The waiting is the hardest part

Nov 3, 2011 | On Being Positive

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Lynne Tapper

I am a lifelong endurance athlete with the dual goal of training and racing until my bones turn to dust and sharing that passion with as many people as possible.

It’s Leland, guest blogging since Lynne is anesthetized at this point.

This is the smallest hospital and a very small waiting room.  Luckily, I am alone and can control the volume of  the TV which is on The View (volume:  very low.  Whoopi:  very large).

I’d asked a friend to come and distract me during the surgery and she did.  We played on our iPhones, I got to listen in on her conference call with the bosses in Argentina and and visited the not-so-lavish commissary.  But, it enabled me to use the word commissary.  Best of all, it kept me distracted from the main topic of the day, which was a welcome relief.

The morning was thankfully uneventful.  An easy ride to the hospital and a painless check-in.  The staff was cheerful and professional and it ended with Lynne drifting off under the influence of a sedative as they wheeled her off to the operating room at 8:48 a.m.

Have I mentioned that this is the smallest hospital I’ve ever seen.  You can walk around the floor in about 60 seconds.  It is nice in a way that it is very quiet and not chaotic.  There was even a women here who was a ringer for Lynne’s Grandma Mary.

It is otherworldly, knowing that they are doing all sorts of surgical things to her, yet I’m just sitting here watching David Arquette show off his Dancing With the Stars routine on The View.  A very powerless state (this is also a finalist in the new taglines for the state of Connecticut)

My friend Alice and I grabbed an early lunch and passed the time talking about our kids, her work, our baby daze book and anything else that was a distraction.

Her current boss’ name is Santiago Conway, he’s Argentinian.  I was trying to decide what his name is most suited for….pulp crime fiction novel, South American superhero, latino hobo riding the rails, Dairy Queen franchise operator?  That activity took up a few minutes of my waiting time.

At 12:36 p.m. Dr. Salzberg called to tell me that the surgery was over and that it was a success.  “Her breasts look very nice,” he said, which only continues the ongoing trend of discussing Lynne’s breasts with pretty much everyone.

At 1:30 Dr. Ashikari came by to see me and described the surgery outcome in more detail.  They are keeping her in the recovery area because they have more pain-relief options than they do when she is in her room.  She is understandably uncomfortable.  He did mention that her athletic training and build serves her well for this surgery.  It relies on the pectoral muscles to create the new breast shape/pocket/whatnot and since her pecs are well developed, he said the outcome was really good.  A little known bonus of working out, ideal for breast reconstruction.  Who knew?

I spent the morning trying to figure out how to send an update to the 50+ people who’d asked to be notified when she was out of surgery.  Not as easy as I’d hoped.  One laptop and two cell phones later, I cobbled something together.  If I didn’t reach you, please don’t take offense.

Now, I’m just waiting to see her.  I’ve made it through Regis & Kelly, The View and now am watching something called “The Chew” which seems like The View, but with chefs and a lot of talk about food.  Is this what we really need?  Is the next show “The Shoe” talking about shoes and feet, to be followed by “The Glue” talking about different kinds of adhesives?

What else can I tell you?  Last night we stayed at a nearby hotel and watched “Crazy, Stupid, Love” and ate cookies from a NYC bakery called Levain  The cookies were really pretty awesome and I can only imagine how many calories I inhaled.

The movie was $16.99 (insane) but very entertaining and the right tone for a quiet evening.  A few phone calls from well wishers reminded us why we were in White Plains.  Amazingly, we ended up turning on the AC to complete our multi-bedroom Golidilocks trifecta (Too cold in CT, too hot in NYC) and finally had a room that was just right.

The hotel was booked solid, filled with workers from various states brought in to work on the electrical outages in NY and CT.  Amazingly, electricity is still out in West Hartford and the latest estimate is that it will be restored on Sunday.  Based on what we saw, that would be a remarkable feat.

It’s now 1:57 p.m.  Totally vamping with the keyboard now.  This is much later than I expected to be waiting for her.  Then again, I think a properly sedated Lynne is better than an uncomfortable Lynne immediately post-operatively for all parties involved.

I’ve got the Levain website on my screen and am drooling now.  When did I last eat?

“One Life to Live” is now on.  Didn’t they cancel this show?  Wow, I’ve been in here a long time.  Trying not to get nervous and start worrying about why it’s been so long.  It’s better that they get her settled than rush her up to see me, that’s for sure.  But, I hope the pain isn’t worse than she imagined.  My psyche and nature both abhor a vacuum.

At 2:14 p.m. I got to see Lynne.  Other than a constant demand for ice chips and some lip balm she seems ok.  More later.


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