The most important lesson came from my cousin Ro. It's not about you! This was directed at her father who called her a "small white female dependant child." I believe this is when Busha said, "That small white female child isn't dependant anymore. She's a home owner." Now, before you get worried that we were setting in the waiting room squabbling, this was all good natured. I love my family. We argue, bicker, tease, torment, aggravate, and irritate each other, but at the root of it all is love.
Thursday morning at 3 am, Bucka was having trouble getting his breath. Busha called the ambulance as the doctor had instructed & they took him to the local hospital. The local ER (where Bucka was busy inviting his paramedics to church on Sunday) didn't find anything wrong, but Bucka's surgeon said send him to the Big hospital. When it came time to leave we were told there were no available beds at the heart hospital where he was to have the surgery, so he was sent to the main campus. Lesson #2 is for the hospital staff: When you have a family in a high stress situation (Such as bypass surgery) and the plans are suddenly changed, please offer explanations to all their questions. We didn't get them until Daddy talked to the woman in charge of taking care of us during the surgery...more than 24 hours after Bucka was moved. Lesson #3 is for any family facing something like this: Demand answers, and if needed, demand to speak to someone in charge so you can get them. Do it early so you don't have to set & stew.
Yesterday started at 3:30 am. To see Bucka before surgery we had to be there by 5:45. Bitsy was thrilled that everyone finally saw the need to get up in the middle of the night & go somewhere. She's been trying to convince me this is a good idea from day one. After driving home from the Christmas program in sleet, I let Daddy & QM pick me & Bitsy up for the drive.
Bucka was in good spirits when we got there. He was happy to see us (very happy to see Bitsy), laughing with the family, & teasing his nurse (who was WONDERFUL!!! She even called him Bucka on occasion & offered to get us a VCR to watch the kids program if I had a tape). We all got to visit with him, love on him, and most importantly pray with him before they took him in to prep.
It was a horribly difficult day for the next few hours. We cried, laughed, talked, told stories, ate, walked, everyone took turns pacing the floor with Bitsy who was mad about having her nose wiped, made phone calls, prayed, joked, napped, worried, played, and waited. We knew the risks, but as Busha said, Bucka was going to win no matter what. If everything went well, he'd feel so much better & we'd have him for many more years. If it didn't, he'd be with the Lord & that would thrill him to no end.
When the patient relations lady came in and told us they were 'closing' none of us were quite ready as we expected a few more hours of surgery yet. The surgeon came in and told us he was very pleased with the outcome. He also said one of Bucka's veins was, "horrible...probably the worst I've seen in 5 years. It was just horrible!" One bypass was deemed unnecessary so 4 were done. There was still a chance for stroke considering Bucka's age & diabetes.
We went in to see him while he was still sleeping. I'm glad Daddy & Uncle Gick had prepared me before we went into the ICU. Bucka didn't look as bad as I expected, but it was rather overwhelming. There were 12 of us (I think) in to see him then. The nurse thought he'd be out 3-4 more hours.
I went in with Unkie Di to see him one more time before I left. His nurse said he'd opened his eyes a bit. When we talked to him, he peeked out at us & tried to smile around his breathing tube. I stayed in and talked to him while Unkie Di went to get Busha. As soon as he heard Busha's voice, his eyes shot open & he kept smiling as best he could. Then he started winking at her. He was very responsive (especially considering he doesn't wake up easily after surgery). Princess and Bubba got to the hospital after Daddy & I left. Princess said he got in trouble for squeezing Bubba's hand too hard & knocking off his O2 sensor.
Mama said they took him off the ventilator last night (something I thought would last at least until this morning). I'm going to call the ICU in a minute to see how his night was.
Thank you all for your prayers & good thoughts. Lesson #4 is that the Lord is good & has blessed me greatly (even though this isn't about me).