It feels like being in an airport. It’s not just the carpeted hallway. It’s the waves of people walking to and fro, the food court and cafeteria, and the gift shop that keeps people busy as they wait.
We, with Thing1,are on journey that’s too far and complicated to drive ourselves. The Big Guy had to work first thing this morning, so the boys and I made the two Hour drive ahead of him, leaving our still dark hill and riding over the mountains into the sun.
The ride was quiet. Thing1 was pensive. Thing2 was asleep.
We know the hospital routine now. We check in. They usher us back to what will be a recovery room for some people and a preop for us. He changes into his gown. They set the IVs. A surgeon and anesthesiologist and host of nurses come in asking overlapping and different questions about his current state. Thing2 entertains all of us with sixth grade jokes, even getting his older brother to pose for a snapshot in his surgical cap.
There’s a last joke, then a kiss and a longer hug. Then they take him to the operating room. I have been swallowing tears all day and not knowing exactly why. The surgery is routine for the doctor. It is so much less dangerous than it was 20 years ago.
Thing1 has been in the operating room for almost 3 hours now. He has another two or three hours to go. I waffle between telling myself everything’s going to be fine and simply hoping for it.
He will wake up without his colon. He will wake up cured but on another shore with new challenges. There will be learning to care a for an ostomy while he waits for the next procedure. There will be learning to live with pain, a lesson he’s been learning for most of the last two years.
I know he will be OK, but as I write this, I am swallowing hard, wondering how this leg of the journey will end.