Morning of November 12, 2018. An early Monday morning. We woke up around 3:30 AM so we could get ready and make it to RWJ by 5 AM. Not exactly the ride we want to be taking so early in the morning considering the circumstances.
We get to RWJ and after a few tries we finally figure out where we need to go. We walk into the surgery waiting area. Shockingly to me, the room is packed. there are about 25-30 chairs along the line of the perimeter of the room. He fills out the proper paperwork and then we take a seat. Im sitting there quiet..anxious. I look all around the room. People of all kinds.
Teachers, young athletes, elderly, children. There is a man to my right. Maybe mid 40s. I can see he is grading elementary school work. He is with an older woman. Is that his mom? I wonder what’s wrong. I see a female college athlete across the room. She is huddled in her own little area. She looks a bit angry and distressed. She hides in her sweatpants and under the hood of her hoodie with her hair thrown in a messy bun. She keeps shifting in her seat in between looks from the phone back to the laptop.
I see a man and his wife. There was one chair. I believe from what I gathered he was the one who was going to be going into surgery and she was the one sitting in the chair. What a gentleman. He’s the one about to get surgery yet he still stands so she has the comfort to sit. How sweet, I thought to myself.
Another family. A son and what I assume to be his father or grandfather. They come in after all of us. Rob gets up to hand in some type of paperwork and they sit down right next to me. Im not gunna lie it made me angry. Very trivial and super unnecessary. Obviously this morning was getting to me.
I look at these people and I wonder who is getting operated on that day and what for. Is it all to remove tumors? Is it to fix body parts? I guess we will never know. All I know is that Rob is here to get a brain tumor out. Even typing it out now it’s still like wow.. he is only 85 days post op brain surgery. Only 85 days. That’s just barely 3 months. Half of that time was spent in a rehab or in and out of the hospital trying to be stabilized from seizures. I still need to understand he hasn’t had much time to process what happened to him and how to go about making decisions on how to deal with those life changes.
This is quite a learning experience for all of us. Anyway. Back to the morning of surgery. We have to wait about 45 minutes to 1 hour. Not horrible. But still anxiety ridden mess all the same. They finally call his name and they bring him back to the prep area. About 11 different stalls with hospital beds in them with baby blue curtains to separate. All the necessary equipment available. I look at a coat rack. All the doctors and surgeons white coats are hanging on it. They are all dressed up in their blue surgical scrubs and face masks.
They think nothing of it they do this sort of thing everyday. The one doctor is standing there right in front of me on his iPhone texting.
(Like, “yeah babe, I just got out of one craniotomy for 5 hours..im just about to do another NBD. ill text you when im done gluing his head back together..” Thats how I imagine that conversation went..)
PS what is wrong with me. HaHa.
He is really about to undergo brain surgery. YIKES. Im trying to keep from puking my brains out.
One of the doctors starts putting in his IV port. She misses terribly and his left arm is bleeding pretty nicely. Oh boy. I’m really not a fan at the site of blood especially a loved ones. Remember what I said about being an empath. That stuff makes me light headed. The doctor finished up her duties and tells me they will be taking him in shortly. Alright. This is it.
“What type of operation are you guys going to be performing? I don’t really know how this works..”
“We’re going to be doing a craniotomy. We remove a piece of his skull, perform the surgery and glue it back.”
OHHHHH OK. NO BIG DEAL. JUST TAKE A PIECE OF HIS SKULL OUT. (YACK)
At this point it had to be at least. 7:30-8:00. They come in to take him away.
“Ok I love you. Do good. Good luck. I will be here when you get out. It will be ok. I love you so much ok. I’ll see you when you wake up.”
I wave bye to him as they take him through the OR doors.
My love. 🙁
They direct me to go to the operating waiting room. There are couches all along the perimeter of the walls. There are half-walls where there is glass on top so you can see out of the area you are in. The one wall is made of all glass by the elevators. There’s high round tables, the kind you see in a cafe, with seats. A phone charging station directly in front of you when you enter the area.
I scan the area quick and decide to go to my right. Im on the couch opposite from the wall of glass and the elevators are to the left on the other side. There is a fishtank to my front right-ish. I sit down and put all my belongings around me and save some seats for his parents. They are on their way. Thank goodness. I don’t have to sit here by myself with my awful thoughts.
At that point I was already 2 weeks into my first trimester. I felt sick to my stomach the first hour he was in surgery. I felt like I just wanted to roll over in bed and hurl everywhere. Between the morning sickness and nervousness I’m surprised I kept it all down and together. I took a couple trips to the fishtanks and was watching them swim and just be fish. I was convinced I made a friend but then I realized the glass was very one way hahaha. It’s so good they put a fish tank in there to help calm the nerves and such. It makes a very chaotic situation a bit more serene. My stomach is actually tensing up typing about this.
around 8:45-9:00ish his parents get there. His mom Robin offers to buy me some breakfast. Thank goodness. We take a walk over to Starbucks, place and receive our order and head back to the waiting area.
Robin and Blair being there help me relax so much more. I felt a lot less uneasy and anxious. They definitely lightened my mood.
The hours went by pretty slow..
I kept getting up to look at the screen with his assigned number
still in surgery..
still in surgery..
I give up on hours three and four. Im too tired I just give up.
Hour 5..Dr. Hanft comes out..he is Rob’s neurosurgeon..