Saturday, November 13, 2010
Under the knife
I used to be in awe of my mother who experienced so many major surgeries. She even "died" on the operating table once. In that moment of our surgical history, death was determined from the time the heart stopped beating. That is how she "died". With a shot of adrenalin directly into the heart muscle, it began beating again. The extra drama of the event was the fact that the needle, when withdrawn, was missing the tip. To her final dying day we suppose she carried that tiny piece of surgical steel all her life.
Well I guess we have learned a lot more about measuring death, and a lot more about surgery too in the seventy years since then. Now we don't face surgery with the same fear that used to dominate. My mind is wandering this direction because of my sweet wife's impending surgery come Monday morning. She is having her second knee replacement. She will then have two bionic knees, and perhaps be able to run circles around me. She's not particularly interested in running circles, but in removing the constant, and increasingly excruciating pain that every step gives her just now.
On the other knee she toughed it out to finish PT in just three weeks. When she could bend her knee 100% her therapist told her to get out. "I don't want to see her again." Others in her group were congratulating themselves for the progress they had made in 3 months. Barbara felt embarrassment at her unusual success because she necessarily made the others envious. Now she expects to do the same work and get the same results. I hope she is right. But at least this means she will enter the surgical theater with a positive attitude, and I know that goes a long way.
We have both experienced problems with our hospital care givers, and so I am planning to hover over her with TLC. I am already planning to smuggle in some real food, as well as make sure they are giving her the pain medication the doctor ordered.
Our daughter made the final move to Lake Havasu today--in fact as I write these words. After unloading the final shipment of household goods, she plans to return Monday to sleep on our couch and help me in my hovering project. She is a wonderful daughter, and genuinely compassionate. She may do a better job than I, but I will give it my best effort.
Since my wife will be the only thing on my mind, I'm sure that will be the subject of my next post, so if you are interested, stay tuned. If not, please be patient until I return to some other strange recollection or offbeat musing.