Let’s just say that once husband and Prairie Girl woke up after the operation, the fog took some time to clear before reality set in. Comprehending what had just happened took some time to digest. Husband and Prairie Girl were never so relieved to be TOGETHER! The 14 days spent in the hospital was a new journey for both of them. Never being on any medications or being diagnosed with anything serious in their years together, had led them to believe that illnesses and accidents happen to others- not to them.

Amazingly, PRAIRIE GIRL found  it to be second nature to care for her FREEDOM 69 husband.  This surprised even her! Prairie Girl, immediately cancelled her book promotion gigs at the Nanaimo Boat Show and Campbell River’s Ocean Pacific Sale. Husband needed his partner 24/7, as did his roommates who shared his semi-private room!

The first roommate was only there the first couple of nights and had some memory issues. Husband quickly figured out that if he requested the window be opened a second time, his roommate would have forgotten that he had already refused five minutes earlier, and would allow some fresh air in. He (not husband) held the POWER as gatekeeper of the window side of the curtain separating them. (And believe Prairie Girl when she says that room needed to be aired out!)

The second roommate was a much younger man with a positive disposition.  He had a lot of support from his partner and other family members and friends.  in fact, he had so many visitors coming and going that fatigued husband wanted to tell them all to hit the road … or at least the hallway, and take their visiting down to the Common Lounge area.  But alas, Roommate #2 wasn’t keeping up with his walking after surgery, unlike MR. SYSTEMATIC (“VE MUST FOLLOW ZE POST OPERATION GUIDELINES… YAH?”) You’re starting to understand why Prairie Girl’s presence was necessary for full-on days on the 5th Floor, aren’t you? In spite of all the visiting and candy munching happening on the other side of the curtain, husband had gained some control after requesting a move to the other side to become Keeper of the Window. His roommate grew attached to husband and didn’t hesitate to interject into Prairie Girl’s and husband’s personal conversations with one another, without invitation, from the other side of the curtain. He was also super relaxed about peeing standing up with the door wide open so that Prairie Girl would have the pleasure of listening to him splash…. Seriously, he was a most endearing fellow and truly expects to get together for coffee sometime…

And then came ROOMIE #3… who shared the same family Dr.  It amazed them how open people become when they share a hospital room.  Number 3 had bleeding ulcers and his home life was a huge stress. His wife had lost a leg to diabetes and she refused to try to become mobile, so spent her days lying in bed smoking  and yelling at her husband, while waiting for HOME CARE to take care of her needs. He didn’t want to go home and by the end of their 14 day stay, had become quite attached to husband and Prairie Girl.  Husband kept him company throughout the night when he would awaken disoriented and crawl out of his bed on the wrong side with all of his connections straining.  Husband started to ask for Melatonin to try to catch a few hours of uninterrupted sleep, and chided his roomie for “assembling Ikea furniture throughout the night.”  Prairie Girl immediately empathized with Roomie #3 and took pleasure in helping him as much as possible. He enjoyed the Tapioca puddings and juices she brought! Prairie Girl became a little concerned when he asked for their address upon husband’s discharge, as it occurred to her that he may want to continue the good service… She even received a little good-bye kiss…

Showering was a major ordeal on 5th floor.  The Health Care Attendants were only too happy for spouses to take on this delight. Once you had the Shower Closet (notice it is not referred to as a ROOM…) set up, husband would have to be jammed in with all his hook ups. It was so crowded in there one could hardly get the door closed. And wouldn’t you know that during one of these semi-showers, husband’s Nasal Gastric Tube would fall out?  Well, this certainly caused some distress for the weak and fatigued patient.  His fear of the painful procedure made him adamant that the nurses would NOT be re-inserting it.That’s when his obsession with passing gas and keeping fluids down began.

Husband became manic fixated with the need to announce his  FIRST FART!  In retrospect, Prairie Girl is certain that husband may have made up the first one.  He conveniently had it when no one was around to hear it and he described it as a tiny squeaker.  It just seemed peculiar that nothing eventful slipped out for another 72 hours after his BIG ANNOUNCEMENT!  However, one should NEVER wish for something so badly that you get it.  Once that flood gate opened, the window remained open throughout the rest of his stay – no matter how chilly it became!  And let’s just say that the strolls down the corridor brought on several reactions from passers-by.  It was a constant medley sneaking out of his backless nightshirt… you get the picture!

Well, everyone knows that after bowel surgery, the fart is the PRE-SHOW warm-up and the bowel movement has MAIN EVENT billing.  Yep, that first BOWEL MOVEMENT caused quite a stir up on 5th Floor! Husband was anxious to tell anyone who would listen that he had accomplished the deed. Never had Prairie Girl experienced such an education on stools, as she did during his hospital stay. ( It probably didn’t help that he had become obsessed with a book entitled, GUT prior to his surgery – that he shared with anyone who would listen at OPEN SEATING on their cruises.)  The minute he emerged from Recovery, Prairie Girl was instructed to bring it to the hospital so that she could read it while he snoozed, and he could share it with every doctor or nurse who approached his bed.  (Are you starting to understand why visitors weren’t encouraged to drop by for hospital visits?)

And speaking of visitors, husband and Prairie Girl were overwhelmed by the caring emails, cards, messages, calls, and gestures from friends and family , near and far. They were so touched by the concern and support expressed – they’ll never forget it!

It’s been 6 weeks since husband’s emergency surgery.  He visited his Surgeon this week and has been told that by 8 weeks, he should be 75% recovered.  Husband thinks he’s gifted in all things… even recovery from surgery.  To make his point, a windlass is being installed on the boat to alleviate any strain for husband and Prairie Girl in bringing up the anchor. As well, he has driven solo to carry out some errands, had lunch out with a friend, attended an Open House for a short while, and even cleaned the kitchen after dinner tonight! You know, he just may be an advanced healer, at that!





Thanks for visiting my site and leaving comments. It’s such a joy when Prairie Girl receives a message or encounters someone who notices that there hasn’t been their regular weekly dose of Tender Tuesdays and they miss it.  Keep leaving your messages, they inspire this writer to continue.

3 Responses »

  1. Your last post was very entertaining!! Goodness….what an after surgery ordeal. Ryan certainly had some interesting room mates….he must be super appreciative of you after all that the two of you went through. We are so very, very grateful that Ryan is doing so well & looking terrific! Hell of a way to slim down!! Love, Angelika & Ralph

    • Thanks Angelica! His biggest hurdle these days is ensuring he doesn’t get bored. The rain is getting a bit much, but thankfully, he has many interests (and PRAIRIE GIRL has a CHORE LIST a mile long….) – if only he could tackle some of them… ha!

  2. Mary, this post was indeed very entertaining! So happy to see a picture of Ryan and to hear that he’s doing so well after such a long convalescence!! Will try and drop by for a visit soon 🙂

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