Thursday, Dec 8
7 am and we were sitting in Rylan’s room in the hospital, waiting. An apprehensive kind of waiting. The nurse came in at one point to do some preliminaries. Around 8 a team of 5 nurses came into the room to tell Rylan they would be looking after him post-op and wished him a successful surgery. That was reassuring and sweet of them. Dr. Ritter-Lang was ahead of schedule, so a nurse came to take Rylan up to the OR just after 9.
Stenum Hospital is a specialist clinic for orthopedics. It is small, with approx. 60 beds, and highly qualified. Dr. Ritter-Lang has performed nearly 10, 000 spinal column reconstruction surgeries, and over 4000 disc replacement procedures. He has also been involved with the invention and production of the artificial disc. Clearly Rylan is in the best medical care globally.
I breakfasted and washed some clothes. Left in plenty of time to catch the train to the airport. It took me a bit at Bremen Hbf to realize that the second train to catch was actually a streetcar that I had to go find outside. I gave myself plenty of time to get lost or captured by the Romans, but neither happened and I arrived at the flughafen with an hour to kill before Roberts landed. Lunch, while I wondered why the surgery was taking so long. Home seemed so far away, with two sick girls that I’m not there to take care of. Silent Night was playing in the airport and I felt comforted. Just when I was about ready to call the ICU to check up on things, Christiane called me. Surgery went well. Everything is good.
🎵 All is calm. All is bright. 🎵
Never in my wildest dreams would I have guessed, last June, when we said goodbye to Robert and Janice that I would see them next in Bremen. Never. Those undignified sniffles were worth it. The sun was shining brighter and I was buckled tightly into the back seat of their VW, riding high. A gander through the markets by Old Town. We were standing at a pub table eating steak sandwiches with tzatziki and stout German mustard when Christiane called again. Here it was Rylan on her phone. Foggy but alive. I asked about his pain. He said he can feel the pain of the incisions but the disc pain is gone. A prayer answered. Thank you, Jesus!
Armed with coffee, good cheer, and a pair of 100% Alpaca wool socks we headed to Hotel Backenkohler in Stenum. Some showered, some snacked, some did both. We sat and chewed the rag till some of us were falling asleep.
I talked with Rylan again before bed. Recovery will be a journey, but right now he is feeling better than he expected. We are so grateful.
Thank you all for praying. It means a lot, in a far away land.
Special acknowledgments to the 2 female relatives in Alberta who stay up late. Also to the dairy farmers in Ohio who get up early. Also Tyanne in Ivory Coast, an hour behind us. It’s oh-so nice to have someone awake at the same time as me.