Feb 22 2010

Day Before Surgery

We’re here at the hospital and well into our pre-operative routine. We arrived just after noon and have spent the time signing multiple consent forms and chugging our gallon of GoLytely (if you don’t know what it is, consider yourself fortunate). Right now Alison and I are on the same unit, just down the hall from one another, so Catherine and I dropped in to make sure she and Curt were doing well. Everyone seems to be in very good spirits and we managed to find more than a few sources of laughter and inappropriate humor.

One milestone is behind me — the departure from the kids this morning. Since I’ll be immunosuppressed, Julia and Will are not allowed to visit during the first weeks following the surgery. After about a month I’ll be able to be with the kids again, despite the lifetime immunosuppression regimen. This was something I’ve dreaded for a while, and even more since I realized that the duration of my stay in Richmond would span Julia’s 7th birthday (March 12). I idolize my kids, and the best part of every day is the time spent with them, so this will be very new territory for us. For about the last three weeks, nearly every time I return home from work Will asks, “Did you have your surgery today?” I know it’s been weighing on his mind. All things considered, the departure went better than I had feared, although I did feel the need to turn back for one extra round of hugs and kisses just in case the first round didn’t stick. We’ve already tested the Skype connection twice since arriving at the hospital, and I have to admit that I think I feel an even greater since of wonderment at the value of that technology than the kids do. I still wonder what it is in the human genetic code that seems to make it imperative to stick your tongue out when you see yourself on a live video connection.

It’s hard to believe that this day is here, and I never expected to feel as calm and comfortable as I do. We feel the strength of the prayers and support from family, friends, and even strangers. We know we’re in the right place at the right time. The magnitude of what we’re facing tomorrow and the days afterward is almost beyond comprehension, but I can look at everything around me and know that there’s a team of people here who are tasked with ensuring that Alison and I emerge safely.

I’ll obviously be out of touch for a few days, but will get back online as quickly as possible.

All is good.


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  1. Joyce & Bill Miller

    Bill, we will be thinling about you and Alison as you both go under the knife tomorrow. I will be praying for both of you and also Catherine and Curt. As I sat here and read this note my mind kept traveling back to the time I met you as a teenager in Tuscaloosa. You will always be “Little” Bill to me because that is what we used to call you to differentiate between you and your Dad. Do you remember that? I know you do. Be thankful for the video connection that will allow you to connect with Will and Julia. I can tell you, as a nurse, that will help your healing more that you can know. The best of luck to the both of you. We care about you very much. Joyce/Bill

  2. betty

    keeping everyone and all things in my heart. Can’t quote the source, but once read the prayer of a soldier: Father God – Thou will be done
    Nothing more
    Nothing less
    Nothing else
    Rest in HIM! looking forward to the good new beyond the surgery – you are blessed!
    <3 ms. betty

  3. The McCarthys

    Bill & Alison,
    Our families are connected in so many ways, First Presbyterian Weekday School, Genworth and Centra. We are blessed to know both of you. Your First Pres. Family started the day today with a prayer session in the chapel for all of you. Miz Marie, Miz Dudley and Miz Missy all said beautiful things and asked God to guide the hands and minds of your doctors. Please know that the McCarthy family are praying HARD for a successful day, a quick recovery and an amazing life for you both!!

    Scot, Deb, Ben & Erin McCarthy

  4. Susan

    Hey Bill,

    What magic wonders await as you wake! I love you, my friend. Sending you pure love energy to wrap all around you and yours!

    Skype with the kids sounds like a wonderful part-time solution untill you are strong enough to bear their love in person.

    (((((((Bill & Alison & all around them)))))))

  5. Stuart and George

    Prayers for all, Bill H, Catherine, Allison and Curt and of course hugs and kisses for Julia and Will….. I heard from your dad that at 3:45pm today, the surgery was done and they were closing… and that you and Allison were doing well…. All our love, s&g

  6. Amanda

    Wow, what a day for you/Alison and your families. I look forward to reading more of your blogs. Your words always paint such vivid pictures of what you are thinking and feeling. I will continue to pray for your healing process. And we will be sure to be sure to eat Bill’s Pastry donuts and think of you. 🙂

  7. Gudrun

    I am also praying for a successful operation and quick healing for both of you. May you feel God’s presence in your life, and God’s peace.

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