Just look at that devilish glint in his eye. Mrowr.
There was a scary few minutes not too long before I took this photo; John almost passed out while the nurse attempted (and failed) to place an IV in his hand - all while describing what she was doing in excruciating detail. (If you ever get the chance, have John tell you this story; it's hilarious, in a cringe-inducing, horrific kind of way.)
Anyway, John's heart rate dropped down to 30bpm while he was NOT passing out,* so they had to give him adrenaline to kick it back up again. Then they came out to the waiting room and got me.
[*John is very adamant on this point. He did not pass out. He just saw swimming ceiling tiles and sent the entire staff into a tizzy while his vitals tanked.]
John looked like hell frozen over when I got back there, and seeing him in an oxygen mask and hooked up to a zillion machines brought back some awful memories of his near-death illness on our first book tour, but before long his color returned, and we were chatting and laughing again.
More good news: the doc was able to do everything without cutting outside the ear, so there are no clunky bandages to change, *and* he found the problem and was able to fix it.
[For those curious: John had a benign tumor removed from his ear when he was 11, and they had to replace most of his ear guts (technical term!) with plastic and cadaver bones. Over the years that shifted and pressed against his ear drum, causing it to deteriorate. So the doc reset the old fix and replaced the damaged part of the ear drum.]
They sent us home with dire warnings of rampant dizziness, pain, and nausea, but - knock on wood - John hasn't so much as needed a Tylenol until today, and he's been rock steady from the moment I helped him out of the hospital bed. I'm starting to suspect he's not even human.
But the best part? Monday night John came to find me in the office, all excited. "JEN," he said, "I can hear myself breathing in my right ear. I can hear it when I brush my hand against that ear! And everything is SO LOUD."
He was grinning so hard there were tears in his eyes.
So I think I speak for us both when I say: "Worth it."
(John's surgical packing comes out in another week, and after that we'll know if his hearing is really back to 100%. Hopefully that will also help him feel like he's not shouting all the time, since he can hear himself SUPER well right now with that ear all plugged up. Ha!)