From out of the blue, I had a near brush with death last week. Okay, okay . . . maybe not a “brush”, more like a scare. And truthfully, not really about death; closer to a bit of a deep concern about a bad disease. I’ll explain:
I had my first follow-up visit with the surgeon who performed my hip replacement surgery. I was sitting in the smallish waiting area waiting (what else?) to be called into one of those little examining rooms where I could do some more waiting. Another man was in the waiting area with me. At some point, he left to go to the bathroom, I presume. It was at this point when events took a turn from which I’m only just now recovering.
My surgeon, Dr. M, came out of one of the examining rooms on his way to another when he saw me. He came over, put his hand on my shoulder and said, “I’m sorry but your blood tests indicated that you have blankety-blankosis.” I looked at him both stunned and quizzically (I’m able to do this) and said, “What!” At this, he leaned in towards me and in the most comforting way (something that was sorely missing during surgery) assured me, “Don’t worry–with the right medications, we should be able get this blankety-blankosis under control. It’s not quite life-threatening.”
Since I’m really quick on my feet, this time I said to Dr. M, “I have no idea what you’re talking about.” He looked at me and asked, “Aren’t you Mr. Wilton?” Well, let me tell you, I’ve never been happier not to be Mr. Wilton than I was at that moment. I’m sure there are times when it’s just great to be Mr. Wilton but this certainly wasn’t one of them. As this conversation was unfolding, poor Mr. W reappeared, and overhearing what was going on, confessed that he, in fact, was Mr. Wilton. Dr. M made some vague apologies to me while simultaneously going over the good news/bad news with Mr. Wilton. From that conversation I pieced together that Mr. Wilton’s pre-op blood tests had revealed this problem which is why he had come in to see Dr. M. (And collaterally, take some number of months or years off of my life. Hopefully, it’ll be the ones at the end, when I expect I won’t know what’s going on anyway.)
After this awkward and unsettling episode I ultimately wound up being seen by Dr. M who again apologized. I made a joke that since he had gotten me confused with Mr. Wilton, how could I be sure that he had operated on the correct hip. It turns out, Dr. M doesn’t have much of a sense of humor . . . at least, not about that kind of stuff. In any event, my exam went well and I don’t have to see him for an entire year.
Which means that I have now concluded my hip-trilogy. Don’t get too excited ’cause you’re not quite out of the woods yet. There remains the issues with my knee. But that’s for another time.