LOCATION: Quebec Heart and Lung Institute, Quebec City, Quebec
WEATHER: Beautiful. High mid 70s
After waiting for 2 weeks in three different hospitals, we finally got the good news Monday PM that the surgery was finally scheduled for yesterday (Tuesday). George’s surgeon came in on Monday (obviously coming in on his Labor Day holiday) wearing flip flops, polo shirt and shorts. He seems very competent, though. All staff here are much more laid back, dress code-wise than we are used to (especially having worked at Mayo Clinic). Then, later the anesthesiologist came in and we learned that he trained at Mayo. Our confidence level kept increasing! This hospital does about 10 of these surgeries daily, so they are almost routine.
The staff here have been great. Most don’t speak much English, so we have had some comical moments. Yesterday, the RN came in and asked something. We thought she was confirming his name again to administer the meds, so we shouted out “George Reid” (as if we were playing a game). That wasn’t it. She asked again, and we yelled out his birthdate, also a common question to make sure they have the right patient. Again, the nurse nodded no. Finally, in broken English, and quite embarrassed, she timidly asked “Did you go number 2 today?” That was what she had been asking all along. So cute!
While George has been in this hospital in Quebec City these last 7 days, I’ve been staying in a hostel connected to the hospital. What a nice convenience! My room is tiny, but clean. There is a commons room with a refrigerator and microwave, so I can prepare some meals. I’ve met a few people there who can speak a little English. They are all so intrigued about how we landed here.
The hospital doesn’t have wifi or TV, so it has been super boring for George. He plowed through two books quickly. Out of boredom yesterday, I brought in the book “1000 Places to Go in the USA and Canada Before You Die” and we counted the number of places we have been to. He decided we have a lot more to see before he dies, so the surgery’s outcome would have to be good.
He hasn’t been in any pain. He is in ICU today, then will be moved to a surgical floor for 4-5 days. I visited him this morning and he is awake. He has even stood up a few times. Upon discharge, we will return to pick up the Airstream in Gaspe’ Peninsula, then slowly come back to this part of Quebec, then meander slowly south. We will probably have short driving days. I do OK driving the Airstream, as long as we are going forward. George will still have to do the backing up! I will also now be in charge of hooking up and unhooking the Airstream from the pick-up. He will be the “supervisor” and I will be the “worker bee”.