It's not really the CVICU itself that was redecorated, nor the waiting room outside the unit, it's the surgical waiting room associated with the unit that's been redecorated.
Why do I care? Well, when Dad had his abdominal aortic aneurysm two-and-a-half years ago, we spent many, many hours sitting in that surgical waiting room during his two surgeries. A tiny little room, probably 12-by-12, no windows, with a little television in the corner and no more than 10 chairs. I'd truthfully hoped to never have to visit that room again.
Then, in September, things went south for JC's husband. Diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are a dangerous cocktail. After a couple weeks in the hospital with a seemingly vague diagnosis of heart failure, it was determined that he needed bypass surgery. Her husband is only 44 years old.
So, I took the day off to keep JC company while her husband had the surgery. Unfortunatley, it's something that I have experience at -- sitting in hospital waiting rooms. Also unfortunately, it was the same hospital where my Dad went for his surgery.
I met JC in the cafeteria, where we had a late breakfast, then we journeyed up to the room. Same set of double doors you had to walk through, same nurses station you had to walk by, same long and empty hallway you had to walk down. But then, the room itself was different. A corner closed in for some sort of air filtration system, new and more comfortable chairs, the television moved, some fancy coffee machine setup installed.
I could handle this. No overwhelming flashbacks.
We talked. We chatted. We went back to the cafeteria for an early lunch. (That's what you do when you wait -- you eat a lot.) Then back to the waiting room.
Then the doctor was there with the results. They'd done quadruple bypass. Things looked good. He was in recovery and it would be over an hour before he was in his CVICU bed and available for visitors.
We took that window of time to collect JC's children from Jules' house, then met up with Marriott, who took JC and the kids back to the hospital.
That was over three weeks ago. I'm happy to report that JC's husband is home recuperating from his quadruple bypass surgery. The diabetes, high blood pressure and high cholesterol are still issues, but he has a "remodeled" heart that with proper care should last him a good many more years.
I'd survived my reunion with the CVICU surgical waiting room. Most importantly, I was happy that I'd been available to keep JC company during those long hours.