Monday, March 12, 2018

Not much to say, my grandfather's getting a pacemaker.

Daylight Saving Time is on, and every hour is a lie.

Most of my friends love the extra hour of light in the evening, love not having to come home in the dark, love the stretch of time that we were used to on summer vacation. I thrive on grey mornings and early sunsets like some sort of insufferable aesthete. I also like gloomy days with just a little bit of rain, so there's genuinely no reason for my taste to rule the world.

I hate Daylight Saving Time. But I deal, because it's a pointless thing to hate when there are injustices going on in this world far greater than a bit of temporal idiocy.

My grandfather is going in for a pacemaker in the morning. It's after midnight (in Real Time, it's almost 11:30 pm) as I'm writing this, counting the hours before we switch roles. For years I was the one who didn't sleep, who lay awake in bed fearing the anesthesia, wondering what I'd wake up to, wondering if things would go all right or if something would go Horribly Wrong.

I'm used to being on the OR side. Raw eyes from one hour of fitful sleep achieved accidentally just as the sun was considering coming up. Upset stomach, either from the liquid diet or the absolute fear. Feeling just a bit numb as I walked into the waiting room, blearily signed paperwork, went behind the big scary doors to change into a gown and hair thing and little paper boots.

Needles needles needles. By that point I was always too strung out on exhaustion and paranoia to care. But then the anesthesiologist would come in with Something, and by the time I was in the actual OR, under lights like an alien experiment, arms strapped down Because Epilepsy, I was already convinced I was having another weird dream.


Wake up in recovery, headache like a muffled hangover.

Being the person who gets the surgery is, in the long run, slightly easier on the day of. You're asleep through all of it. Other people get to sit and wonder and worry and prepare and drive. You just sort of get carted around.

I know my grandfather will be fine. The pacemaker will make his life amazing, and the surgery will take minimal recovery time (especially considering there's three of us looking after him in the meantime). The wait will be hard. The wondering. The number of times I've had to wait and wonder has been minimal.

This is the same grandfather who is a literal rocket scientist. So those readers who know of him via hearsay -- as a friend said, I know "thoughts and prayers" are getting a bad rap in a lot of places. But I'll take them.

I will say, please pray for the surgeon. They're the one who needs to have the steadiest hands.

I'm not worried. Not really. Well, I'm worried in the way that we all worry when they're an imponderable in our path. I'll be back by the time most people read this, churning out news stories and editing a book. And I'm sure there will be a funny story from it all.

I'll tell it Wednesday.

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