By: Ken Boone
It's Thursday morning, and I find myself in a familiar spot. Sitting in the waiting room of "Celia's place". That's what I call hospital where Celia had replacement surgery on bot hips. My place, where they treated me for my heart condition is on the other side of town. While they are part of the same hospital system, those two facilities are as different as night and day.
Her procedure is simple compared to the surgeries she had in July and November of 2019. That's right, two hip replacements in one year. A brave soul is she! Today's is basically a "clean up on aisle 3" sort of affair. It's so routine that the surgeon said she would be discharged later on today.
Last year was filled with many challenges for Celia and me, healthwise. We were hoping have all of it behind us by 2020, but that doesn't appear to be the case.
We have big plans for this year, and in fact, some of those plans are now starting to take shape. Needless to say, medical misadventures are not part of those plans!
Since I started writing this blog and recording my podcast, my perspective has changed dramatically. Where I once referred to the challenges in my life as grievances, I now call most of them regrets. The reason why is that I now take the extra step of taking ownership of those challenges and helping to shape the outcomes. The old, wise saying is making lemonade out of lemons!
There's a guy walking around the waiting appearing to try to sell durable medical equipment to the loved ones of the patients who are back in the surgical suites. I'm glad I'll be able to tell him that I've got one of everything he's hawking!
I just finished having a post-op consultation with the surgeon. He told me that she came through the procedure with flying colors. He also repeated that she would be discharged later today. I was cautiously optimistic because the pre-op nurse earlier said that she would be get overnight for observation. Note to self: doctor trumps nurse, right?
There are at least 20 people who insisted I let them know how Celia's procedure went. They all wanted phone calls, but I think I'll text them instead. As I got older, I realized that I'm not much of a phone guy. In fact, I'm not much of a talker, period. For people who knew me when I was young, that must be difficult to comprehend.
Moving right along, I'm now in Celia's room, and she looks fantastic! She's typically very drowsy from the anesthesia, but today she alert and chipper. There's a knock on the door. Enter Carly, her nurse for the day. She looks like she's 18, but has the knowledge base of someone who's done this for 40 years!
After the introductions, she repeated the pre-op nurse's assessment that Celia will be an overnight guest. That wasn't good news to my ears, but I did pack a change of clothes just in case. That's right, we are one of those couples who always crashes in the same room! People seem to like that about us.
When we told Carly that the doctor said Celia would be allowed to leave today, she expressed a little concern. Because this was a procedure to remove some infected debris, Carly was typically against same-day discharges. Most nurses would have stood their ground, but not Carly. She called the surgeons office and put in a plan of attack that she would be willing to sign off on.
Celia and I spent the next 3 to 4 hours discussing all of the things we would do after she was discharged and fully recovered. In no particular order, we would:
At the same time, Carly was coordinating "Operation Celia Goes Home" with Physical Therapy, the surgeon's office, and everyone else who had to sign off. Did I say that she looked like she was only 18? Yes I did!
It's now 6:45pm and Carly comes in with the final verdict. Celia gets to go home in about an hour! That's the good news. The bad news is that Carly's shift ends at 7:00pm, and the night crew would be responsible for the discharge. Not their strong suit. To our amazement, Carly refused to leave until everything was in order and Celia was in the wheelchair on her way to the lobby. I also remember saying earlier that her skills of a veteran nurse!
It's now 7:45pm and I'm pulling the car around to the hospital entrance, when I see a vision. It's Carly clad in an overcoat and with a backpack. I wanted to roll down my window to give her a shout out, but she just got done with a long shift.
After the transportation nurse finished loading Celia into our car, we took off like gangsters fleeing a bank heist. That was in case they changed their minds. I told her that I saw Carly walking through the parking lot. Celia also saw her leaving through the front door a few seconds earlier.
We both had the same impression about her as she appeared in her street clothes. She no longer looked like she was 18. She looked like she was 14! All I can say was "damn, they're making angels younger these days"!
But wait, there's more!
About the Author
As owner of the Descant Music & Media Group, Ken is a creator and producer of several podcast shows. He is also a music producer, as well as a writer and an accountant for small businesses and nonprofits.