And I’m feeding hard boiled eggs to Leo.
He just walked in and very calmly stated, “Daddy, I just woke up and decided that I want a hard boiled egg.”
Dude gets a hard boiled egg.
If he wanted them benedict better be durn tootin sure I’d learn and execute. After a day like today.
It was 24 hours ago when I took him downstairs. He was approaching the window where he wouldn’t be allowed to eat because of sedation. Three different surgeries in the day. Port placement. Biopsy. Chemo into the spine.
We get into the van a little later. Traffic was thick. It was like the four day weekend had people ready to jam up the freeway into Town all the harder. We arrive the hospital and it’s full. Four day weekend had specialists off while nurses and residents had run of the place. We check in with the normal people. My routine. The comfort of what is known.
And then they send me downstairs to admit for surgery.
What you need to understand about our med care here is that the docs and nurses are amazing. I think they hire the receptionists from the loser square on “who wants to be a millionaire” that answered the first question wrong.
They are frustrating people. I ask, based on the paperwork I’m filling out, if I’m staying overnight. The look on her face has me half convinced I asked in pig Latin. I stop asking questions. I don’t want to be the one to short circuit the admissions office.
Leo and I are escorted down to the surgery basement. I hate this place. We go to a waiting room. We get surrounded by the comfort of the familiar routine. Blood pressure, height, weight, kind nurses.
Then I find out the doc doing the biopsy is late. The anesthesia doc covers well enough, but my bs meter pegs anyway. She talks a hundred miles an hour about her job. She listens even better than she talks. She acknowledges that I want to hold onto Leo while he goes under so that he’ll go down easier. She affirms the need for my face to be the first he sees when he wakes. Then she says after looking at her text bombs that she won’t be our anesthesiologist.
We wait long enough for both Leo and me to start getting hangry. He’s played with all the toys in the waiting room. The morning cartoons have replaced with tween soap operas on Disney.
I get invited to put on a white surgical clean suit to bring Leo to the operating room. We get there and everyone is there. Except the anesthesiologist. He walks in after being paged and Leo saves his life. If I hadn’t been holding Leo, I would have strangled this dude. Bedside manner of a yak in heat.
Leo begins to cry because he’s scared.
That’s how he falls asleep when Dr Yak pushes the sleepy stuff. When leo goes down like that he fights the anesthesia. And I fight the uprising of all of the words I learned when I learned how to fire a rifle for Uncle Sam.
He sleeps and I’m ushered out.
I watched trash tv. I ate hospital food. I walked through the sun.
Dr Yak comes to get me in the waiting room.
“He’s waking up now.”
Something wild inside of me awakens at the idea that this clueless, clueless man with a PhD is not my enemy but that if one more person gets between me and doing the right thing for my boy that I will in fact unhinge my words.
I get into the room and he’s crying. He’s been under for three hours and hasn’t had anything to drink for 7. Understanding him through the crying is a chore.
He details everywhere that hurts and there is literally nothing I can do. The wildness within and the desperation are useless to ease his pain. I feel useless. I can’t comfort him. I can’t even get him to drink.
Once he’s been crying for five solid minutes the nurse realizes that he can have some morphine.
That extends the time she has to watch him and extends her work. And she’s glad to do it. Bless. Everything. That. She. Is.
The crying subsides. Leo drinks water.
I receive discharge instructions and realize we’re leaving from here. Dressing Leo hurts him. He has three tender spots I can’t use to pick him up. I walk out of that place without smiling. Surgery isn’t a touchy feely place.
The wild thing inside of me wants to run us out of there at a hundred miles an hour, but I walk at a shuffle pace because faster will hurt him. I’m tired and I’m sore and I just can’t anymore.
I drive home with the same people I plugged the freeway with that morning. But now we’re all tired and full of the wild. Leo sleeps. And I relax. We pull into our neighborhood and he vomits.
I look in my rear view and just think “same”
He’s welcomed home by family.
The ultimate comfort.
Soul healing begins.
He eats four bowls of cottage cheese and four hard boiled eggs.
He goes to sleep happy.
I’ve woken him up to keep up the pain meds several times.
He walks into my bedroom and declares his decision to eat a hard boiled egg.
Dude gets a hard boiled egg.
It’s 3am and I’m home with my family.