Arriving at Kaweah Delta District Hospital at 6:00 this morning for my husband-who-lives-across-town’s gall bladder removal (he was first on his surgeon’s schedule for the day), I had ample time to ponder the blessings of modern medicine. From the moment we walked in the door (the wrong one for where we really needed to go) the staff was unwaveringly gracious and helpful. I, as chauffeur, dropped my husband off at the front entrance and then headed across the street to the parking garage. When I returned to the front desk where he should have checked in, an employee approached me and asked if I had just dropped a gentleman off. When I said “yes,” she asked me to follow her, and escorted me to the proper department around the corner and across a small parking lot. With a smile. At 6:00 a.m.
Waiting for his initial pre-op prep so that I could go into the back and wait with him, I thought and prayed about two other surgeries happening today. A young wife and mother I only know from FaceBook was facing a potentially life-threatening abdominal surgery, and her doctors were anticipating massive reconstruction and a possible 4-5 day hospital stay. And one of my younger cousins, in her early thirties, was undergoing a double mastectomy due to breast cancer. I prayed for wisdom, compassion, and accuracy for the medical teams, and strength and patience for their families both before and after surgery. And I wondered how their procedures were progressing.
Here at home, we were anticipating a very routine laparoscopic surgery, followed by a couple of post-op hours in the surgical center, and then making our getaway. The hardest thing for me the entire time was trying to stay awake (or snooze in my chair without snoring), after a wake-up time of 4:45. And it was cold in the hospital, which I know is for the sake of the machines and equipment, but still makes me very uncomfortable. But the surgery went very well, and in a timely manner he was out of recovery and waiting in the post-op area. Soon all that was left was the clearance from his surgeon before he went home.
So we waited. And we waited. And we waited. Then the surgeon arrived, explaining that the surgery he had started as Grant went into recovery was more complex than had been anticipated, and he couldn’t get away until he was completely finished. We were grateful for that, knowing that thoroughness and attention to detail were hallmarks of this particular surgeon.
Meanwhile I read on FaceBook that my friend’s surgery was far simpler once they had an opportunity to look around inside her abdomen, and she was able to go home to her husband and children today. And I continued to pray for a good outcome for my cousin and her surgical team.
So at the end of the afternoon, my husband was cleared to go home, where his best friend was waiting to take care of him for a few days. I am grateful for friends such as these, who are willing to set their own lives aside to care for someone else.
All three surgeries were successful. All three teams…scattered across the country…had the same goal: the health and safety of their patients. And I am incredibly grateful.