Everyone keeps telling us how great it must be to be on "this side of the surgery."

It's not.
Not really.
"Great" isn't a word I'd use to describe it.

I might use the word "relieved" - in hearing the best sarcoma surgeon in the world say, "clear margins."
But there is the terror of hearing, "well, what we can see."

I might use the phrase "less anxious" - about the surgical process now that it's over, but there is always concern about infection, the drains, and rehabilitation.

I could say it was a "tender" moment to tell our kids that Rico was awake and asking about them. But there is some sadness in watching Yoda curl up in wheelchairs to pass the time, or to have her spending sweet summer days in the car, or ordering from the hospital cafeteria. It's her new normal, and will be for a while.

But by far, the least "great" part is leaving Mayo.
Rico said it himself, "Mayo is the Marriott of hospitals. Nothing else really compares."

Least of all a nursing home.

Maybe it's because it's the weekend. Maybe it's because we were planning on something else and were told last minute they didn't take Mayo patients, maybe it's because Mayo spoiled us for everything else - the people, the facilities, the attention to detail, it's as perfect as a hospital stay can be. Needless to say, a nursing facility is well, different.

No need to go into too many details, but I will say that the one nurse who took it upon herself to "wean Rico from his pain meds" two days after his last surgery, and mere hours after his transport from Mayo, without Rico's consent OR a doctor's order, had Rico going full New York on her. As you can imagine, he got his medication.

But he also got a personal delivery of fresh cinnamon rolls and garlic rolls from Crack of Dawn bakery - because those guys are the best. Nobody, tried to wean him from those - even though they're better than oxycodone.


Treats said…
"Tried to wean him from his pain meds?!?"....let me at her. She's no nurse.
j said…
OK - thank you, because we were quite sure it was not her place to do so. As it is, he is allowed three pain meds and is only choosing to take two - so he's thoughtful about it. A different nurse came in with the wrong medication today - and he said. "That's the wrong stuff - I don't take this." She assured him he did, he assured her he didn't. She left and came back later saying, "I guess you're right - my bad." WTF? Is this common? Because I am not cool with this - not at all. I'm about to bring him home, even knowing I am incapable of nursing care - but at least he won't be poisoned. I'm seriously freaking out.
Melanie said…
I had a terrible experience after my mastectomy. Luckily I don't remember it but Todd and my friends left to care for me on the overnight shift sure do. I was left in the bathroom on the toilet to nearly concuss myself falling over - completely drugged up and with no real use of my arms - good thing I have a hard head. He's lucky you can be there and he's aware of what is going on to advocate for himself.

...and don't take away my pain meds.
j said…
Ug - I'm sorry. It hasn't quite been that bad, and there are certainly people who are doing a wonderful job, but it's pretty terrifying that he has now been offered the wrong meds five times. Thankfully he knows what's up, so even when nobody is there he can deal with it - but what about the people who can't?
Lisa McDermott said…
Um. "Oh, HELL no," comes to mind. The long slog of recovery is definitely worse in some ways than the drama of surgery itself. There are so many ups and downs and boring times and pain and loneliness and just plain hassle. Which no one can tell you about ahead of time because that would be just mean. Some days this will be just one of the many stories of your beautiful life together - and it too will be beautiful because of all the love and the group effort and the love. P.S. Kids need opportunities to grow their empathy. Unfortunately none of those opportunities are ones you would wish on your kids.
Lisa McDermott said…
And a frank talk with the administrator of the place would not be out of order.