Wednesday, June 3, 2009


So anyone who follows my blog knows that scheduling is a big part of my plate-spinning. Joy's got 24 hours of House Blend intensive autism therapy a week, plus three therapists from the school district who each see her twice a week; I've got work, bells, church, volunteer; Rose has school, piano, etc.

Usually it all clicks together somehow.

And then we schedule a JoyDad foot surgery into the mix.

The originally-scheduled surgery time was for noon yesterday (Tuesday), and we were to get out at 3pm if all went well. Tuesday's not a paid-work day for me, so we had to find Joy-care. Fortunately Lynda stepped up to the plate, offered to take Joy for an extra day. Whew, problem solved -- so all I had to do was figure out which therapists to cancel (because the House Blend therapists can't go to Lynda's anymore).

Then on Monday JoyDad got a call from the scheduler. "Sir, your surgery has been re-scheduled to 3pm on Tuesday. We'd now like you to arrive at 1:30 instead of 10am. No, you still can't eat anything after midnight, sorry sir."

Total fruit-basket upset.

First off, Joy couldn't stay with Lynda anymore, because things were likely to go past the end of the workday and we couldn't impose that on Lynda. Even if she'd've been willing to be imposed on, she had Tuesday evening commitments anyway. So now we had to find childcare willing to come to our home, and stay open-ended into the evening. Oh, and we'd likely miss Rose's piano class party & recital at 6:30.

This sent me into a pretty wild emotional tail-spin, I'm afraid. While it was only a couple of hours in between the time I blasted an e-mail to the church listserv and the time I got an affirmative answer, I spent that time mentally running around in a little hamster wheel, not having a very soothing prayer experience either.

I should have trusted, though. That first blessed "yes, I can take at least the first part of the afternoon" was enough to set the rest in motion. When I got home from work (where I'd had no phone numbers to be in touch with the people I needed), I was able to call all the therapists I'd cancelled, and all three of them were still able to make their sessions. Plus call the friend who was to bring Rose home from school, who then proved willing to be the sitter for the second shift. Plus figure out who was going to help pick up Joy from daycare while JoyDad was on crutches...

On Tuesday everyone showed up as planned. Joy was having a really good day, despite waking up at 3am. JoyDad, alas, also woke at 3am and had lots of time to overthink things plus get a mighty hunger on by the time he'd missed breakfast and lunch both. The sitter had arrived just before 1pm and we were getting set to go out the door when the phone rang.

"Can you come in for the surgery RIGHT NOW? We're running ahead of schedule and are ready for you as soon as you can possibly make it."

Zoom, out the door we went. The surgery-clinic experience was an efficient whirlwind. JoyDad was under sedation and a knee-down nerve-block (NOT general anesthesia, so better than we'd hoped) and under the knife within an hour after we'd left the house! The surgery went smoothly, so did recovery from the sedation. Another thing that went better than we'd been told -- originally they said no weight-bearing till the follow-up appointment. But instead, they put a velcro-ed foot-boot over his dressing and ankle-wrap, and told him he could use the foot for balance with his crutches as long as there's not too much pain.

We were home by 4:30.

The sitter said that Joy had done well, but napped hard and woke cranky, looking for "ma-ma-ma." (Yes, in those very words she was looking for me. Whoa. Now we just need her to say it TO me again!)

I got to take Rose to her party & recital after all. She did great.

JoyDad's still learning to use the crutches, and what it means to have both hands full of crutches to move around. (Can't carry an open cup of coffee, for example.) He'll be home today, on pain meds. I've got to run now and make my own lunch, plus a sandwich for him, usually a part of the routine that he does. I'll have a lot of extra responsibilities here, which will remind me how much we share the housework load!

But it does seem as if things went well. We'll know more about how successful the surgery was as time goes on.

Schedule. Augggh, look at the time!!!!


Anonymous said...

i need a nap. just reading all this tucvkered me out!

all the best!

Anonymous said...

But can he still play the guitar?

Another characteristic of medical care is disregard for the schedule of the patient. Sigh. I don't see much hope for change of that.

You coped admirably, JM. The prior call for good thoughts from the blog community helped, I believe.

Wish I could come up with an adaptation for a crutch-walker to carry his own coffee. A closed thermos on a neck-chain just doesn't sound that appealing. JD, be sure not to rest your (pits) on the crutches.

TTWB or PWB on the foot IS good news! Non-weight-bearing is so much more difficult.

I'm smiling, too, for the girls having a good day while parents do just what they do - cope. BRatK

Niksmom said...

Yikes! Been a bit AWOL lately so I'm catching up. So glad the surgery went well and that you got the support you needed to make the whole day a success. THAT'S impressive!

Sending hugs and good thoughts.

JoyDad said...

Thanks for the well wishes, everyone. Something sure made yesterday go WAY smoother than it had any right to go, so I am thankful for all of the thoughts, prayers, good vibes, etc. that were sent my way.

I compromised this morning by getting my initial dose of caffeine via Diet Pepsi, since I could put the unopened can in my pocket while I negotiated the stairs down to my usual early morning spot at the computer. JoyMama got me a cup of coffee later while I was sitting at the table eating cereal (which she also helped me get...).

I am truly blessed to have JoyMama as a life partner. She handled the scheduling monkey wrench in her usual efficient manner, and has continued to help me get through this in more ways than I can count. I am one lucky dude...

Anonymous said...

What a crazy day! Thank God for friends who can help in a pinch. Best wishes to JoyDad!

AuntieS said...

I wish we lived closer so I could help out JoyMama!! And I am glad that JoyDad is recovering nicely. I think we should invent a coffee cup carrier for crutches...we could make millions...we could be a very rich family!! JoyDad, you could work on this now while you have the "spare time" at home!!! LOL! Your nephew, MWJ,could make the promotional video since he is the film major. Your other nephew, PJ, could write the music and the promotional jingle, and perform the music for the video. If you had been able to stay at the Bar Mitzvah long enough, you would have seen KJ's acting skills in the video montage and know that he could perform in the video also. MLJ is a great organizer and she also can write the script. Hey, I think we've got it all covered!! Rose could even perform her amazing hula hoop act...maybe a coffee cup holder could work for hula hoops too!!! So, don't worry JoyMama, you can drop this spinning plate...we'll get this going and support both of our families!!! (Okay, so who's on the painkilling drugs???? LOL!)
Feel better and better, JoyDad. Hang in there, JoyMama. Keep being sweet and cute, Rose and Joy!

pixiemama said...

Committing the schedule in writing makes it all the more chaotic, no? Glad JoyDad did well and is still managing to get his caffeine in at regular intervals.

Love the ma-ma-ma.


mama edge said...

JoyDad, you make my heart sing. So glad JoyMama's life partner realizes how lucky he is. Take it easy now so you can start running after your girls (all three of them).

Elizabeth Channel said...

OH my! You are making my 7:30 am tutor followed by 9:00 psych, followed by 10:30 swimming lessons seem like child's play.

I'll quite my complaining now : )