Friday, March 23, 2012

A Room for Six

We got to Vanderbilt at about 3:00 and had to enter through the Adult Emergency Room. Dave hefted the kids and took them in while I went to park. Once the security guard finally went through all of my bags and sent me through the metal detector a few times, I was pretty sure the whole surgery had already started and ended. But it hadn't. When I finally found the room Jay told me that the surgery was scheduled for noon. Huh. That was a long time to wait.

My backup plan for the kids was that they would be sooo exhausted that they would find a comfortable place to rest and sleep for awhile. That idea was more misguided than the first. They did lay quietly on the extra bed for a little while, but then awesome things happened like nurses coming in to start IVs, and who can sleep through that? I counted the minutes until 5:00am when I felt like I could safely call my mother and have her come get them.

"I'm down the street. Can you come get my kids?"

In hindsight, no one should have to translate, "I'm down the street," into "Jay's at Vanderbilt for his liver transplant," but we finally communicated with each other. And before they left with her, Jay had the talk with them. He told them that he loved them and that he was proud of them, and that he was proud of the community of which they were apart. And then Clare came unhinged. Of course it was more exhaustion that anything else, but her poor tender heart did NOT want to leave her Vati. But then she saw Gran and all was right with the world. They left at about 5:45.

The surgeon came in around 7:00, reviewed with us again the CDC's "high risk" categorization of the donor liver, and assured us when asked that he would recommend his own family to take the liver if he was in a similar position. Then he left. To go procure the liver. That dude had a long day.

At 11:00 Helen from transport came to do some manscaping and then to take him down to pre-op. By that time my friend Jason, my dad, and David Hollis had all arrived. David is the other Associate Pastor at FUMC and had been given strict instructions NOT to drive all the way to Nashville. But there he was, with my computer that I had left at work. And off to pre-op we went.

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