Monday, August 1, 2016

Day 1 - Arrival in Edmonton - Familiar Sights

Our new journey has begun, although under some auspicious circumstances.  Just before noon today, as we were preparing to go to the airport, the sky got very dark.  The thunder and lighting started; followed by the clouds opening up with a tumultuous downpour.  I was hoping that this was not going to be indicative of the journey on which we were about to embark.

Everything this afternoon went off without incident.  The flight was smooth, for the most part, and once we arrived in Edmonton we began making our way toward our hotel.  I've been to Edmonton in the past few years for work but this is the first time Susan has been back since her surgery and our 6 month stay with Russell.  It was an interesting drive in from the airport as we re-familiarized ourselves with the surroundings.  As we got closer to the UofA we recalled many memories.  Lots has changed but many things are similar and quite familiar.  We checked in at the Campus Towers Hotel, another location we knew all to well.  The person at the front desk politely asked "if we had stayed with them before", we quietly chuckled and politely stated "yes."  We didn't mention that we had made this hotel our home for 6 months.  We went up to our room and found ourselves looking out at a very familiar view of downtown Edmonton.

Edmonton Skyline as viewed from our hotel room.
I think this is when it really sunk in that this was really happening.  We are doing this again.  Our family's 4th open heart surgery.  Our 3rd medical trip to Edmonton.  It is so familiar but in many ways very different.  We didn't leave an infant and a toddler at home.  We left two very independent children, who will remember this experience in the years to come.  Just like our kids have changed over the past years, our circumstances and planning for this trip was very different than in years past.

One of the nice things about coming to Edmonton is the chance to visit some family and friends while we are here.  We didn't spend 5 mins in our hotel room until we were off to my Aunt's home in West Edmonton for dinner with her and my cousins.  A very welcome distraction.  I wish we could visit like this under better circumstances but it it still nice to re-connect with family.  It is so nice to be welcomed like this.  As we prepared to leave after dinner my cousin Deb offered to pray with us.  Another reminder that we are not in this situation alone.  We have many people supporting us and a God who has seen us through some tumultuous times and shown us a plan every step of the way.

We are now back at our hotel, getting organized for tomorrow.  Tomorrow we have to be at the hospital at 7:45 AM for Pre-Admit Clinic (PAC).  We have been told to expect to be at the hospital for 4-6 hours.  We have been to a lot of PACs before but we have never spent that amount of time on a Pre-Admit.  Probably because we are from out of province they are jamming a bunch of prep into one day.  I guess we will find out tomorrow.  I expect the PAC will be fairly dull with lots of waiting.  I hope we can find out more about the logistics of the surgery and ask a few questions about the game plan.  If all goes according to plan surgery will happen on Wednesday.  I still expect some curve-balls as these things never go completely according to plan.  My worry is that we get bumped.  Alberta has huge capacity issues just like Manitoba.  If an acute case comes up and resources are not available it is very conceivable that we could be bumped.  That would not be a great scenario but it's reality.

That's all for now from the #cardiactourist

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