It was a long ramp up to the actual event- which in truth- was more like an oh-my-god-I’m-not-going-under the knife-again-episode- (rather than an actual event).
It was a long ramp up to the actual event- which in truth- was more like an oh-my-god-I’m-not-going-under the knife-again-episode- (rather than an actual event). Events to me are occasions to look forward to- like a party event, or a birthday event- or a Christmas event- or a girls-get-together- and-paint-the-town-red-event-(the Girl Gang are red wine hoovers!). Events are little celebrations with what-the-heck-are-these-nibbles and where-the-heck-is-the-waiter kind of thingies.
After several deeks and dives, (the deeks being a series of cortisone shocks, and the dive being a $515 non-insured top-up needle), I finally surrendered to the fact that I needed to get a full right knee replacement. The doom and gloom and predictions of pain and incapacity made me feel like a butterfly whose wings have been tacked to the proverbial corkboard.
Especially when the surgeon, usually a jovial joking guy, somberly told me that a knee replacement was much (much!) harder, and much (much!) more painful than a hip replacement. (Yup folks, my next career will include a starring role as the Bionic Woman!). And, heaped on top of the pain warning, (from where I sat, the surgeon sounded like one of those cell phone emergency alerts- waaaaa waaaa waaaaa), the recovery would be a bare minimum of three months. Three Months? Three loooooooong hard depending-on-others months, where Freedom on Wheels was just a distant memory?
(That’s me in the middle…. eyes wide open….wings tacked tight)
However, going to the hospital for a full right- specifically- driving-knee replacement, and a full-out-arthritis-scrape-scrape-scrape, with chisels that sounded like the Daughters of Charity nuns, (known as the Butterfly nuns for their ‘cornette’ head pieces), s-l-o-w-l-y running their nibs of chalk down the convent blackboards- was not in my spectrum of look-forward-to events.
As Queenie (Elizabeth) says, it was shaping up to be an annus tempus. (See all the Latin phrases I learnt from those Butterfly nuns!)
But, one does what one has to do- (or so I am told!), albeit with full assurances that pain management—(which equals MAJOR good drugs), – was the main priority of the nursing and doctoral staff.
After ten months of hiding behind the oh-these-wait-lists-are-so-ridiculous mantra, the day arrived. It was not an auspicious beginning. My daughter, Nurse Jackie, (N.J.), and I, managed to put both of the dressing gowns on backwards, and, when I asked about keeping my underwear on, the nurse brought me a pair of oh-my-god-mamma’s-got-a-brand-new-grocery-cart-sized-pair-of boxer underwear, i.e. hospital hula hoops. They were so big…. (How big were they?)…Welllhelllhell….I almost had to ask a passing doctor if he would lend me his tie-off belt to keep the suckers from sliding down my posterior.
As I sat in pre-surgery, making pounding thump-thump-drumming sounds with my jitterbug legs, I thought maybe a little prayer drummed up from my good-old-Catholic-upbringing might be of some assistance. “O.K. Cece, let’s pray”, I told myself quietly sucking in my breath with deep gulps.
And, the prayer came forth, but it was not, dear readers, the prayer that I had hoped for.
“Oh Yea, though I walk through the shadow of the valley of death,” the droll voice from a scary preacher I hoped never to meet whispered in my ear.
“W. T. F.!”
It was only then that it occurred to me that I might be in very deep trouble. Indeed.
But just then, the resident social worker came in to inquire as to whether I needed home care when I left the hospital.
“No I do not,” I hyper-ventilated, as butterflies swirled in my belly and what felt like (giant) ants crawled through my Buffalo-sized bloomers. “I have my daughter, Nurse Jackie, (NJ), to help me.”
Of course that was BEFORE my personal operating nurse, Nurse Angelo, (NA), slipped through the sliding doors of the O. R.
Sud-dddd-en-ly home care was a benefit option I immediately, (if not sooner), needed to explore!
Things moved quickly after the (Holy Doodle) spinal, and the drug-dripping-intravenous that was jammed into the only vein-in-my-hand-I-have-left. Before long, as Muhammed Ali famously said, “I was floating like a butterfly and buzzing like a bee.”
The next thing I knew, someone was calling my name: Mrs. Scott? Mrs. Scott?
“Yes, N.A?” I whispered all Marilyn-Monroe-like, as I valiantly tried to sit up and fluff my hair at exactly the same time.
“You’re all done and everything went fine,” said the voice of the attending nurse, N.B. (Nurse Burly).
N.B. looked nothing like the Harlequin cover nurse, (N.A.) I was expecting.
“What time is it?” I asked, hoping N.A. might just be off on a nurse-ly hair-fluffing coffee break.
“It’s 11:15 a.m.,” N.B. replied.
“11:15?” I asked shocked. “11:15?”
Hell, it had only been 70 minutes since I’d been wheeled into the O.R. and now here I was, out the other side with a new dancin’ knee. Let’s face it folks, most of us have been on hold with Rogers (Telecom) longer than that- on several occasions!
“Identify your pain level from 1 to 10,” N.B. intoned. “1 being the lowest, and 10 being the worst.”
“1 to 10,” I thought. HMMMM “1 to 10”. It is no secret that the closer to 10 one gets, the better the drugs become.
“9.9,” I said, hedging my bets. After all, one does deserve only the best for all the pain and suffering one has to endure, N’est pas?
And true to the hospital’s promise- We are your partner in pain- N.B., in lickety-split time, fed me a palm-full of pills that would’ve been worth a fortune on the streets.
Within seconds I was checked out before admin had even checked me in.
There was no time to squawk; in the morning I had to walk.
If you haven’t already, please Sign up and stay tuned for my upcoming Days of Recovery Blog, where I forget all about my list of ‘to dos’ I was to tackle while bed-ridden; I get up and walk- forgetting I have a walker; and, I slid gracefully off my chair onto the floor, whilst cheering too hard for my Raptors.
All the while, with the determination, grit, and resolve to get my damn wings untacked and in-flight again.
Because let’s face it….
What I really miss the most, while going through the recovery process, is the spirit of being a social butterfly
Flying high, and fluttering free. J
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