If you saw him today, you would have no idea. It is as though the past forty hours never happened.
He phoned around eleven this morning, which in itself was startling as he had had no phone in his room. He was calling to tell me he'd moved. No longer in the cardiac surgical unit, he had been sent to a new room that had none of the frightening features of his original room. No gurgling intravenous pumps, no beeping monitor, no vibrating bed. Instead it had a bathroom of its very own and a telephone.
He's making amazing progress, wandering around the floor in his skimpy nightgown, and when I saw him early this afternoon he was his adorable cranky self with a list of things he wanted brought to him.
The second catheterization/artery repair is set for sometime on Tuesday morning. He'll most likely be discharged on Wednesday. It is as though the past forty hours never happened. He's doing so well.
People have kindly asked how I am doing. Friday night I was fine. I was my usual crisis-manager self at home, knowing exactly what to do and doing it. In the emergency room I was a fascinated clinical observer, marveling at how many people were involved in his care and how each knew exactly what to do. In the postop conversation with the surgeon, I somehow almost knew what he was going to say before he said it. I had flashbacks to the many times during my nights as a hospital chaplain, I sat with families while doctors drew pictures and described outcomes. Yesterday I was efficient, contacting the people who needed to know, checking in with Elaine to be certain that my instincts that Dr. Cohen was excellent were accurate, arranging for a Eucharistic Minister to see him after church, gathering the things he would need. Throughout all that time I was just fine, doing what needed to be done, confident that everything would be fine. I even did some sewing in between tasks and visits.
This morning was different. I woke at five and went downstairs in my jamas and began sewing. It was a different sewing, frantic, hurried, intense, as though somehow my stitching would mend my broken husband, would make him whole. When I realized I was making mistakes on the very simple work I was doing, I set it aside in favor of pacing. The reality of what could have been was closing in on me.
I showered and dressed and made the bed and fed the cat, and then I drove down to the church. It was 40 minutes before service time and I could hear the choir practicing. I walked into the choir room and tapped Pat on her shoulder. She followed me out into the hall and held me in her arms as all of the fear and the pain came out. It took a long time. And then I felt better.