I made my way back to be introduced to the adult liver transplant surgeon whom will be doing my operation, his name is Dr. Clark Bonham. He came off as a relatively young guy (maybe in his early 40's at most). He asked me if I had any questions and honestly I had a few but nothing too major. I simply asked how long the operation he thought it would take and expected stay in the hospital. He said the operation would be anywhere from 4-6 hrs for me and projected stay is 5-10 days. He went over my risks, a bunch of %'s for this and that. He advised me on where the scare would be and a little breakdown on how the operation goes. I felt compelled to drill more questions at him but really didn't have all that much to ask, as it really doesn't matter in the end. They can tell me this might happen or that might happen and the bottom line is everyone is different; some have great outcomes, some have good outcomes, and others have bad ones. He told some brief bad ones and it really didn't mean much to me...it just doesn't matter at this point. He also like everyone else thus far asked me, "You sure you want to do this?", I don't know what it is with this place but its almost like these people all have a script to read off the same jargon. I can only think its for legal reasons they ask this but its a bit frustrating as well, so rather than answering the question I restated one back to him, I asked, "are you a father Dr? Do you have any kids of your own?". I didn't say anymore, I awaited his response. His response was, "I'm a father of 5......and I would do the same". Its good to know we are all on the same page, just odd how they keep asking it to me. Maybe next time I should retort with, "are you asking me if I'm not man enough to follow through with this and instead watch my son suffer and die, take a guess at where I stand on this matter for the 50th time", maybe that would be a better response...maybe I'll save it for next time someone asks me that question. My appointment was over, it was time for Preanesthesia check-in.
I made my way to the second floor, through some long hallways, past the "Surgery Waiting Area" and the big monitors that show who is in vs. who is out of surgery. I had a horrible sinking feeling in my stomach, those people I was just looking at will be my wife and family in a just a few days...I got choked up and pretty shaken to be totally honest. None of this is fair, I hate that she has to go through this (will she be alone? No, but I won't get to be there to hold her hand, give her a kiss, and just at minimum comfort her). Then of course I pondered my absence as well...WHY, WHY is all this happening, why can't we just be a normal family and have a normal life? I made my way into this somewhat dark and desolate part of the hospital, it was beyond dreary, cold, and just smelled odd too. I just realized this is where I check in for surgery in a few days, it all makes sense why it smells/feels the way it does. I was taken back to a "Preanesthesia" Dr. whom listened to my heart, my lungs, and asked if I was allergic to anything. He pried into my medical past at bit, asking about my ER trip for Atrial Fibrillation/PVC incident about 9-10 years ago...I began to worry as he mentioned that I might go into A-fib again as I come out of surgery (due to the stress of surgery) and then I just realized, it is what it is, every doctor has said its not life threatening and I assume he would say the same. He indeed agreed, just reminded me that I may have some complications but not to worry about it and everything should be ok. That was it and I was done, or so I thought. He advised me that I needed to do blood work again...So off I went to have more testing done, which was quick and pretty painless; whats another needle poke amongst strangers. We're all shooting for a common goal, which is set for me to be at this same place on Monday morning at 5:30am.
I can't help but be frustrated with everything, feel sad, and worry about all of this. Does this mean I think I'm going to die, or Dylan's surgery won't go as planned/hoped? No, it sure doesn't but when you're stringed around all over the place, told not so great stuff mixed in with it "should" all go well, one has nothing to do but think.......and thinking, and thinking, and thinking some more seems pretty normal to me at this point I would say. Or am I suppose to be a mindless robot and not listen to my heart, my feelings, my fears? Should I pretend like I don't need to plan for the worst and hope for the best? All this stuff is hard and the word hard doesn't accurately describe what's going on in my head at every passing moment (which is ticking away so quickly). Isn't it only fair that I be true to what is in front of me? And that what is.....is very real, very scary, and very much permanent either way it ends up going.