Saturday, March 23, 2024

That Particularly Engrossing Thing .....


card from me to Gary

In the closing remarks of my post on February 7th, titled "Fifteen Years of Blogging," I announced a "particularly engrossing thing on our calendar" that I thought would reduce the number of posts for the near future. But that expectation got re-scheduled. Now I am writing to say it came, went well, and recovery is in process.

a sign in Gary's office

Here's the story, some of which you may already know. But for those who are newer to my blog, I'll go back to the beginning. On our first date, literally as a twinkle in my eyes was forming for Gary, he let it be known that I "should know what you're getting yourself into," (his words). 😳

Of course there was the immediate thought along the lines that he didn't look like an ax murderer, but I brushed that thought aside. It was perhaps reckless of me to think that. But since the date was in mid-day's brightness, I thought I could take a chance on what he was going to reveal. 

By the way, that assumption worked out very well for me, but I don't recommend it since there is potential for disaster. 

Anyway, to get on with the story.

The "big revelation" had to do with his medical history from decades ago when he was advised that in his later years, he might have some issues and those problems could lead to corrective surgery.

Oh. Was that all? Sure, let's press on with this relationship!!

us in June 2022

By the way, some of you may be thinking what one of my neighbors said in expressing her opinion that what he told me was a lot of information for a first date. But we reasoned that since we are OLD, and another chance at romance during widowhood doesn't always come around, we had no time to waste! 

As time went on, it became clear the need for surgery had become a reality. We did thorough research on the subject, talked to a lot of people with similar experiences, had medical tests to confirm this to be the best option, and a surgeon was recommended. Before setting a date for the procedure, this doctor insisted we get a second opinion from a specialist in a neighboring city.  This second doctor was in agreement. The date for the surgery was scheduled here in our town. 

Then came the unexpected. Our surgeon had a heart attack and Gary's surgery was cancelled!

We decided to ask if the "second opinion" surgeon could do it for us, and got the necessary referral. Three weeks after the original surgery date here in town, we were having it done in Orlando.

art work in hospital dining room

The surgery was a success followed by three nights in the hospital. But what was really amazing is that this second surgeon accomplished the deed with laparoscopic incisions, whereas the first surgeon was going to make a lengthy vertical cut. The time in surgery as well as recovery at home is greatly reduced with these smaller incisions. We are thrilled!

hospital cafeteria

I had a major concern driving 90 miles from home for the surgery, and where I would spend those nights while Gary was hospitalized? Driving back and forth was not a pleasant option, nor was getting a hotel room by myself for those nights. The doctor must have read my mind because he told us I could stay in Gary's room, which I did. 

inside the Bistro

I loved that idea for not only the convenience and saving on cost and time, but for the advantage of being present during all doctor visits and the various specialists who would be coming and going. 

the Bistro's Orange Chicken was

We had all sorts of people stopping in Gary's room in addition to the nursing staff: a physical therapist, an occupational therapist, a nutritionist, 2 social workers, several from housecleaning, and 2 wound care specialists who gave us special training (did I leave anybody out?). 

first walk with the
physical therapist

Since the surgery started well into the afternoon, we didn't get checked into his room until after 6pm, so Gary was not encouraged to walk until the next morning. After that successful venture, I got to be the one to walk with him during the remaining time we had at the hospital.

us with the IV tag-a-long

I've always had the impression that nurses have their own sense of humor, with the snapshot below demonstrating that. I'm not a fan of decorating with skeletons, but this did seem appropriate for the surroundings:

tomfoolery at one of the nurses' stations

While some people gave the hospital Bistro a weak review, I enjoyed everything and also ate some from Gary's plate. When you're pumped up with anesthesia and all sorts of meds, the appetite is not strong. Yeah, I may have gained a pound or two. (I'm not weighing myself to confirm that.)

my Bistro breakfast

I did try to make wise choices. Pictured above: a small bagel, cream cheese, hard boiled egg, grapes, and a small cheese slice with coffee.

hospital gift shop

I visited the hospital gift shop while Gary was in surgery. That is something I never would have done before cell phones -- leave the surgical waiting area. But the staff took my cell phone number so they could both text and call me with updates. I felt free to wander about the hospital with that provision.

gift shop purchase

I had packed reading material and my Sudoku puzzles but ended up reading about half of this book instead. A statement on the back cover convinced me this would be a good read: "When you're dealing with your emotions... God's Word should be the final word." (see Choice Books,

This hospital is based on Christian values, which was clearly evident by the tasteful art work and the real sense of concern and helpfulness by all of the staff. There was a framed Bible verse in the hall outside every patient's room. This was outside Gary's room:

While surgery is painful and accompanied by a number of stressors, this experience has been good for us. Another level of intimacy in our relationship has been created as we've experienced deeper reliance on each other and felt sweet comfort.

How can that not be a gift from God Himself?

Your Father knows the things you have need of 
before you ask Him.
Mattthew 6:8 NKJV

Until next time, grace and peace.

P.S. Gary is doing GREAT and is proof-reading this post!


  1. Grateful for laparoscopic procedure. Continued prayers for healing and health.

  2. I'm so glad he is doing well. I'm glad hospitals are loosening up a little and letting a family member stay. I think it's better for the patient, less worrying for the family and can be helpful for the nursing staff - unless it's one of "those" family members. (And I know you are not!)
    I love the verses outside each room. A Christian hospital is also getting to be quite unusual.
    As a nurse, I can tell you that nurses do have an unusual sense of humor. :)

  3. Sending prayers for a speedy recover. So glad you were able to stay at the hospital.

  4. I am so very happy to know Gary is on the mend, smiles. Every time I see a Maverick in town, I think of you two, grin.

  5. I will surely pray for complete healing and recovery. Thankful that all went well. Hugs and blessings, Cindy

  6. So thankful the surgery was successfully done, and that you were able to be there with him. Such a blessing, thank you Lord!

    1. Not sure why my comment showed up as anonymous. Prayers continue for quick healing for Gary!


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