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 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.