Scott and I were discussing my friend and her emotions leading up to the surgery. He reminded me that she is not the only individual who is living through a tumultuous wave of anxiety and fear. Her partner is also scared. After all, they are both about to be thrown into a world which is new and full of unknowns- the world of living with limb loss.
Scott asked to write this post for my blog to shed a light on the feelings that the significant other may feel as a couple readies for an impending amputation. He wanted to provide a different perspective on the surgery.
I remember the last few days before Peggy had her amputation. I did my best to act like it was not happening and drive her mind in other directions. It went well for a while, but as the time approached, it felt like I was in a place without walls, where no one could help, and where no one could touch us to save us.
Before I go on, I want to say, this is not about me. To this day, I am not sure I could do what Peggy has endured including her many surgeries before the amputation and her struggles after the procedure.
A few days before the scheduled surgery, I received a phone call from UMH (Union Memorial Hospital) about Peggy's impending surgery. This was about 3 days prior.....and I was brought to tears.... So much so, that the nurse/attendant ( I am not sure to this day) could sense my discomfort, ok, distress. it was easy to tell since I could not stop crying on the phone with her. I am not sure where Peggy was, probably she was out of the house somewhere. This was the call that made everything final to me. This was really going to happen. I was scared and felt helpless.
I will not lie. The last day and hours of the night prior to going to the hospital were difficult. The drive to the hospital was excruciating for the both of us. We could not stop crying in the traffic of the suburbs of Washington DC and then eventually the drive up I-95 to Baltimore. That is all I want to say about that.
As we entered the area for check-in at Baltimore Memorial, we both could not talk. I only remember the very nice lady saying that she knew why Peggy was there and took her off for the obligatory paperwork. Peggy was crying so hard the lady couldn't understand her words. I wasn't able to translate. Thank goodness her Mom was there.
I am not sure where my mind was and that is not important. We both knew that what was going to happen. We just could not say it.
Down to to waiting area.
Pre-surgery was no picnic. There was always to time to call everything off.
Then calling her back for pre-op.
Then visiting her in pre-op.
Then waiting in the pre-op.
Then the nurses...soon followed by the Anesthesiologist.
This is real. This is happening.
Soon she was on the stretcher, ready to leave. Leave with two feet, coming back with one.
Soon Dr. Schon, her surgeon, checks on us to who make sure everything is ok. Then he writes "yes" and "no" on her legs...... she was shaking. I was shaking.
Peggy's only request is to not see the instruments of her surgery. Dr. Schon, of course, complies.
A few minutes pass and it is time to say goodbye. And off she went......Her--and my--life would never be the same again.
But this in not about me nor should it be. After waiting a few hours, the finality of the situation was realized.
I saw the x-ray. of her now amputated.leg. It happened. It was a reality. If anyone wants to know more...please let me know. I have been in your shoes.