On the morning of my loved one’s surgery, it seemed like anything that could go wrong did! We were originally told to report at 9:00 a.m., then 9:15 a.m. Driving from an hour away, you have to anticipate traffic delays, which we did. However, another family member traveling with us had bathroom issues that delayed us further. Instead of hitting the interstate, we had to go the opposite way to find a bathroom. Ugh! We made it just in time but had to call the manager of Pre-Op/Recovery at the hospital to let them know we would not be arriving until 9:30 a.m. With the surgery slated for 11:15 a.m., we were still good on the time.
Once at the hospital, we encountered one administrative staff after another policing us on the Covid restrictions in place. I spent a solid week trying to get the Covid exemption so two members of the family could be present due to the wife of the patient having somewhat of a disability requiring my assistance in order to be present. I sent an email to a man who helped us previously with another situation, and he circulated the email to the Vice President. My email ended up making its way to the manager of Pre-Op and Recovery, to the doctor performing the surgery as well as to the charge nurse on the surgical floor. The vice president agreed to allow a Covid exemption. All medical staff were aware. It was the administrative staff at the entrance of the hospital, information desk, and at the desk in Pre-Op/Recovery giving us trouble. It was a fight when it did not need to be! I had to give names of the staff who knew of the Covid exemption to get past the bulldogs. Obviously, these people were left out of the loop on pertinent information pertaining to our unique case. I tried to remain imperturbable through it all, but after the fourth person agrued with me over this, I admit my patience were wearing thin at that point. It was almost as if these people took a class on being argumentative. They must have all been straight A students for sure, if that was the case.
Waiting in the surgical lobby is stressful enough without all of this going on! You wait to hear how the person is doing before, during and after surgery. The medical team did a great job keeping us updated, which helped calm our nerves somewhat.
After learning he was out of surgery but having trouble waking up in recovery, I fought yet again with another of the administrative staff. He was to be transferred to the sixth floor, and we were being directed to the floor not knowing if we would be allowed to stay with him in his room or not. We were lectured about the Covid protocols and restrictions, even though we explained the vice president allowed an exemption for us so two people could be present under the unique circumstances. It was truly tiring to fight this hard over something that was taken care of at a much higher level.
Once up on the sixth floor, though, we did not encounter any problems whatsoever from the nurses, the techs, etc. All of the medical team were wonderful, and it reassured us that our loved one was in good hands. They not once told us we couldn’t be there, didn’t lecture us and didn’t try to eject us from his room. We were greeted with warmth and kindness. He had to be in the hospital for two nights, and they made us feel as welcome as possible while we were his “guest” in the hospital. This was certainly appreciated so I could focus more on caring for them between nurses making their rounds instead of arguing why I needed to be there in the first place.
One cannot rest in a hospital setting, so the first night it seemed the hands on the clock were barely moving at all. I recall at 8 p.m. looking at the clock as he exclaimed in his medicated state, “It’s ONLY 8 p.m.?! It’s going to be a LONG night!” And it was …
By the second night, we were so wore out we all but passed out from exhaustion. Stronger pain medicine was given to the patient, which allowed a good night’s sleep. Their snoring was music to our ears, as we were so thankful their surgery was a success and they were still with us!