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Sunday, November 28, 2010

Down on One Knee

Chronicling the events of a hospital stay can be dangerous. For the writer, an attempt not to bore the reader. The reader can be challenged even to begin the article. However, due to my all too recent experience, and new found readership, say 10, I am compelled to attempt this task. I would like to say I have been summoned to this task by overwhelming requests. This effort may be a personal effort to understand my recovery.

I suppose the first warning was when my surgeon looked into the xray of my well worn knee and exclaimed, "hell that must hurt". Well, Yeah! Having endured this pain since a faithful football injury which occurred just after the demise of the leather helmets, I ventured to the hallowed halls of TOA, Tennessee Orthopaedic Alliance.

My first and only meeting with my future surgeon began with his xray tech telling me this Dr. was the best and would be replacing his hip soon. I did notice upon entrance to the office area that everyone was limping. A pause was conducted at this moment. Hell, even the xray tech was limping. Job security does not appear to be a problem in this arena. Dr. Smith (real name) was refreshingly open and thorough. At no point did I feel hurried or like my puppy being lead away to the kennel for an extended stay. So, having hurdled the first obstacle, getting an appointment, I was compelled to schedule myself for surgery.

I tend to relate my experiences by the cast of characters I meet along my adventures. This method of story telling can be difficult in a hospital setting with the avoidance of hands on exams, you know those, where they actually touch body parts. After arriving at the hospital at the appointed hour I was adorned with the encoded wrist bracelet, no native American artifacts here. I may have the sense of loss for the remainder of my years after being asked every two hours to present my wrist for verification of my identity. Maybe this would work with the illegal alien situation. Even after returning home, I awakened each morning presenting my wrist to my wife for her verification. I did wonder why she continued to ask?

It is the little things in these new experiences one tends to remember. Arrival at the main entrance to Baptist Hospital, Valet parking was eagerly awaiting our vehicle. Huh!!! A friendly young man asked for our keys, could he help with bags and presented us with a parking ticket. Now my only prior experience at hospital arrivals has been in my local community. Upon arriving at the main entrance one must run the gauntlet of heavy smokers assembled near the entrance, many trailing trees of IV bags, catheters and electronic monitors. A wonderful path has been constructed about 50 yards away from the entrance to permit smokers to suffer their habit as group exercise. No valet parking here, just drop off the sick and wounded and get out of the way while your caregiver parks and wags bags to the awaiting patient while being exposed to life threatening second had smoke. The warm, southern hospitality of Baptist Hospital made a wonderful first impression.

Upon being shown to admission room, I repeat not a hall, but my room, we were greeted by a bubbly young many who was just fun. He did insist on shaving my leg but entertained of stories where patients had painted happy faces, tattoos and other "emblems" on their surgical areas. Alas, my knee was naked but ready for a personal shave. The only resemblance to our local hospital is the generic hospital gown with my tail feathers showing. I do hope that shot does not find a way to Facebook.

To be continued......

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