As many of you know, my mom, known as Nana here at Top of JC’s Mind, is having an aortic valve replacement procedure today. I am in the unaccustomed position of waiting at home instead of in the hospital.
My two sisters and my dad are waiting at Columbia (New York-Presbyterian), so she has plenty of support and on-site vigilance. I am holding down the fort here, getting ready to spread news to all the local folks and more far-flung family and friends after the procedure is complete.
Some people expressed surprise that I was not going down to New York City, too. As the local daughter, I have been the go-to person for all the prior medical goings-on with Nana and Paco, as well as with my mother-in-law, now deceased, my spouse, and my daughters. And I haven’t regretted a moment of it.
Still, I admit that it is less stressful to be here in my den at my computer desk typing away than being in a waiting room a couple of hundred miles from here.
It’s cutting down on the recycled waiting-anxiety.
The most difficult solo waiting room experience I ever had was the day that my dad was in for hernia surgery and my mom had a heart attack and was simultaneously having a heart catheterization and stent placement.
Being with someone doesn’t necessarily make it easier, though. I think both B and I struggle with waiting in hospitals right now because six months ago we shared a heartbreaking wait in the CICU while the staff tried unsuccessfully to revive his mom, known here as Grandma.
I am finding that being here at home, though, with the company of daughter T, is making it easier to wait and to keep realistic. The procedure the doctors are using, called TAVR, is not much different than a heart catheterization. Sitting here at home, I don’t know when the procedure will begin or how long it is anticipated to take. I do know from past experience that you always need to allow a lot of extra time beyond what they tell you, as they usually quote the actual procedure time, not the hours of preparation and recovery that need to be factored in before word gets out to the waiting family members.
It is a lot easier to sit here and think that, with a 10 AM report time, I won’t likely hear that she is done with the procedure until the middle of the afternoon.
I know that many of you have Nana in your thoughts and prayers. You are on my list of contacts when there is news.
Thank you for your support.