Last Wednesday I drove up to Charles City, Iowa because my mother-in-law was having surgery on her carotid artery Thursday. I came up by myself and am staying until the upcoming weekend because the Wolterman family reunion takes place this weekend in Okoboji. Jim will drive up this Thursday to see his mom and attend the reunion.
On surgery day we had to be in Mason City (a 45 minute drive from Charles City) at 9:00 a.m. for a surgery that was scheduled at 2:30. I'm sure this makes sense to someone, but certainly did not to any of us. Jim's sister works at the hospital in Mason City, so she took a couple of days off work to help out as well. The four of us (Mom, Dad, Jenean and me) left Charles City at 8:00. We waited in the surgical waiting room for awhile before they took Mom off to prep her. Then we waited in a pre-pre-op room for a couple of hours before finally moving to the pre-op room around noon. By now Jenean's husband had joined us so we sent the guys down to the cafeteria to get some lunch while Jenean and I waited with Mom. They had tried three times in the pre-pre-op room to get her IV in and finally decided to let the nurse in the pre-op room have a go at it since she is "the best" at doing it. During her sixth attempt the anesthesiologist came in for the pre-surgery conference, and he said he would like to try. After three unsuccessful tries, the nurse gave one last attempt and finally got it in. Now remember that for each attempt they had to give her a shot of lidocain, so the poor thing ultimately had 26 needles going into her! Then they needed to put in the arterial line, and that too was not going to be easy. At 2:20 they decided they were going to wait until she was under anesthesia to put it in since she was fairly traumatized by now.
After they wheeled her out for surgery, Jenean and I headed downstairs to eat. Oops - cafeteria fine dining ends at 2:00. So we had to settle for cold sandwiches out of a machine. Yippee. They did have a bag of pretzels and a Cherry Coke Zero, so all was not lost. Then it was back to the surgical waiting room. The surgeon came in at 4:45 to let us know that everything had gone well, and that Mom would be taken to a room in a couple of hours. When we finally got in to see her I was grateful that Jenean had warned us that she was very pale. Was she ever! But she was awake and able to talk to us. She felt nauseous and had some pain, but otherwise not too bad.
We stayed at the hospital until around 10:00, and then Dad and I headed back to Charles City. Jenean decided to spend the night in the room with Mom. I knew she wouldn't be getting much sleep, and I was grateful she had offered to stay. Friday morning we drove back over to Mason City, and we were able to spring Mom out of the hospital around 3:00. She looked so much better than the day before! Night and day difference.
So far she has done great. She is sleeping through the night and only taking one Tylenol with Codeine each night before bed. Otherwise she uses regular Tylenol during the day. We are very grateful for all the love and prayers people have sent her way. Obviously someone was listening! I have been enjoying having this time alone with my in-laws without the rest of my family here. But it will be nice to see Jim on Thursday.