Throughout the month of December, I’ll be participating in #reverb13: Reverb is a way to reflect on the past year and project into the next year with a prompt a day for 31 days.
Uh yeah, I know it's January. I'm behind...
Day 16 – 1000 Words:
There’s the old saying that a photo is worth 1,000 words. Give us a photo with that impact that sums up some significant event of your 2013, or give us 1,000 words about a pivotal moment in 2013.
My husband had surgery in June. He basically felt like he'd been getting ongoing sinus and upper respiratory infections for a majority of the last several winters. His doctor recommended that he have balloon sinuplasty done, and that they repair a deviated septum while they were in there. It wasn't super-serious and it was scheduled in advance. So when a few friends offered to accompany us and stay with me while I waited, I said no, it was no big deal and totally unnecessary.
My husband is older than I am but not "old old" (he's in his 40s), and he works out A LOT, but he has had some heart issues before and he's my world. I mean, I know lots of people say things like that, but I really can't imagine wanting to live my life without him.
And for this surgery, there would be general anesthesia. But I still thought no big deal.
I went to the hospital with him. And being the good wife that I am, I waited until he was taken into the room to change until I ate my breakfast (he was starving).
Then they brought me back to see him one more time before the procedure and talked me through what would happen in the OR and with me (when I'd be updated, etc.). Seeing my husband in that hospital bed, wearing a gown, looking so vulnerable, it scared me. He wasn't even mildly nervous, but I was.
I returned to the waiting room, got the phone call indicating the procedure was underway, and then the waiting began. I worked for the first several hours, but then I started to get really worked up. I should have gotten the second call saying the procedure was over, he was going to recovery, and they'd call again when I could go back to see him.
Eventually, I texted a running buddy whose wife works in another department at the hospital. I told him what was going on and asked if his wife was busy. 7 minutes later a woman I've met only about twice in real life (at a couple parties with running friends). She sat with me and said she'd try to get some more information. She went back to day surgery and returned about 15 minutes later to tell me that it was taking longer than they expected but that it was going fine. She then proceeded to spend her entire lunch hour and breaks for the day sitting there with me as we waited another hour and change for the second phone call.
It finally came, the surgery was over, he was fine, he'd be in recovery and they'd call when he was awake. My running buddy's wife went back to work, and I got back to work on my laptop. When I was finally allowed to go back and see him, my heart hurt all over again. He was all disoriented, gown askew with shoulders exposed, bleeding through gauze taped under his nose, with betadine stains on his body, hooked up to tubes, wearing all kinds of sensors and monitors, with a puffy and swollen face. But he was okay. I hate to say that I cried with relief.
That day he seemed so vulnerable and it made me think about all those bad "what if"s and death and all that. If you'd asked me the week before his surgery, how I felt about him, I would have said that I loved him and in generally still felt like we were newly married. But after that surgery, as corny as it sounds, I feel like he's actually a piece of me. Like a vital organ, not an extra hand or something. It was a pivotal moment in realizing how much I've changed from the totally independent person I was 8 years ago when he was just one of a couple guys I was dating...
In some ways, I would still deny that I'm dependent on him. After all, I have a job that supports me well (and could support both of us). I have a strong family that I love. I have several really, really good girlfriends who are like sisters. And I have a pretty big network of friends that I regularly see for running or otherwise. But when I walked out of the hospital that day to go get the car and drive up to the door where they wheeled him out, there was no denying that my happiness is totally dependent on him. He's just such a big part of my life. I guess most people could say that about their spouses, but I guess his surgery is when it really hit me that he is my life, my happiness and my world.
So during his week of recovery, I worked from home. Even when he was feeling better, I wanted to be by his side, particularly if he was on pain meds. I didn't want him being alone and falling down the stairs in our house or something. And mostly, I just wanted to stay next to him in bed, cuddled close, even with my laptop there and work being done.