Wednesday, April 19, 2017

In Good Times And in Bad, For Better Or For Worse: First Comes a Honey-Do Project, and Then Comes Surgery

Salutations from the waiting room of the Cardiothoracic Surgery Center!  I've been here since 5 AM.  They wheeled Bernie into the operating room and relegated me to this waiting room at 6:45, began his open heart mitral valve repair and maze ablation surgery at 8 AM, and although all of the updates have been that things are "going well" in there, I have no details and they were not finished yet as of 1:30 PM. 

5 AM Today, Before Changing into the Gown
So of course we had to take a Pre-Op Snuggling Selfie before he got into his hospital nightie.  If that's not a Thing, it should be.

And I share that with you because in a moment you are going to be appalled and thinking I am a TERRIBLE, HORRIBLE, NO-GOOD, VERY BAD WIFE when I tell you what I had my heart patient husband doing all day yesterday, the day before his heart surgery.  Let the evidence show that my husband still loves me, he knew exactly what he was getting himself into when he married me, and he picked me anyway.

Yesterday Morning, Loaded With Goodies
Yesterday morning we rented a big commercial van and drove in it together for two hours, until we got to Hendersonville.  After about an hour of shopping for goodies and loading the van, we drove home another two hours, unloaded the van, and returned it to the Enterprise rental place.  Then I ordered the heart patient to rest while I took Anders to his violin lesson, and after dinner, Bernie started the assembly:

Lulu Supervises as Bernie Adjusts the Table Height
Why, oh why would I choose to do this yesterday of all days, the day before his surgery?  Because I know this man and I know what he needs.  As the '80s pop song goes, "I know what boys like, I know what boys want..."

This man of mine has been SO worried and anxious ever since we got back from Florida.  Sitting around staring into space, googling gory images of his surgery on the Internet, worrying about the anesthesia, worrying about the breathing tube and the IVs and everything that could go wrong, giving me morbid instructions about his passwords and "final wishes" and the name of the HR contact at his company "in case anything happens."  This was NOT good for my husband.

But what IS good for my husband is any project involving tools, ingenuity, and focusing his brain power on figuring out how to get heavy stuff in and out of the van and up the stairs with as little exertion as possible, digging through boxes to look for parts, and concentrating his attention on putting something together that he's never done before instead of obsessing about his surgery.  Lars and I both helped him and made sure he wasn't overdoing it (I even resorted to standing on the bottom shelf of a heavy MDF bookcase to prevent him from moving it for me).

Thoroughly Modern Millie Comes Home to Roost!
And look what he accomplished!  This is before he put the rails on, when he was totally flummoxed and trying to figure out whether he was missing some kind of rubber bumper to keep the machine head from flying straight off the back of the machine.  He had to resort to looking at the manual as well as the installation instructions to figure out that the rails themselves keep the machine head from sliding off the tracks.

Isn't it cute how my 6'8" Sasquatch of a husband looks NORMAL sized next to this ginormous long arm quilting machine?  As Bernie likes to say (especially to short people), "BIGGER IS BETTER!"

He got it all set up for me last night, rails and all, perfectly level and with the legs extended 8", the height feels just perfect for me, MUCH better than any of the demo machines I've tried at quilt shows, dealer showrooms or at that hands-on Gammill workshop I took a couple of years ago.  This is a hand-guided APQS 26" throat Millenium machine on a 12' Blissed frame with auto fabric advance, a 4-year-old demo machine purchased from an APQS dealer who wanted to get one of the new 30" Millies in her showroom in this one's place, and I got a fantastic deal on it but needed to commit to the purchase before someone else snapped up the machine.

I've been looking for awhile, and it wasn't easy to find the exact make and model used machine I wanted on the exact frame size I wanted, with all of the features I wanted, for sale anywhere remotely reasonably near to me.  Best of all, my dealer, Sheridan Kay, is just the most wonderfully kind, knowledgeable and all-around fabulous person to do business with.  I am so glad to have her as a resource!

We had to pick up the machine before surgery, because Bernie won't be able to lift anything heavier than a gallon of milk for the next 6 weeks.  I'm clearing my schedule as much as possible so I can be home with him and drive him wherever he needs to go once they release him from the hospital.  And now I have a new toy to play with while I'm home tending my sickie... 

I'll tell you more about my Millie and why I picked this particular machine once I get home.  I've been in the hospital since 5 AM this morning, and it's now 2:30.

Bernie's surgery took 6 hours from start to finish and he went to the recovery room at about 2 PM.  They tell me all went well but I'm still waiting for the doctor to come out and give me his briefing.  The patient is still asleep and I haven't seen him yet.


A great big, heartfelt thank you to all of you who have been covering us in your prayers.  They are working!

Have a wonderful Wednesday!

11 comments:

Katie said...

Wow and wow. All the best to you both. :-)

Paula said...

OMG...a long arm!! I would love to see how it works sometime! When Bernie's better, of course!!! Prayers contine, now let the healing begin.

Chris said...

So glad to read this! And I thoroughly understand about keeping him busy--I have one like that too. Your plan was brilliant! Continued prayers. . .

Karen - Quilts...etc. said...

I know if I needed surgery I would need something to occupy me the day before also. So nice that he got it all set up for you and he is big! The machine too :) So glad he is now out of surgery I'm sure that felt like they were never going to finish. I hope recovery goes quickly!

Ariane said...

My husband would be the same and would need a project to keep him busy. You did good. Take care of each other, and wishing you both all the best.

Jill said...

Excellent news about the surgery. Thanks for the update on a long, emotional and tiring day.

Jenny K. Lyon said...

You're a hoot! I am happy for you about your new machine! Many prayers follow you all. Blessings. Jehovah Rapha be with Bernie.

Janice Holton said...

I'm glad to hear things went so well! Prayers for continued speedy recovery. So fun that you have a new toy to play with and exactly what you wanted to! I am looking forward to hearing about your thought process on this new addition.

barbara woods said...

praying for great results

O'Quilts said...

wonderful post..good for you and good for your man....hope it all continues to the good side.

Kate @ Smiles From Kate said...

You of all people know your husband and what he needs, probably even more than he does. Thinking of you and sending healing thoughts.

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