When Jack had his surgery last March the doctor made us promise to have a follow up examination in six months. We take this kind of thing seriously, especially after what Jack’s already been through.
We planned a quick trip to Miami to visit the Cleveland Clinic for Jack, much-belated annual exams for me, and if we could, a look at my arm, still hurting from the vicious freezer lid attack back in July. Organizing all of this from Lower Woburn, Grenada, wasn’t easy but our friend Nancy in Miami took care of getting my appointments and we managed eventually to communicate our situation to the Cleveland Clinic via Skype.
Deciding what to do with Escape Velocity presented another challenge. Our friend Mark was going to keep an eye on her but he had to go back to England unexpectedly. Should we move to a marina? We ruled that out because we are missing one of the sacrificial zincs on the props and the replacements hadn’t arrived yet. It’s not a good idea to be in a marina with no zinc to protect against stray current. Move to a mooring? Possibility, but why? We’ve got a good hook down in a safe spot so we decided in the end to leave EV where she is. Our friends on What If volunteered to check the bilges and batteries and let some fresh air in when they could and we asked another boat with a clear view of EV to let What If know if we dragged. As long as a hurricane doesn’t head toward Grenada we think we’ll be ok for ten days.
Our flight was at 8am and Laurie from Moana Roa offered to dinghy us to shore at 5:15 so we could meet our taxi to the airport. What kind of crazy person gets up in the middle of the night like that? A good friend, that’s who, just like Marty from True Colors did last March in Fort Lauderdale. We are so grateful to be a part of this caring community.
At the airport, American Airlines was celebrating Grenada as the winner of some customer service award so we had cake for breakfast before boarding the plane.
Once in Miami we suffered serious culture shock with the crowds and the cars and the traffic and the colors and the variety of shopportunities. We picked up a cute little Fiat rental and started a whirlwind of shopping.
Actually we started the shopping in Grenada, ordering parts and hard-to-find items to be delivered to our Miami friends’ address, and when we arrived we found Nancy had gift-wrapped our shipments so it was like Christmas in September.
We quickly knocked off a couple of the medical appointments including another X-ray on my arm — still not broken — and Jack got scheduled for a diagnostic procedure for Thursday afternoon. Good, good, good, we’re thinking. A couple more appointments and we’ll be free to shop and play until next Friday.
But no. Jack’s doctor found another remnant alien that has to be removed surgically. He understands our situation and his office moved heaven and earth to get Jack scheduled for surgery the next day. We raced from department to department for the usual pre-op testing. The doctor’s office called ahead so they were waiting for us, and in one case, stayed past closing time to get it done.
Friday morning I had the appointment for my arm. That doctor suspected a hairline fracture and wanted to do an MRI because two X-rays apparently aren’t enough.
“What’s the treatment if it’s broken?” I asked.
“Same as you’re doing,” he answered. I decided against the expensive MRI and will just be patient until it heals.
We checked Jack back into the hospital at two o’clock. Second day, same as the first, same as last March, same as seven years ago. We’re old hands at this. As ever, the Cleveland Clinic is friendly and efficient and Jack was wheeled into the OR shortly after four o’clock. I went back to the waiting room and realized this was the first time I didn’t have a friend or family member with me while Jack was in surgery. But the Cleveland Clinic has wifi and before long I was texting my sister and Drew on Skype, and posting updates on Facebook. Between the Skype conversations and the Facebook likes and comments I felt as if our whole circle of family and friends was there with us. It was an incredible feeling to experience the outpouring of love and best wishes for Jack in real time and I never once felt alone. Thank you all so much!
After a while the surgeon came out to talk to me, then it was another hour and a half before I could rejoin Jack in recovery. He was already awake and in fine shape and we were back at the hotel by 8 o’clock. We’re hoping Jack’s recovery is easier than last time, and of course we have to wait for the biopsy results, but at least this part is behind us now. Mark and Sue tell us the appropriate phrase is “it’s a sod and a bugger, but there it is.”
Amen to that.