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The anti-story story

February 9th, 2009 (10:58 pm)

current mood: exhausted

I did a bunch of stuff Monday morning. At each of my most inconvenient moments, the phone would ring. I'd half-kill myself getting to it in case it was Tim calling, but it never was. I then headed to the hospital in plenty of time to keep Tim company before his surgery.

And here the misadventures began. The hospital parking garage was FULL. I went to another hospital to park (and even there, had to go the seventh floor before I found a spot), then trucked my supersized backpack (on wheels, thank goodness) through some complicated and weird path to Tim's hospital and room so I could pack up his stuff. (His room had to be empty because after surgery, he might not get the same room).

I got there and we waited. And waited. And waited. Sometimes we just stared at each other. Sometimes we cracked up, because Tim is funny even in the direst of circumstances. Sometimes we just felt sorry for his prisoner roommate while we eavesdropped. Lynne arrived, giving me the chance to go get my car from the other hospital and move it to Tim's hospital, so I wouldn't be doing that trek after nightfall. Except damn if his parking garage hadn't filled up AGAIN. This time I just stopped my car and made people go around me, waiting for a spot to open up, which one eventually did.

Got back to the room to find no Tim, no Lynne. Which led to one of my less-than-stellar moments, a full-on tearful meltdown at the nurse's desk. One of them jumped up, saying, "No, no, no! I'll take you to him right now! I promise you, he'll be in pre-op. You'll get a chance to see him!"

By the time she got me to Tim with faithful Lynne at his side, I was composed again. But he was the last pre-op patient, so rather than keep that side staffed, they moved him to post-op to wait for his escort to surgery. While moving him, they said Lynne and I would have to wait in the family waiting room, a place that was already so masterfully described in Dante's Inferno that I won't bother.

Lynne suggested I try to see him again, and they let me come back for "five minutes." My five minutes turned into several hours, during which I didn't dare leave him in case they spirited him away from me once more. We got to see a lot of other people's post-op arrivals, which either had us wincing or laughing. And I got to find out what this weird hair-dryer looking thing on the wall was. It hooked up to a paper hospital gown thing and blew in hot air to keep Tim warm because it was FREEZING in there. The gown was purple, and combined with the fetching little blue paper shower cap thing they put on him, made him look very un-Timlike. (He is so not pastel.) At one point the gown was ballooning around him and he said, "Didn't Björk wear this same outfit to some awards show?"

We kept each other entertained with all the possible things he might say or sing as he was coming out of anesthesia, which I won't repeat here in case we use it some day in fiction. We did this while we... again... waited and waited and waited, and Lindsey arrived to keep Lynne company in that circle of hell on the other side of the door.

Tim's surgeon and operating room went overlong on a cardiac operation, so finally they sent us back to his room, where Lynne and Lindsey joined us. Jim called to check on him, then Tim called Kate G in Maine and texted with Rex's attorney Laura. Finally, Lynne had to get to Green Acres to feed her dogs. Rhonda and Tom brought food for the rest of us, including Tim, who hadn't had anything to eat or drink for almost twenty hours. Then the others left. I stayed until security guards ran me out, as they are wont to do.

His surgery has been rescheduled--allegedly--for noon on Tuesday. Between hospital noise and anxiety, he got almost no sleep Sunday night. Hopefully a dose of Vicodin and exhaustion will knock him--and me, too, for that matter--out tonight.

I'll post again when something besides really bad hospital fashion actually happens.


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