In A Hospital Waiting Room

(Update: 3:30 p.m. PST, 11/25/09. Cat won’t be going home tonight; we’ll be staying another night here at Club Med. She’s fine; she’s just not where she’d need to be to leave. So tomorrow’s a Thanksgiving we won’t forget!)

(To catch up if you wanna, please see my last three posts, of which this is a continuation.)

Just created this iPod playlist, “Waitin on Cat.” Here are the songs I found myself needing to hear for the next ten hours I’ll be in this waiting room:

Martha 4:03 Pret-A-Porter Various Artists

Fast Car 4:57 Tracy Chapman Tracy Chapman

Free Fallin’ 4:16 Greatest Hits Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers

My Girl 2:58 Hitsville USA: The Motown Singles … The Temptations

Story of My Life 5:47 Greatest Hits Social Distortion

America 3:41 Collected Works [Disc 2] Simon & Garfunkel

Scarborough Fair/Canticle 3:11 Collected Works [Disc 2] Simon & Garfunkel

Whatta Man 5:08 Very Necessary Salt-N-Pepa

Nitty Gritty Mississippi 2:57 Crossroads Ry CooderCotton Needs Pickin‘ 2:58 Crossroads Ry Cooder

Down In Mississippi 4:26 Crossroads Ry Cooder

Gone At Last 3:41 Still Crazy After All These Years Paul Simon

Born At The Right Time 3:48 Rhythm Of The Saints Paul Simon

How Bizarre (Mix) 3:44 How Bizzare OMC

Ride Wit Me 4:52 Country Grammar Nelly featuring City Spud

Paper Planes 3:24 Kala (Bonus Track Version) M.I.A.

Ohio 3:05 So Far Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Feelin’ Blue 5:17 Willy And The Poor Boys Creedence Clearwater Revival

Pretty 3:41 Pret-A-Porter The Cranberries

Shenandoah 4:53 We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Ses… Bruce Springsteen

Mrs. McGrath 4:20 We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Ses… Bruce Springsteen

Texan Love Song 3:33 Don’t Shoot Me I’m Only the Piano P… Elton John

Helpless 3:40 So Far Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young

Iris 4:50 Dizzy Up the Girl The Goo Goo Dolls

A Mhaithrin, A’Leigfea ‘Un An Aonai… 2:57 The Music Of What Happens Cathie Ryan

Erie Canal 4:03 We Shall Overcome: The Seeger Ses… Bruce Springsteen

Cat’s insane about Christmas. And I’m talking … deeply disturbed. Starting about Dec. 26 of every year, she begins to ask me a minimum of three times a week, “Is it Christmas yet?” Her entire relationship to Christmas is just beyond telling. Anyway, we’re thinking this year’s should be one of our all-time greatest Christmases ever. Got a room at the Disneyland Grand Californian for the night of Dec. 23rd and everything.

It’s such a disorienting thing, to watch your wife’s energy seriously fade over the course of two or so years. This operation should finally whisk that evil specter away.

When I met Cat in the fall of 1978 she was 24 years old. And that’s exactly the age she remained until about two years ago.

And suddenly we were old.

And the poor girl was always so very, very tired, and sick with one thing or another. She stopped exercising. She stopped wanting to go out. Life became less something to enjoy than endure.

And now here we are, hoping the shower-capped gods of modern medicine will give us a do-over.


No kidding.




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  • hey, all. it's pitch dark in the room I'm in; it's Cat's hospital room; she's asleep. The operation was a success! There were some pretty intense complications–it took 3.5 hours instead of 2, and she lost a significant amount of blood.

    Anyway, she had an extraordinary surgeon and surgery team, and it all went very well. She'll spend the night here in the hospital (I'll stay in the room with her throughout the night if they'll let me; if not, I'll be outta here in three hours); tomorrow I'll take her home; she's off work for two weeks; it's all great.

    Thanks very much for your prayers!!!!

  • Leonardo

    Great news! Thanks to share it with us all; to make us part, in some way, of your life. Watching your blog is my first action at the computer every morning. Blessings!

  • Thanks, Leo; I am very appreciative of your kind thoughts and prayers.

  • I started reading your blog a few weeks ago. I just prayed for you and your wife. I hope she has a quick and complete recovery. I hope God blesses her with His Light and Mercy. Try to get some rest so you can be strong for her.

  • Mel

    Thanks be to God! May He keep Cat healthy and allow you to spend the most extraordinary Christmas holiday ever this year—and an extraordinary—and healthy—2010. God bless you!

  • adam

    John — we are so glad to hear of the successful surgery — having been there a few time recently myself for family… I can picture the scene. Will keep praying for complete recovery. Thanks for letting us share this with you and Cat. It's a privilege.

    Many blessings!

  • jennie

    Sorry .. I meant to post that last comment under my own name.

  • Lucy

    Praying for strength and peace for you and a speedy recovery for Cate. You two have such a beautiful thing …. God loves you both!


  • Lynn

    Yesss! Thank you Lord! Will continue to pray for her recovery. Awesome news John!