Friday, December 14, 2007

A Night in Newnan...

Greg (my husband) had to have some surgery last Friday. The doctor operates in Fayette and in Newnan, however as it turned out we'd have had to wait at least an extra month or so to get into Fayette for the operation. He was in tremendous pain so we chose to go to Piedmont Newnan Hospital to get it over with...

I'll say up front the surgeon and all of the people except one were absolutely wonderful. Great attitudes, very helpful, couldn't have been better.

Everything else stunk.

Really stunk.

Started nice... they called and did the pre-registration over the phone to save us time. Then, when we got there, they did it all over again. Exactly the same questions. Re-typed. No biggie, just silly redundancy, no time saver.

Then they said the operation was moved from 7:30 a.m. to noon. I thought that was great. Still the surgeon's first op of the day, but we wouldn't be getting up at some pre-dawn hour to get there. Nice.

Except... we got there at 11 like we were told. At 12:30 we were still waiting. Somewhere near one they called Greg back to get started. We said our goodbyes and then Greg's kids, my Dad and I went down to wait in the "good" waiting room. The one with the snack machines with not one healthy option. Hey, it's a hospital, nutrition isn't high on anyone's list...

A few minutes before 2 they called to let me know they were getting ready to start the operation.

My Dad and I decided to grab a bite to eat. Turned out the cafeteria was closed for renovation.

However, they had a "Magic Room" which served as the temporary cafeteria. OK, I could deal with that, just wanted something to eat...

Walked in, saw two tables with a white tablecloth cover. On it sat a couple of chafing dishes. One held beenie-weenies or something similar, one held greasy green beans, another had white rice, then there were some interesting looking rolls and tons of desserts in plastic containers.

I don't eat meat. I don't do white rice. I'd have been happy to find a salad, but no such luck. We left. Thankfully Greg's kids had opted to go out to eat and they were able to bring something back for us. But I had at least two meals to go before we left the hospital. Surely the nighttime offering would be better!

At 3 they called to say it'd be another half an hour to an hour before they finished up, all looked good.

At 4:10 they called to say all finished. The doc stopped by, said all went well, etc., etc.

At 5 I happened to see Greg wheeling by heading to his room and zipped out to follow. They couldn't get the bed into the room. Banged up against the door. Luckily my brother-in-law was there to help.

They had one room left on the floor as we were one of the last ones there. They said they had a call in to try and get him into a larger room. I was so fixed on Greg that it didn't exactly register. However, when I did have a minute to look around I realized we were in a room that was just a tad bigger than a coffin. There was room on each side for the usual contraptions and, if you were skinny, a person. There was a non-working furnace type thing hanging on the wall below the window that restricted one side.

On the other, if you opened the bathroom door you hit the bed. Or had a good chance of knocking the machines over.

I could deal with it. Wasn't even sure I wanted to try to move him since they had such difficulty getting him in the door. I mean, we were only going to be there overnight...

While the kids were still there, I zipped down to the not-so-magic room to see what I could get for dinner. Oh boy, oh boy. Fried chicken fingers. French fries. White bread. Desserts.

I passed again and called some friends.

It was winter. However, it was equator hot in the room. 75 degrees. Yep, 75. The thermostat was set on 65. I scooted it down to 60. Temperature didn't waver. We sweltered. I asked for a fan.

Five hours later, after checking on it a few times I saw someone walking down the hall with a fan. I followed it and literally snatched it from her hands. Greg was dripping, uncomfortable and miserable.

Overheard the nurses talking about staffing. They were short handed. No tech for the night. Which simply meant the nurse would have to do the stats, empty cath bags, take blood pressures, etc. A little later I heard that they were also short another person (an assistant of some sort).

Luckily, we had a fabulous night nurse who was so good it didn't matter. Her toe was broken which made it a bit difficult for her to walk around. Not once did she complain. She answered every question and was just super. She kept us supplied with ice (much needed given the sweltering heat in the room).

Ahh... but this tale is not over... in my next installment, I'll tell you about the torture chair, breakfast and the day of agony...

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