I’m just getting around to being a semblance of myself after having hip replacement surgery last week. Any number of people (well . . . maybe just one) mentioned to me that having the surgery would be, if nothing else, a fun topic to write about. It isn’t.
Without being too much of whiner, let me say that this has been much more painful and debilitating than anything I expected. And contrary to what you may think—it’s dangerous. If you followed the deaths of Carrie Fisher and her mother, Debbie Reynolds, then you might know that Carrie’s father, Eddie Fisher, died in 2010 from complications from his hip replacement surgery. So let’s not be so casual about the risk to which I’ve been subjected. With that in mind, I’ve added the law firm of Celino and Barnes to the speed-dial on my phone. (While we’re on the subject— for the record, I’m not accepting anything less than 35 times what “insurance offers”.)
I was in the hospital for two nights and although some of my memory is cloudy as to details (because of anesthesia and pain killers), there are some low-lights that have stayed with me. After a period of trying to stay covered up while a phalanx of nurses inspected and treated me, it soon became evident that I had as much chance of holding back the tides as trying to keep by hospital gown in place. So at some point, I said to one of the nurses that it was obvious that I should have checked my Modesty at the nurses’ station along with my other valuables. To which she replied, “yes, but not your dignity”. At the time, I thought that had such a lovely ring and was a really bright thing to say. But as I’ve become more clear-headed I’m convinced that I have no idea what that means.
One of the other calamities of my stay was centered around my visits to the bathroom. Let me just say that, because of all the tethering to various tubes meant to prevent blood clots, going to the john was not as easy as falling off a log; closer to going to the Pacific Northwest, cutting a tree down and then bringing it to a local saw mill or whatever, to logify it. In other words, a big deal. A very big deal.
The nursing staff had tremendous interest in both my motives and the results of my bathroom visits. I was constantly asked if I was going to the bathroom for #1 or #2. A couple of things: I wasn’t raised nor were my kids brought up calling those functions by a digit. As a result, although I’m usually good with numbers, I often get confused as to which is which. The good news, of course, is that I have a one in two chance of being right. But the larger point I’d like to make is these are medical professionals in a prestigious urban hospital asking me about bodily functions in code. I have to think somewhere in nursing school they learned some medical lingo to describe what I’m doing in the john. And after all, the staff and my naked body had become used to one another; so why the need for euphemisms?
But that’s all behind me now and I’m in the process of convalescing at home. Ordinarily, I’d be bored #1 or #2less but watching the TV coverage of the disaster that is Donald Trump has kept me super occupied. And agitated. Thankfully, my physical therapist has just given me clearance to walk in some of the daily demonstrations that have been going on all over town. Rehab with a purpose. Sadly, I may be doing that for some time.