This is the longest moment of my life, Andrea thought. I wish I could be anywhere but here.
Andrea Bonaparte Canistello leaned back in the orange-red Naugahyde chair, rubbed her eyes, and sighed heavily. Her husband, Rocco, was having extensive back surgery, to correct a worsening bout of scoliosis that left his body racked with agonizing, unending pain. Because of it, Rocco was on disability and was unable to work, which meant financial burdens on the family as the bills piled up.
It didn't help that the Roccos had two children, two fine, strapping sons, ages 9 and 14. One being a preteen and the other a full fledged adolescent, they were lean, mean eating machines. It seemed that Andrea was going to the store every other day, just to keep up with the food. In addition to the two boys, they had a daughter, six, who was severely handicapped with cerebral palsy. She could not walk or talk and needed care around the clock.
Thank God, Andrea's mother was there to help out if she got too stressed out (which was often). Andrea counted on her mother: she was her rock and her salvation. The children adored her and Nonna (as they called their grandmother) loved them right back.
Andrea looked about her. There were other people seated in chairs in the surgical waiting room. She secretly thought to herself, Boy, I'm glad I'm not the only one goign through this hell. They looked about as tired and bored as she did. Clasping a well-worn Bible in her hands, she whispered desperate prayers from herself to God, asking Him to perform a miracle, that Rocco would come thorugh the surgery without incident.
The surgery would last anywhere from 4 to 8 hours, according to the neurologists assigned to Rocco's care. Twice, nurses came to tell Andrea that Rocco's surgery was progressing well, which eased her fears a little, but they didn't disappear completely: anything could still happen, she surmised. One wrong move or slip of the knife, and Rocco could end up permanently paralyzed or worse, dead. She did not want that to happen. Fearing the worst, she put the Bible into her lap, put her hands over her face, and cried herself to sleep.
Soon, a hand touched her shoulder. Andrea awoke with a start. It was the surgeon; the chief neurologist was with him. She jumped up from her seat and demanded to know how everything went.
The surgery went well, the surgeon told her, but Rocco would probably be moved to the Intensive Care unit, where he would be closely monitored and very well tended to by an ever vigilent ICU staff. They would do their very best to ensure that no problems developed; if they did, they would help to alleviate any and all to the best of their abilities. When they got Rocco's new room ready, they would take him to it and then Andrea could probably join her husband.
At the news, all the weight that had been sitting on Andrea's shoulders lifted like a balloon; she immediately hugged the doctors and thanked them for helping her husband. Everything had gone smoothly, with no problems; the worst was now past. While he may never be as he was prior to getting injured, at least the scoliosis had been dealt with and Rocco now had a nice straight vertabrae column, the way it was meant to be.
The surgery would probably alleviate the crippling back pain Rocco had dealt with for the past ten years, the neurologist told him, but he would still probably be unable to work for a living. He would just have to take it easy for a while and face a long, painful recovery period. Then the pain would probably stop for good; if it didn't, it would not be anywhere near the pain he had experienced before the surgery.
~To be continued.~