What a day… and Joel update

The real unedited version of today…

It seems to always play out like this… my house has a few early risers I am not counted among them.  I am a terrible sleeper I toss and turn and finally fall asleep in the wee hours of the morning so when Samuel wakes up early or Hannah comes in to tell me she sees the sun coming up, I usually greet them with a groan.

Yet whenever I have to be up and out the door in good time the house is silent.  I rolled over and looked at the clock ten after seven.  Oh dear, my feet hit the ground and I was on the move.  I needed to nurse Samuel get him, Joel and myself dressed and out the door by seven-thirty.

Well… I think I was pulling out of the driveway at about twenty to.  Of course, I had not made breakfast so we stopped at Timmies on the way.  Suffice to say Joel was not the least bit disappointed.  It was now almost eight o’clock, and so as to not incriminate myself I’ll just say that it is possible that my foot was a little heavy on the way to the hospital, by no means do I condone such behaviour but…

Without any further events we parked the van and headed in.  Not sure how it was possible but we ended up being a little early for our appointment.  We sat down and waited and waited and waited and waited… we watched child after child come in and be seen before us.  Finally Joel looked at me and said, “Do you think they know we are here?”

At last they called Joel’s name and we went in.  The Intern looks at us and says, “Sorry for the wait, I told them hurry up and find that chart I am not going to skip over them again.”  So Joel’s chart was missing so we sat there waiting and waiting while several children were seen before us.  Now maybe it is just me but if I had made a child wait that long I would have moved him to the front of the line once his chart was discovered but no we were stuck in the new order that had been established.  So we were then to see the nurse and finally the eye doctor/surgeon.

As we are sitting in the waiting room again waiting and waiting as all these kids are seen before us I am watching the clock as Joel had another appointment for the pre-op rig-a-ma-roll.  When the nurse finally calls Joel’s name, with a slight bit of frustration in my voice I ask, “Could you please call C3 and explain why we are not there.”   “Oh umm sure.” is her reply.

Joel kicks off his shoes and hops up on the exam table.  I have neglected to mention that while all this has been going on I have been trying to amuse a one year old whose patience have long expired despite my best tricks of the trade.  The nurse comes back and says, “Well doctor O’Conner is going to be awhile yet maybe you should just go to pre-op now?”  \awq2The edge on my voice is a bit more pronounced ( I try to keep my frustration to myself after all it wasn’t the nurse that lost his chart.)  “All right” I say.  Then she looks at me and says, “Is something wrong?”

Maybe I should have just smiled and said, “No everything is just peachy.”  But… that would not have been honest either.  Guessing that I looked as frazzled as I was feeling I try to buckle my wiggly Samuel back into the stroller, get Joel’s shoes back on, and say something about being frustrated that Joel’s chart was lost and we had to wait so long and are now late for our next appointment and then still have to come back and finish this appointment.  I really don’t know why she asked the question as she really didn’t respond.  I didn’t raise my voice or say anything nasty, I just answered her question, yet I still feel that I didn’t put my best foot forward.

We get to c3 and they take us right away, first we see the nurse.  I guess I feel like what is the point of having us go to pre-op, I feel like we should have a get out of jail free card once you have been through cancer treatment but no you still have to go.  The nurse runs through all the routine questions.  Then she calls Joel over and says to me I need to do a blood pressure and a temp.  At that Joel sticks out his arm as if on command.  The nurse than launches into this is going to give your arm a big hug.  To which I reply (cringe) “Been there done that.”  I know not one of my finer moments but when the kids file stacks higher than a foot and he has had 50 sedations he knows the deal.  I ask if she has a time for Joel’s surgery yet, “Oh you could get a call as late as 24 hours before his surgery.”  “On a Sunday?”  She gives me a funny look, “It could happen.”

We are finally brought in to see the anaesthetist and I have finally regained my composure Samuel on the other hand has had it, and Joel has decided it would be more fun to be a monkey than Joel and is climbing on and off the exam table while making monkey noises.

She is busy looking at Joel’s file and asking questions she looks up from the papers and makes eye contact and says, “I know your face.”  “Yes,” I smile, “Joel was sedated for all of his radiation so we got to know the whole team.”  ‘Yes that’s right!” she says.  She asks a few more questions and I explain that Joel has his own requests for how he is sedated.  He likes to go to sleep while watching a movie, no pokes before the gas always the mask first.  That is what Joel calls a sneaky poke, because you wake up and the IV is in. Also, that he wakes up best with a bit of propofol.  She assures me that Joel’s requests will be honoured.  She says to me, ‘I know a year or two ago this was very difficult but look how far he has come.  I nod in agreement.  Then with her pen in her hand still she waves it around my hair and says, “I see, I see the signs of your stress with all your grey hair, I see.”

Wow umm I am not sure how to respond to that, she is a good 15 years my senior and is sporting a rather unnatural shade of red hair and there was a small part of me that wanted to say something about how I could see her job of covering her own, but I didn’t.  Even though it came out sounding a bit like a slam I honestly think she was trying to show some compassion towards all we have faced in the last few years.  She did succeed in renewing my internal debate with myself with whether or not I should get some highlights or something.

Joel and I head back to the eye doctor where we wait some more and finally spend less than 5 minutes with him where he goes over the run down of the surgery.

Highlight of the day… on our way out we ran into another Cancer Mommy, Sarada and her sweetie Luke.  Funny, Joel met Luke for the first time today and on the way home he says, “I think him be a best friend.”

Just after supper tonight CHEO called with Joel’s surgery time.  1:15 Yuck!  That is a long time for a kiddo to fast, it isn’t anything that he hasn’t already done but it still isn’t fun.  We all know that 9 times out of 10 they are running behind too!  Looking forward to this time next week, Joel’s surgery will be behind us and he will be starting to feel more like himself.

So in a nutshell not the best day ever, less than impressed with myself, it isn’t that I want to walk around with a fake smile on my face pretending that life is perfect, but I do want to walk around with  genuine smile because there is much to smile about.  I want to exercise patience when things aren’t going my way.  I am thankful that tomorrow is a new day.  As Anne Shirley says, “Isn’t it nice to think that tomorrow is a new day with no mistakes in it yet?”  Interestingly, she also says, “It’s been my experience that you can nearly always enjoy things if you make up your mind firmly that you will.”  Perhaps I should take that bit of advice with me on Monday when we head off to the hospital!

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