Wednesday, November 17, 2010

1 4 7

In the darkness of an early Monday morning, his presence I felt. He was getting ready for an anticipated and most feared procedure, based on several studies, hundreds of allergic episodes and three closed-relatives respiratory failure deaths. He was as ready as someone can be to check in to a hospital for a severe deviated septum surgery.

Paperwork was done. The kind receptionists made us sign all the documents and consents and gave us further instructions along with the “welcome” package: a plastic bag with a pair of sleepers, a pillow, small soap and shampoo, a box of tissues, one bottle of water and a universal TV remote…it felt so depressing to receive some sort of primary need items in a “gift” bag; I wonder how difficult could it be to arrange an “all-inclusive” room instead… a matter of taste, I guess.

It was 7: 30 AM sharp and he was ready to go – fully prepared in his butt-less gown and blue elastic hat. He was not scared, he was confident and we said good bye. The surgery was going to last approximately 4 hours; I let him go… he took half my heart and soul with him.

I had a lot of plans, very good mental plans to spend my waiting hours in a productive way; it was good at first: replied a few emails, held one conference call while drinking my first cup of coffee; all that took more or less 1 hour out of the 4. Family arrived to check on him, no news were good news we all concluded. It was in the loneliness of a cold room 147 where we waited… and waited for the next 3 hours. It was room 147 the place assigned by the hospital for his recovery. In my mind, I was going to use those long hours to write a magpie (I had lots of ideas for last week’s prompt: from a grandma tribute to an art dealer tale; a chocolate factory medallion to a time travel charm), to catch up with my reading, to find the cure for cancer. It is amazing how hard our mind plays us when we try to use it in a productive way. All of it good intentions, nothing really happened; I couldn’t concentrate, I had no head to think or to reason or to settle down. I was nervous in a non-obvious way. There’s no such a thing as a routine procedure when it comes to general anesthesia.

Finally, I heard his name thru the speakers – he was in the post-surgery recovery area. I flew there as fast as I could. His face was the face of a tender little boy; he was still coming out of the chemical-induced deep dream, his eyes were watery, his nose was covered with a bloody bandage and he was mumbling; I was relieved yet my heart was melting for seeing him like this… so vulnerable, scared, and almost helpless. He was back to me. I was there for him. I felt like crying. The surgery was a total success, said the doctor. Nothing went wrong, he fixed everything. After two hours of monitoring, we went together to room 147, our home for the next 24 hours.

No magpie, no reading (my apologies to all my dear fellow bloggers for being absent) or working on paperwork and emails for me these days. We are back home now, living day by day until his full recovery. It is a matter of patience and self-control. I admire him, even more. His face is swollen, his nostrils completely blocked with nasal packing, his eyes red and constantly tearing; I wish I could take his place this week, I know it is not physically possible. But I am going to be part of his process as much as he wants me to be. I am grateful with the wise doctors for doing a good job, for the opportunity given to fix and improve his daily living; I am as proud as I could be for his determination and self-control. But mostly, I am amazed with the fact that we take for granted small natural things like breathing… and how easily it could be damaged.

For my brave one... always with you... forever.


  1. What a beautiful post, OJ. Take care of yourself, and your love, and we'll read whatever you write, whenever you have the time or desire to write.

  2. you take care of him...and i am glad he came through this well..and i pray for a steady and healthy recovery....

  3. I must admit - I was a little worried about you. Your absence from your blog made me wonder if something was wrong. (The maternal in me.) So glad your hubby's doing well. Take care of him, but also yourself. So glad you're back.

  4. Wow. Powerful post. I hope the healing continues and all is well.

  5. I loved the line, "...he took half my heart and soul with him."

    What a marvelous post...Thanks for allowing us to look in the peephole while you fretted and worried and thankfully, you're now helping him along on the road to recovery.

  6. I wish you and yours all the best. I am touched that you shared this difficult event. Nice to see you around.
    N. R. Williams, fantasy author

  7. How fragile we humans are! But loyalty and gratitude are two of our finest qualities, which you have!! Thank you for sharing this difficult time in your life, and for coming over from N.R. to met me and my daughter.

    I just read your previous post about Venezuela. About five years ago, I had an aide for my daughter who had come to Utah (where we lived at the time) from Venezuela. She came to the U.S. with three children to find work. From your vivid description, I can see why she left Venezuela. I think it's so very difficult these days for people all over the world!!

  8. The love and nurture you provide through this illness is powerful. Best wishes with the recovery.

  9. so glad the surgery turned out well ~ healing thoughts sent your way!

  10. Sending you hugs and good wishes and hope for a speedy recovery for your husband xx


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