So. . .
Because of Geography, mostly, and also Timing, we decided to spend Wednesday night in the Glorious Metropolis of Bangor, arriving at the was-EMMC, now-Northern Lights (sigh) Cardiac Center at 6:15 am on Thursday. Steve was checked in, and we passed into the business portion of the unit, where tests were run, and questions were asked, and asked, and the specialist was introduced, and prep was prepped, until we parted company at about 8:15, he to be wheeled to that region known as “upstairs” to have the battery changed in his ICD, and I to repair to the (really very nice, bright, and comfy) waiting area.
I had in my back pocket a card issued by Interventional Services, which listed Steve’s patient number, so that I could check his progress on the “whiteboard” in the waiting room. This is something like the Arriving/Departing board at a train station: It listed Patient Number and where in the process they happened to be at any particular time (except, instead of Train 449 Leaving Track 6 On Time; it reports that Patient XXX has arrived procedure room) — which is really a very useful innovation, and a comfort for Those Who Wait.
Because they had told me that Steve would be “upstairs” for two to three hours, I repaired, as is my habit, to a Sekret Corner in the back room, where a tall table with three tall chairs sat in a window looking out over an interior hallway. There were four brass stars done in different styles hanging in the window, which I did not take a picture of.
There, I had one of the two oatmeal bars from the supplies in my go-bag, and a cup of coffee provided by the unit for my belated breakfast, and settled down to read. I didn’t have a view of the Arriving/Departing board, but figured, as my train was at the least two hours away, I would remove from my nice, isolated table at the 1.5 hour mark, and set up in a chair with a view of the screen, where the rest of Those Waiting were congregated.
Of course, Steve was done early, and the nurse couldn’t find me. She went back and reported this to Steve, still groggy from having his battery changed, and he said, “She’s in the window.”* The nurse was pretty sure that no, I wasn’t, but she gamely came back to the waiting room, and yep, there I was, just getting packed up for my move to civilization.
The report back at the recovery room was that Steve was going to be released “immediately” so, after more questions, and delays, and an egg salad sandwich brunch for Steve — about 12:30 we were on our way back to the hotel.
Repeated requests for clarification from various persons along the health chain had finally achieved a definitive answer: No, Steve did not have to stay within one hour of the hospital Thursday night. So, once at the hotel, I left him in the lobby next to the fireplace, and ran upstairs to clear the room.
We were on the road around 1:15, stopped at Burger King for fast food to take home for lunch. The cats were puzzled to see us, but willing to nap, and that’s what five of us did most of the afternoon while the sixth read a romance novel and kept watch.
Our biggest challenge at the moment is to keep the coon cats from sleeping on Steve’s chest, which they naturally want to do. They can sleep across his lap, and his ankles, and against his back, but not anywhere near the incision. Which means that coon cats were locked out of the bedroom last night. I believe they spent this morning writing up the complaint to the Northeast Ward’s Committee Cat.
There are restrictions on various things — minor restrictions, in comparison to other restrictions that have been imposed; and orders to rest. In a couple minutes, I’ll be going out to run a few errands, leaving Steve in the capable paws of the cats. Then, I’ve got a lot of paperwork to catch up, and phone calls to make — though, seriously, phone calls may just wait til Monday, Because.
The weekend looks to be quiet-ish around the Cat Farm. I hope to get some more work done on the titleless story, and to start migrating files from Victor F to Moose.
Hope everybody has an enjoyable weekend.
*This is not quite as magical as it seemed to the nurse. After Steve had been checked in, and before he had been called to the back, we sat together at the table in the window.