By the next morning (Wednesday), since surgery had been scheduled for Thursday, I was moved to the pre-op floor (3), and noticed when I awoke that the sun was beginning to peek up over the horizon. The room faced roughly northeast, and I was going to be able to enjoy the whole sunrise. Although both pictures I took were similar, shot only seconds apart, the first one (left) resembled a nuclear explosion more than a sunrise. That's what you get for two megapixels--but who am I to complain? At least I had a camera, and (this still astonishes me) it's in my phone, of all places. I'm only posting the one, because it was a bit more interesting than the other. But no white fluffy things showed up, so I didn't get much drama besides the potential for an alien landing poster.
During the day, the clouds began to gather, signalling what promised to be a stormy day for surgery, and things got somewhat more interesting. Well, not really. But kind of pretty. Remember, I thought I might be savoring my Last Day on Planet Earth, and everything looked really cool to me. Not only that, the food was even good. Not just for a hospital, either. I'd pay real money for some of the food I got at that place. This time Blue Cross picked up the tab.
Next morning I got up in time for sunrise, but no show. The weather was turning, and we were about to get some real rain. So I took a shot from the same spot as on the previous morning, looking out over the entryway (where the valet parking happens) and the parking garage. This time it would have been nice to have a real camera with me, but it's not something most people think to put in their take-to-the-hospital bags. They wheeled me out of that room for surgery at about 11, and for the next six hours I was having things inserted into various orifices, excised, or sewn in. I awoke in my last room, on the recovery floor (2), in my own personal ICU, feeling like total crap. But I was alive--a possibility about which I had gone into surgery completely uncertain.
One of the first things I did when I got up out of bed was to make this image of clearing skies over the main hospital next door.
And to end my blow-by-blow account of the week's heavenly events--gazing out at which is one of the true joys of life--I took one last look at the now-clear sky, with the waxing gibbous moon sliding by:
I'm really glad to be home, and to have the chance to put these up as a photographic memoir of a particularly important moment in my life. Especially since, contrary to what I had thought, I am not being continuously reminded of my new mechanical aortic valve's presence. I don't hear it. I just go on living, for what I hope now will be a long and bloggy life. Thanks for all the messages of hope, prayers, karma, and positrons sent my way over the last couple of weeks. Now it's back to the business of figuring out how to help make the world more worth living in--for everybody.