Oh gracious reader,

This blog entry is little different. These are my adventure with Mercy in U of Michigan hospital. A few people made this a very difficult time. Hundreds have made this an amazing experience. Essentially, no matter what happens, I will not get a bill for the surgery. The surgery is a Selective Dorsal Rhizotomy.

On Tuesday March 6th we had an appointment with a nurse from neurosurgery. Thus far, she is my least favorite person I have met. The appointment was supposed to be where we learned the whole process of everything that would be happening. Huge deal right? So she takes Mercy’s vitals, height and weight. Then she says, “So you have any questions?”         You think?

I told her that I expected for her surgery to be Friday and she would be home on a Monday. The woman looked at me like I asked for Grey Poupon. Then she said, “No. You’ll be here in the hospital with her for at least two weeks while she undergoes intensive physical therapy.”

Essentially I had 48 hours to prepare my family for this. Thanks b***h. But, I’m not being billed, so I bite my tongue. I would have a private room with her. We’d have our own bathroom, and a mini-fridge. What more could a girl need? That nurse didn’t tell me. She told me my meals were my responsibility while I lived there too. But, I would be back Thursday morning for an 8 am appointment. WHAT 8 AM APPOINTMENT?!?!!?!!? “Call Dr. Hornyak” was her advice. Okay.

You know I don’t have my car running, or insured yet, right?

So I call Dr. Hornyak’s office, and the woman swears on her girl scout honor that Mercy has no more appointments. “I’m looking at two data-bases right here.” But it didn’t sit right in my craw. So I called the neurology clinic. Yes, she has TWO appointments on Thursday. Very important ones, too. They are at 2pm and 4pm.

Pops came up to be my Golden Chariot. He drove us to Ann Arbor and he was so helpful. He’s like a giant Valium pill I sat next to for 3 days. After a way too long day at the hospital we finally went to our hotel. Only I couldn’t understand the first part of the directions. But I got us sorta close, then I got us sorta lost. I had a lovely view of JC Penny’s.  Pops reserved the room through the hospital and he got an awesome rate. The room was very nice with a full size fridge, mini-oven, dishes, stuff… $40!!!!

No one really slept. I just laid there and waited for the alarm to say 4am. We checked out at 5am, then off to the hospital. Her surgery was scheduled for 6:30 but we made it there before 6. Cecil was there waiting. They told him she wasn’t scheduled until 10:30. Weird, right?

The room fills up. The room empties out. 7:30 comes and goes. Someone comes at 7:45 am to tell me that at 8:30 am I’ll get to know what’s going on. Tanya & Jacque showed up by then. If you ever wanted to know what being a “Best Friend” is all about- watch Tanya. She’s the best. That woman was a pillar for me. I’m a very grateful best-friend in return.

We found out there was an emergency surgery.  Another kid was going to die without immediate surgery. Mercy- not so much. So we got bumped to 10:30 am. Remember, Mercy, Pops and I haven’t eaten since 6 pm the day before.

Finally, it was her turn. We had Horsey, Red Bear &  Seany Pillow to protect her. I met our adorable anesthesiologist. Cecil reeked of stale tobacco, so I tried to stand far away from him. Then she was off. And we waited….

While we waited-

Tanya is the coolest person. We went to get a couple of coffee’s at a cafe. She was still doctoring hers up a bit. I told her I’d pay for it. Then a moment later, she looks at the guy in line ahead of her and tells the cashier, “I’m going to buy his lunch.” The guy looked at her like she spoke in tongues. But she persisted.

“No, I want to buy his lunch for him. My friend got my coffee, now I’m going to buy your lunch. All I ask is that you pass it on. Someday, you’ll get the chance and I want you to remember this.” So she pays for his lunch while the rest of the cafeteria is looking at her with total, complete, absolute, and utter disbelief. One lady was actually giving her dirty looks!

So the man stands there in disbelief, but Tanya convinces him it’s not a scam and pays the cashier. The next thing I hear, the man who’s lunch she just paid for insists on paying for the lunch of the guy behind him.

“That lady hooked up my lunch and I just want to pass it on.” That guy looked thrilled and shocked, but went along with it.

Then I hear that man tell the cashier, “I want to buy this ladies lunch.” So he pays for the Subway sandwich of lady behind him.

After all was said and done, 5 people who would have never taken the time to acknowledge one another bought each other lunch that day. And no one in that room will forget the power of a random act of kindness. Me, being one of them.

It’s four days later, and I’m indulging in a flat screen TV WITH CABLE CHANNELS!!!!

I live in a self-contained little world here on the 12th floor. I am within 20 feet from a laundry room, a coffee maker with unlimited supplies of coffee, and a room with a phone and a view. From my room I can order anything  I need up to here. So I never have to leave. This trip from home was supposed to help me deal with my agoraphobic tendencies. Go figure.

Mercy is my hero and she should be yours, too. Every nurse, every doctor, is impressed with how fast she improves and how independent she is with her recovery.

Like her Aunt Tanya has always said, “Mercy came into this world loaded for bear.”

She’s sleeping in her hospital bed less than 2 feet away from me. For the first time since we’ve been here she’s passing out because it’s bedtime and not because of medication exhaustion.

So many people have been offering to help. They ask me if I need anything. I think God already provided us with everything we need, through the power of love and family. Isn’t that His design for us?

Yeah, we’re good. Good night.

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