July 23, 2009
After the good outcome of my cataract surgery in March, Peter decided he'd like to see better too. So, he scheduled cataract surgery. During his pre-op checkup, his cardiologist determined that Peter's heartbeat was so slow that the surgery would be risky. Peter needed a pacemaker.
And that is why I had one of the worst days in recent memory on Tuesday. I dropped Peter off at the hospital at 6:00 a.m. to have a pacemaker implanted. I went to work to wait to hear from the surgeon. I told Peter to give her my cell phone number because my phone would always be with me.
His "minor" surgery was scheduled for 8:00 o'clock, and when I hadn't heard by 12:30, I called the hospital's patient information line and was told Peter had just been brought to the recovery room.
I will hear from the surgeon momentarily, I thought. But that didn't happen. At 2:00 I called again and was told that Peter had just been taken to his room. I asked why I hadn't heard from the doctor and the nurse told me she would page the doctor and ask her to call me. "Let's double-check your phone number," she said. It was not correct, and I assumed Peter had reversed the two digits that were wrong. At that moment, I was praying for Peter to survive the surgery so that I would have the chance to kill him myself for causing me this added worry.
When it was 2:45 and the doctor still had not called, I decided to drive to the hospital to see for myself. I walked into Peter's room forty-five minutes later and he looked fine. I pulled a chair up to his bed and promptly burst into tears. Exhaustion, frustration, terror, relief, joy? I'm not sure what caused me to cry, but I was inconsolable.
Finally, at 4:30, while I was sitting at his bedside, the doctor called me to report that the surgery had gone well and Peter was fine. She explained that she had left a message at what turned out to be the wrong number. By the way, it wasn't Peter's fault after all. He told me he had read my number from his cell phone address book. Therefore, the attendant who checked him in got it wrong.
So, I didn't have to kill him. Which is a good thing because our 41st anniversary is next week.
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