Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Helpless

I did a search for an image to represent the feeling of helplessness, and one of the choices was the Greek flag. How appropriate. Those who live in Greece, and probably a few of their expats as well, are having their lives turned upside-down by economic tyrants in the EU and US who are well beyond the individual Greek's control. They must await the outcome, then adapt as best they can.

We (me, family, family of choice, friends) are in a similar state of helpless limbo this morning as Donna-Lane undergoes the first of what might be three surgeries. I am writing this because the alternative is lying on the bed, staring at the ceiling, wondering what the surgeons are doing right now and what they are finding.

This first surgery is to remove her gallbladder, which has troubled her for years (though they thought until recently the problem was with her esophagus). They're doing it via laproscopy - small incisions and a tiny inserted camera to guide them. Depending on the biopsy, they may need to do a more conventional surgery - bigger incisions, longer recovery time in the hospital. The future second (or third) surgery would be a mastectomy to remove a recurrence of breast cancer.

Fortunately, D-L is under general anesthesia. But she'll have plenty of pain when she awakens.

My prognosis is she'll be better than ever when she recovers. I say this not out of blind optimism but knowing she is a fighter who makes the best of any situation.

We met with the anesthesiologist and surgeon yesterday. Both could be our children - perhaps in their 30s, certainly not more than early 40s. No doubt they have received excellent training, and they have ample experience. Certainly they seemed to know what they were talking about.

Both spoke to Donna-Lane in French, and she seemed to grasp what they were telling her, albeit with some explanation of technical medical terms. I picked up enough words and body language that I could understand the plan with only a brief summary in Anglais from D-L.

We're waiting for the phone call from the hospital that tells us she's out of surgery and in the recovery room and when we can see her. She'll be woozy for awhile, perhaps the rest of the day. At some point we'll learn from the doctors what they discovered and what comes next.

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