July 14, 2010 – post 1 (10 a.m.)

Lisa is in the OR right now. We got here at 7a. Everything flowed nicely with only a few bumps. We had to stop at the car to pick up her stuffed bear Rupert – that’s the bear she got from Emily. Emily’s been through brain surgery and she and her mom were a great support for all of us.

Once we had Rupert, we walked to the hospital, taking a short cut through the parking structure that a couple of dozen employees were taking. A little adventure for her to get the morning off to a good start.

Checkin at the front desk (P20) was quick, then over to M20 which is Peds surgery. We were in our room and waiting for prep nurses by probably 7:30. The first bump happened then. Lisa had to pee so went down the hall. Practically as they were walking out the door, a nurse/tech came in the from the other side asking for a urine sample. That was a bit bumpy because when Jean and Lisa returned, the girl had a bit of a “didn’t you see the sign that said not to pee” attitude. Pretty minor in the scheme of things, but a reminder that you never get 100% of everything nailed down. The hospital had great procedures, great communication and great people, but stuff still falls between the cracks sometime.

Now, here’s one (more) place Cleveland Clinic really shines: over the next half hour or so, we met both the anesthesiologist and her resident (Dr. Devin, more on that later), the nurse, and Drs. Bingaman and Oliviera came back again.

They stopped by individually and then the whole group for a ‘team huddle’. Something new they’re doing at Cleveland and which we like a lot. They compared notes, talked about “did you bring X Y Z tools”, things like that. Interesting to listen to and gave you a nice feeling that everyone is on the same page.

Lisa put her remaining questions to the anesthesiologist, got satisfactory answers. She described her rough experiences at U of M to a couple of different people and I think it was good for her to get it off her chest. Their concern for her was evident and by the time we wheeled her into the ER, she was feeling completely at ease. Of course, the drugs were kicking in, but even that was great. They were slipping versed into the IV and she was floating before she even knew it.

I was able to go into the ER with her for some of the early prep, not much more than moving her from the gurney to the table and watching her select the scent they were going to put into the oxygen mask. What a complete turnaround that was. From the U of M where they had to pin her to the table because she didn’t like the nail polish smell of the anesthetic to laying on her back deciding if she wanted to smell bubble gum, orange, or strawberry in the mask.

Dr. Bingaman had joked with her during prep about whether she wanted minimal hair cut, a mohawk or maybe a mullett. They picked up the joking during prep and Lisa was enjoying it. She complimented the anesthesiologist on her earrings. When she learned that the resident’s name was “Dr. Devin”, she had a big laugh. We explained that she’s a big fan of the TV show “Chuck”, which had a Dr. Devin, also known as “Captain Awesome”. Kind of a surfer-dude cardiac surgeon. Devin played along and said that they call him that around the hospital too.

The whole idea of them putting the mask on her wasn’t even remotely an issue for her this time. At least, that’s where we left it when they asked me to leave.

They were about to do the scope to make sure her throat wasn’t going to be a problem (from the webbing surgery back in ’05). That’s when they asked me to leave, but I told her and she just gave me a dazed look and nodded her head.

10:24 – the pager just went off with a note “Surgery started at 10:24”, so that means she got through the scope and they gave the green light.


One thought on “July 14, 2010 – post 1 (10 a.m.)

  1. Can you believe this has past you now? It is over and you are almost over that hill! You have given Lisa so much support and she will continue to need that support as she begins her recovery! Thank you for mentioning me in your story of this crazy journey. I am glad Lisa could have Rupert to give her some strength. I can’t wait to hear more updates and my Mom and I look forward to seeing you as soon as Lisa has recovered!

    I am so glad the surgery went well,


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