I had never been in a recovery room before and I am not sure what I expected.

I think I expected to smell something.  But the smell never came.

I think I expected there to be more people.  But it was just us.

I followed the soft footsteps of the nurse around a corner and into a largish open room with one gurney-bed in it holding my loopy husband.

The rest of the recovery room was quiet and empty.  Apparently Sunday night was not the busiest time for surgery for this small community hospital.

As I approached, the nurse informed me that since waking up from surgery, he had been gleefully thanking all of them for a job well done.

I smiled cautiously as I approached. I knew what he was like drunk, and it sounded like drugged up was going to be similar.

I was still halfway across the room when he noticed me.

“THERE SHE IS!  THERE’S MY WIFE!” he exclaimed.  He sounded as if he had had an entire fifth of Captain Morgan.

He started telling me how great of a job the surgical team had done taking his appendix out.

“Hey, I really should buy you all a beer,” he insisted.

The nurse giggled.  “But this is Zeeland.  On a Sunday.”

“Well not right now,” he explained.  “Clearly I am in no condition to drive.”

He was still laughing at his own joke when the doctor came in and explained the procedure and recovery to me.

I was only half listening because I was keeping an eye on my husband who was clearly still high and flirting unabashedly with the nurse staff.

“Um, do you think he will be walking around by Wednesday?” I asked in a hushed voice.

But he heard me.

“What’s Wednesday?  What’s WEDNESDAY?!?” He asked with the same joy and impatience of a child who has walked in on a secret surprise conversation.

I hesitated.

I was enjoying this joy from him, however drug-induced it was.   I felt bad bringing him back to his harsh reality.

I looked down at my hands and said quietly, “your dad’s funeral is Wednesday, babe.”

The joy left his face and he got very serious.  But it was the seriousness of a child who is about to tell you something you already know.  It was cute seriousness.  It was drug-laden, funny seriousness. Even if the topic was anything but funny.

“Oh yeah,” he said, “my dad died.  did you know that?  My dad died today?” he asked the doctor.

The doctor looked at me with incredulity and puzzlement.

“Yes, it’s true.” I nodded,  “His dad passed this afternoon after struggling with lung cancer.”

“I am so, SO sorry,” the doctor said.  I could tell this wasn’t the usual routine after surgery.

There was more explanation of what would happen and discussion of bringing him up to his room.

It was also decided I would spend the night with him on a cot.

Because I did not want to leave him alone that night.  His dad had just died.

About ksluiter

Just a small town girl...wait no, that is a Journey song. Although I do live in a small town. I am a wife, a mother, a teacher, and a writer. We have joys and we have struggles. Just like you.
This entry was posted in appendix shuffle, being an adult is really not that great, cancer, he died, i can't handle death, life changes, missing a you and a me, nonfiction, out of my control. Bookmark the permalink.

10 Responses to Recovery

  1. Pingback: Tweets that mention Recovery | --

  2. A beautifully written example of “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger.”

  3. Julie says:

    Beautiful. Made me cry! I can’t imagine. Good thing you guys have each other to weather these storms.

  4. Amber says:

    Amazing post. Tears.

  5. Cortney says:

    Wonderful post…

    I remember most of that… it’s nice to know the parts that the drugs blocked out… what an awful weekend.

  6. Amy says:

    This is a beautiful post. So sorry for your loss.

  7. Nichole says:

    Such a lovely post, Katie.
    I am so sorry that you and Cort know that pain.
    It just breaks my heart.

  8. Amazing what you were able to do with such few words. Really beautiful and I too am sorry.

  9. MommyLisa says:

    That told about a lifetime of being together and just knowing. I loved it.

  10. marion says:

    I loved the way you wove the drunken glee into and the sadness together in one heartfelt post. Beautiful.

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