With Chris now in surgery we drove to the garden centre. It did indeed have a very nice cafe area and we found a table and got some breakfast. I had a cup of tea and a croissant. Steve had a full cooked breakfast – I don’t know how he managed it – my stomach was in knots!
Anyway, after we’d finished we had a good look round the garden centre and managed to do some Christmas shopping finding presents for Steve’s mum and several stocking fillers for the boys. All in all we manged to pass away about 2 hours there and then set off to find something else to occupy our time.
Our hotel was in Duxford, just up the road from the Imperial War Museum Duxford. Steve was keen to see all the airplanes they have on display there so in we went. They had an impressive collection of airplanes – both fighter planes and commercial – including an early Concorde. We looked around for about an hour and a half and then went to the museum cafe for a sandwich lunch. By then it was about 1.30pm and I was getting increasingly anxious to know how Chris was.
As our hotel was so close we called in there and Steve booked in again for the next few nights. Then we went back to the hospital. Once we were back in Chris’ room I started to unpack a few things for him and then we sat down to wait. Within a few minutes the phone rang and it was the Recovery Room nurse to say that Chris was now out of theatre and waking up and we could come and join him.
Sally came to get us and we walked the short distance to Recovery. Chris was barely awake and looked swollen faced and pale – just as we had been told he would. We asked how the surgery had gone and the nurse said she couldn’t say, we would have to wait for the surgeons to come and see us. While we waited they constantly monitored Chris and tried to encourage him to wake up a little and open his eyes. As he became a little more awake the nurse asked him to wiggle his toes – she lifted the sheet and I felt a huge wave of relief rush over me as his feet moved on the bed.
We spent about an hour in Recovery with him and he gradually came to asking the classic question – “has it been done yet?” He had no concept of the hours he had spent in surgery and when asked if he had any pain he replied that he didn’t. The only thing that seemed to bother him was the catheter, which he kept trying to rub and pull out.
Then the spinal cord monitoring expert appeared and said the procedure had gone very well from his perspective with Chris giving strong and consistent spinal cord signals throughout the surgery. As we welcomed this news Mr Conlan and Mr Crawford appeared and said the surgery had gone well and they were happy with the correction they had achieved.
Shortly after this the recovery nurse said she was happy for Chris to be taken back to his room and (as he was put onto his bed after surgery) they simply wheeled him back to his room. Sally made sure he was comfortable and then came in and out regularly to check on all his IV lines and his catheter. The rest of the day just disappeared with Chris slowly becoming more conscious of where he was and the fact that the surgery had now been done.