Well, Nana’s surgery is over, and she did really well! Her blood pressure was high when she was first admitted (nerves, you think?) but they got it down and when she came back from the recovery room, she was doing so well they wanted to send her home. Still, everyone felt better having her observed overnight, and because of Papa’s appointment with the lung specialist today, she stayed overnight.
But God, that woman is tough! I heard the nurses bringing her back from the recovery room saying she looked “bright eyed and bushy tailed”, and I thought, oh, that’s some jokey thing nurses say to you to keep your spirit up. But really! I asked her if she felt groggy, and she said no. I asked her how it felt, and she said it hurt, but I was still surprised when the nurse asked her what her pain level was on their 1-10 scaled (best pain chart LOLs of all time found here), and she said 8! I mean, on any given morning, I wake up groggy and achy but nowhere near a level 8 of pain, and I’m only able to communicate to David via a series of whimpers. But not Nana. When they took her blood pressure again and talked to her about medicine, she was able to recite the litany of what she takes and when. Later, she got up to go to the bathroom and was walking at a pretty good clip for an 87-year-old post-surgery, and surprised the nurse by getting in so fast that she slammed the door on the IV tube! So, she’s pretty much unstoppable. Like usual.
She has a bandage on the top of her leg, like on her lap, where the skin graft was taken, and a big bandage sewn on her cheek. True to form, the doctor told us during the post-surgery debriefing that she had asked if she could go shopping (and she was most likely referring to her grocery shopping on Friday!), but he told her to take it easy. “Like a vacation”. As you may have gathered, Nana does not take vacation. She spent Monday “preparing” for surgery by washing, drying, ironing, and hanging her summer set of curtains. Also, when one goes on vacation, one is usually not wearing a bandage sewn to one’s face and one is not usually restricted to a diet of soft foods & liquids (unless one restricts oneself to certain liquids, that is).
The doctor was very nice, though, and answered all of our questions. He did recommend rest & no chewing. He said the part of the tumor that was visible only the “tip of the iceberg”, but they didn’t have to go all the way through to the inside of her mouth. She may have some drooping on that corner, though. None of the lymph nodes nearby had to be taken, but everything is being sent away for testing. She’ll be getting the bandage off Monday, and has to meet with an oncologist next month to figure out her next steps. Since it’s a type that has a high rate of reoccurence, and radiation reduces that rate dramatically, that is probably next.
This morning I’m going to the hospital around 9:30 to hang out with Nana until she’s discharged & bring her home, at which point I will probably have to browbeat her into letting me do some of the housework. Papa’s the same way. I told him, “This summer, I’m turning 30; maybe I’m ready to learn how to use the mower tractor?” Negative.