Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Retina repair

Home from our quick sojourn in Seattle.  Beve was reminding Grampie and me that a year ago we were at a different hospital in a different part of Seattle, sitting by Glo's bed as her life ebbed.  The only similarity between yesterday and last year was the interminable waiting.  I'm talking W-A-I-T-I-N-G!  Beve and I spent six hours on those waiting room chairs, and even though they seemed comfortable enough in hour one, by hour six they felt like beds of nails.  It was excruciating. Grampie's surgery was the last of the day (6 pm), so we had the place to ourselves, and we made full use of the large waiting room.  At one point, if anyone had walked in, they wouldn't have assumed Beve and I even knew each other--he was sitting in one section and I was across the room in another.  Just trying to find a comfortable position, and perhaps seeing if the view from there was any better.

If we'd done as Grampie asked, we wouldn't have waited at all.  We got to the check-in desk at the hospital and he said, "You can leave now.  I'll take a bus home."  The woman behind the desk looked startled, perhaps thinking we might do just that.  "You aren't getting rid of us that easily," I told him.  She was more relieved than he was.

We sat with Grampie for a long time before he was wheeled into the operating room.  Grampie in his lovely hospital gown, hot-air blanket and feet sticking off the end of the bed.  Even the extra-long bed wasn't long enough for our extra-long Grampie.  "Whoa," said just about everyone who walked into the room.  "How tall are you, anyway?"  The doctor and anesthesiologist who worked on Grampie are probably about my height (5'6"), so they looked a bit tiny beside him.  Finally the surgeon appeared and off they all went to repair Grampie's swiss-cheese of a retina.

And fix it, they did.  Sure, it took double the time we were told it would take, but Beve's overachieving father didn't simply have a single rip in the retina (which is like the wall-paper of the eye) but a myriad of them.  Too many to count.  This happens sometimes with very old eyes (though his other eye looks about twenty years younger).  And--the good news!--all those holes means that Grampie can sleep on his sides rather than his front.  And that is the ONLY thing he was worried about the whole time.

So another day, another hospital waiting room.  This is like a hobby for us.  But the good news is that we don't have to do it again for a long time...not until Friday when J has another surgery.

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