K went in for her surgery Monday. L & I drove her there and stayed with her until she was in her room afterward. It was a long day, but it went really well. By the time it's my turn, we're all going to be pros at this.
So here's how this went. She got a call on Thursday telling her what time to be there for surgery. 6:15 a.m. (Yikes.) She did her 48 hours of clear liquids only over the weekend. Monday morning, we headed out around 5:00 a.m. Gave us plenty of time to stop for gas, and deal with traffic. We got to the hospital before 6:00. Interesting note, if you come in that early, the gates are up for the parking lots. So you don't take a ticket. Which was weird. What you do in that situation is when you leave, you push the button for assistance, and then the guy comes out and charges you the maximum amount. So it's $8 for over 3 hours of parking.
Anyway, so at Emerson, you park up back by the maternity/surgical entrance in the back. Just take your first right in the parking lot, like you were going to the front entrance, but then drive through the gates to the right. Take a ticket if the gates are down. You can pay for parking either at the gates when you leave, or using a machine inside, as long as you had a ticket. Otherwise, like I said, get help from the guy on your way out. You go in through the Clough surgical center entrance. The hall leads to maternity, but you want the elevator. You're going in on level 2, and you want to go down to level 1. From there, you follow the signs toward the surgery area at the back. K got set up with the lady at the desk. Incidentally, this is where you go for your pre-surgery testing. L & I are having that in the morning. (Wednesday)
Had to take a break in the middle of writing this, and it took a couple of days for me to get back to it. Oops. But continuing from before, when you get to the surgery area, the patient checks in at the desk. Then The patient and any family/support people wait in the waiting area until they call the patient to come back with them. When they called K, L & I remained in the waiting area for a bit. Then they called us to come back and sit with her. This is optional. You don't have to have anybody come back with you. But K wanted us to come. They had her in a johnny, and she talked to several people, who let her know what was going to be happening, step-by-step. She spoke with Cheri, who is one of Dr. Lautz's PAs. Cheri seems to work mostly in the hospital, as I think I'd only seen her once, maybe twice in the office, and that was just walking through. But she has the same position as Hilda and LeBron, so you might see them instead of Cheri. She also spoke with the anesthesiologist, and a couple of nurses, plus Dr. Lautz himself. They asked if she had questions. Dr. Lautz marked her stomach for surgery, and they all made her feel as comfortable as possible.
We stayed with her until she was wheeled out for surgery, then we went back into the waiting area. There are vending machines, and water available, and there's a TV in one area. Plus we brought stuff to keep us occupied. One interesting thing, they gave us a card with her patient number on it, so we could follow her surgical progress on the patient board (looks like a giant computer monitor). It was a list of patients by number, with a description of what stage of surgery they were in. Pretty cool.
After surgery, Dr. Lautz came out and told us how she'd done (very well, no complications), and that it would be maybe an hour and a half before we could see her briefly in recovery. Once she was ready for us to go in, someone brought us back into the recovery area. She was still mostly out, but starting to wake up. They brought her some mouth swabs (no water allowed until after you're awake, and have had your post-surgical upper GI), and a tube of lip balm. They didn't help her with the lip balm, though, so I did it. But yeah, we were with her for maybe 15 minutes, then we went back into the waiting area. Once she was up in her room and more awake, someone came to get us and bring us up to her room. She was still drowsy, so we stayed with her long enough to make sure she had everything she needed, and that she was comfortable. Then we left and came home. L started her 2-week diet that day. She's eating lunch as her meal, so we ate lunch when we got back. I start my diet on Monday. This is going to be an interesting couple of weeks for us.
Next post: Tuesday & Wednesday.