Our official 30th Anniversary photo

Sometimes we write articles and leave them as a draft until they “cool” and we see how we like them later. I thought I’d take a gander through the file and see what I could share with you now.  This was in the “cooler” since August, but updated to apply to today…

Well, that wasn’t fun, not one bit.

Memorable, but not fun.

We spent our 30th Anniversary in the hospital while I was trying to sit up straight, stand up and just trying to walk without getting dizzy.

Nope it wasn’t caused by some crazy party the night before, nor had I been staring at the eclipse the day before.

I was simply recovering from my 2 hour surgery that turned into a 6.5 hour surgery. It wasn’t as easy as they thought it would be, but we should be good to go for a few more years.

While we were in Texas, helping Dean’s aunt last spring, I knew something was wrong, and knew I needed to get home. We arrived home on a Sunday, and the following Friday, I was in the ER.

We discovered that the pain which had been causing me to double over for so many years, and was getting worse, the doctors said it had something to do with a picnic, something about watermelon and a softball. Seriously, I was just happy that the word cancer didn’t pop up in conversation.

I’ve officially hit old when I’ve been in the hospital twice in one year, and planned for another round to finish out the year.

I found that all the O.R. staff was probably in their 30’s, but a fun bunch of kids. I had surgery the day of the eclipse, but the staff sent me out to my own eclipse laughing. I quipped in recovery something about it being a loooong eclipse… I find I always wake up better after surgery if I go out laughing.

I discovered on my waking that I had been reclined with my head down and feet raised, as I said for 6.5 hours…which is NOT good for returning to the upright position.

That was the absolute worst part of the whole thing.  Yes, worse than the 6 incisions.

This was my first time as a patient to the U of Iowa, if I never see it again, that would be fine.

If you are like my family, each hospital is remembered for the reason you visited there or something that happened there.

We have a hospital or two in Waterloo that were our ‘baby’ hospitals.

One in Cedar Rapids is where we go it seems like when we are losing someone.

Smaller hospitals we’ve visited for the occasional stitches in the ankle or lip or minor surgeries.

Iowa City always makes us giggle.

Let me explain.

See, many, many years ago, my sister had to take a trip there to have her gall bladder out. For some reason, and it seems like it was due to construction, they gave her a room in the cancer ward because everything else was full.

While there, she had company.

In they walk, bringing flowers.

Leftover flowers.

From a funeral.

In the traditional funeral spray.

We were mortified.

Her room mate was battling cancer…and in walks the funeral spray.

The arrangement paraded past the nurses’ station, down the hall past all the other cancer patients and into my sisters’ room.

We tried really hard not to laugh, or run out of the room with the flowers before the guest left, but it was one of those most embarrassing “What were you thinking???” moments.

Needless to say, as soon as the guest left I grabbed those babies and we rearranged them into a less morbid arrangement threw some out and left some at the nurses’ station. We apologized to the roommate and bought her another flower to hopefully remind her of a better arrangement.

This week we are at BAMC or SAMC depending on the age of the locals. It’s a military hospital.

It will have the memories of one of the sweetest places, and saddest for us, but it has something none of our others have had.

When we arrived we were greeted with a ton of military personnel in every job there. And each of them were so kind and respectful. The nursing staff and doctors, no words can express our appreciation for their kindness and gentleness to us and our patient.

This will be the place I remember for the beautiful headboards on each bed that has an American Flag and eagle on it if the patient had served our country. It’s where I’ve seen the most military fatigues in one place. It’s also the place that my heart slowly started to break while it registered that I am losing someone who was like a mom to me.

It’s near Lackland military base where I saw Dean’s aunt be saluted over and over.

This hospital will have many good memories of the staff, their going above and beyond and their care.

Out of all the hospitals we’ve been to, this one gets the top rating.

I suppose there aren’t many cranky staff there because they don’t want to get demoted, I get that, but wow, there’s something about being a fan of the military and being surrounded by the military.

I felt like I stood a little taller ever time we walked into this hospital.

My heart swelled with pride as I saw all these men and women in their fatigues, and the many “Yes ma’ams” and “Have a good day ma’ams” all made me smile.

It was not a fun place to be, but when you have to be, this is the place to be.

So, folks, remember, this.

Funeral sprays belong at a funeral, not the hospital…and 6.5 hours standing on your head is not a good idea if you want to return to the upright position any time soon.