Sunday my friend, E, arranged a pre-operation luncheon for me with a large group of friends. At first, I thought maybe half a dozen people, at most, would show up. E picked me up to take me to the luncheon. On the way we were talking about who was invited. She told me that TWENTY RSVP’d. TWENTY??? Really, did you say TWENTY? At this point I am crying. No kleenex, no napkins, no paper towels. Whose cars do not have ANY of these things? Especially, since she has two young grandsons who are normally messy. I must say that I tried not to sniff the snot back into my nose. Because, it makes me profoundly dizzy. But, I HAD to.
I was truly shocked. I had no idea so many people cared about me. I can be a very prickly and frustrating person. I know this about myself. Yet, I cannot seem to be completely non-prickly and frustrating. I believe I am better than years past. I was SO glad to see everyone there. It was heartwarming. I was very happy these special people showed up to express their support of me. For example, one man in attendance had jumped to help me out on the last day of my 30th round of radiation in 2013 when my son called me tearful and upset that my car would not run. I cannot recall but, I think he had been hit from behind. I had a very short time to make my last appointment. So called L’s house to ask L1 if she could drive me. She was very sorry but, was already on her way to an appointment she could not miss. She handed the phone to L2 who said he would, without hesitation, come and pick me up and drive me. I know how much my son wanted to be there with me as he had been throughout that previous incredibly difficult period in my life. It was L2 who came to both myself and my son’s rescue then, was there today, too.
So many of these people have been important to my life in one way or another over the past 6-ish years. I suppose in many ways we have each been there for one another good and not-so-good. A two way path of life.
Today is one day post-op. According to the surgeon the surgery went well. He drilled into my transmastoid. It is a low part of the skull just behind the ear. I am doing well. The pain is minimal. Mostly. As long as I have minimal pain medications. I still have tinnitus. I hope it will ultimately go away. There is no guarantee. I look forward to learning how to walk unaided again. I need to learn how to negotiate stairs. The up stairs and especially the down.
A cut was made behind my ear where the ear cup ends and the head begins. It will be a scar that will be unseen by anyone who does not already know the situation. Very little hair had to be shaved. Even though, looking closely at the stitches today, my daughter did not even realize the hair had been shaved. The doctor used the bone dust from drilling (too gross?) into the skull bone and cartilage and mixed it with some waxy substance to plug the hole. They call it “Bone Pate‘”. How tasty. Then, he cut a little slice of cartilage from the inside of the same ear (the Tragus) to use as “surfacing” over the ˆBone Pate to make a solid separation between the pate’ filled hole and the covering of the brain. Weird. So friggin’ weird. This human body.
My son arrived from out-of-state yesterday about 45 minutes prior to my going into the operating room. Many thanks to E. She drove me to the hospital to check in. She then, turned around to go to the airport to pick him up and take him to my house. He put his stuff down, jumped into my car, and drove up to the hospital. Only getting lost once. It is a confusing set of multiple medical office buildings, institutes, children’s hospitals, and the main hospital creatively constructed one upon the other in a very confusing campus. THEN, E RETURNED to the hosipal (purposely misspelled) to sit with my son through the surgery. Another friend, EM, came up to sit with them throughout, as well.
My son told me this that next morning and I had no recollection. He and E were able to talk with me in Recovery. I have NO memory of it. I was pretty funny. At least, that is what I hear.
My daughter was not able to get here until, late the night of surgery. That is because, the surgery was originally scheduled for Tuesday. Rationally, she purchased her tickets to arrive Monday night in order to be with me Tuesday. Neither of us imagined I would get a call after that moving my surgery one day earlier. That being Monday. AND her flight was delayed by a couple of hours.
The kids were both here the next morning. Travel, time, and worry weary but, here with me all day. I was teary. Clearly, still drugged and a bit funny. They went to dinner with friends of theirs. They are trying to see as many as they can in the limited time they are here outside of keeping me company.