Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017
Mission San Juan, December 30, 2017

Monday, March 16, 2015

A Recap of the Day of Bob's Surgery - Wed., March 11, 2015

Bob and I both worked two hours Wednesday morning, then met at the 5th wheel to head over to University Hospital in San Antonio together. We were supposed to report in at 11:00 a.m. When we got there, we headed up to the Outpatient Surgery Cattle Call, I mean Clinic. The place was packed with waiting people, either waiting to go into surgery, or for a loved one to come out.

Bob checked in at the reception desk, and then we waited and waited. It was about 1:30 when they finally called his name. They took him back and prepped him for surgery, then they let me visit him about 2:30 pm.

Here are a couple of preop photos...

You can run, but you can't hide from my camera.
I will capture you eventually!
I was lugging around a heavy bag of magazines and my purse. When they took Bob off to surgery, the nurse handed me a big bag filled with Bob's shoes, clothes and book. I felt like a hotel valet. Up until this time, I had not had lunch and was very hungry.

Because I didn't want to drag everything with me while I went to lunch, I took the stuff back to my car in the parking garage, threw it on the seat, grabbed a magazine to read while I ate, put my keys back in my purse, and locked the car up.

As I walked back to the hospital for lunch, I thought it would be nice to take some photos of the art around the hospital campus. Then it hit me like a ton of bricks. My camera was in my purse, along with my keys, my money and my cell phone, which I had just locked in the back seat of the car with everything else! It should be noted here that whenever I am in major stress-out mode, I lock my keys in the car.

With no cell phone to call for help and my main helper in surgery, I made my way to the Information Desk, explained my plight and asked the guy if he could help me. He was wonderful. He looked up the 800 number for Good Sam Roadside Assistance and showed me a phone I could use to make the call. 

Good Sam Roadside Assistance stayed on the phone with me while she found out how long it would be before assistance would arrive (about 45 minutes). I gave her very specific instructions about which parking garage I was in and how to find my car. Luckily I was parked in an easy-to-find space. Now all I had to do was wait. I was very glad I had my winter coat and sheepskin gloves because it was cold, windy and exposed by the car.

In about 30 minutes, I saw a pickup with a flashing yellow light on top come into the parking garage. Yep, he came to open my car door. In about five minutes he had the door open and I was so happy! Now I could finally go to lunch and get out of the cold wind. (It was about 3:30 p.m.)

In the hospital gift shop is a Starbucks and a sandwich counter. I selected a grilled cheese sandwich, a fruit salad, Sun Chips, and a Hershey with Almonds bar. The grilled cheese sandwich was excellent; it had sliced tart apples in it.

Throughout the course of the day, I caught up on a lot of reading. In the Outpatient Surgery Waiting Room, there was a computerized list of all the patients and what their status was. I kept walking over to check on Bob's progress. At 4:45 p.m., it said Bob was in Postop Recovery. Around 5:00 p.m., Bob's neck surgeon came out to talk to me. He explained that he didn't need to make Bob's wound any bigger, only deeper to get the cancer out of his neck muscle. He also said they were able to isolate the nerve behind the muscle so they didn't cut it. The plastic surgeon, he said, was finishing stitching up Bob's neck wound and would be out to talk to me within the next few minutes.

About 20-30 minutes later, the plastic surgeon came out. Everything went well with Bob. He did not have to put a drain in the wound and Bob did not need a skin graft, only a skin flap. Post-operative care would be easier than the wound care from his Mohs' surgery. Bob's first follow-up visit would be in two weeks.

About 5:30 p.m. I was finally called back to the postoperative area. Bob was just waking up from general anesthesia. He was groggy and kept falling asleep. We held hands until he was awake enough to go to the next room from which he would be discharged. We were told they would give him Jell-o to eat since he hadn't eaten since 11 p.m. the night before. The Jell-o was to help his stomach so it would not try to digest itself.

Unfortunately, the memo didn't get to the nursing station at his next destination and there was no food for him, only ice chips and water. Bob ended up getting dry heaves which is exactly what the doctor didn't want to happen. Somebody didn't get the job done in ordering Jell-o for him.

I didn't think Bob was ready to go yet. His wound was actively bleeding down his neck and chest. They brought in "fluffs" to soak it up. Bob was adamant about going home. At 9:30 p.m. he was discharged.

I went to the parking garage, got the Escape pod, and drove around to pick him up. As I was waiting, I took a photo of the gorgeous bluebonnet art on a high wall outside the front entrance. The security guard told me there were 2,000 individually attached bluebonnet sculptures that made up the whole art work.

Photo of part of the bluebonnet art installation
It didn't take long before the nurse was wheeling Bob out of the hospital. She was shy, so all you can see of her are her shoes behind the wheelchair. She ducked really fast!

Doesn't he look good after surgery?
In case you're curious about Bob's scar, here is a photo of it taken the day after surgery.

We're both happy that it appears all the cancer is gone. Bob says it's a small price to pay for peace of mind.

That was our day. How was yours?


  1. We are so glad to read that they got all the cancer. But my goodness I never thought the incision would be that big. We hope Bob is feeling better and he is completely healing.

  2. What a crazy day, but with a good result it seems! Wishing Bob well as he recovers.

  3. Oh my goodness what a day for you both!!!! I am glad all went well and the prognosis is so positive. And that you made it through the day waiting, even with a bump in the road by locking the keys in the car. It could have been worse, that you lost them completely somewhere. So glad you were able to get help in such a timely manner. Whew.....
    KarenInTheWoods and Steveio
    (Blog) RVing: The USA Is Our Big Backyard

  4. Goodness, rough day for you both. So glad to hear that Bob's surgery went well and everything should be okay now. Miss seeing you.


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