time to get back to our life. Not the way it was supposed to be but the way it is.