It’s going to be a hospital day. My wife is back in surgery now for her ankle. Just a nice, easy 3 hours of unconsciousness while they insert screws into her ankle bones. I haven’t slept well all week and I’m feeling tired and a little jittery. My joints ache a bit and I can’t sit still.
Even so, this is pretty good as hospital visits go. I’ve never been admitted to a hospital, but I’ve spent my fair share of time there, starting in 6th grade when we discovered my father’s brain tumor. The next few years saw us intermittently very familiar with what was then Medical College of Ohio in Toledo. I mainly remember reading a lot to calm the anxiety I had. Good thing fantasy and sci-if have always come in the form of multi-book series.
My clearest memory from those years sold the hospital isn’t even about anyone I knew, but I remember this guy who was in for lung cancer, and he would come out to the waiting room to bum cigarettes. The nurses told everyone not to give him smokes, so he started going through ash trays for butts to smoke. That wasn’t the only reason I never got into smoking, but it helped.
My Mom did a lot of needle work, crocheting blankets and things. We must have been going to the hospital a lot before Christmas, because Mom got into making angel ornaments, like doilies out of thread and some kind of stiffening glue. She made so many that year that they decorated a whole tree with them in the hospital, a big one in the lobby. I’m sure she was plenty anxious too.
I spent some time in that same hospital maybe 10 years ago when Mom had her heart attack. The thing I remember from that visit was how great the food in the cafeteria was. They had a ton of Middle Eastern food, and I tried everything in the week or so I was there with her.
I’m in the cafeteria of a different hospital right now, both because I didn’t eat before we left home and because eating showering and gradually sipping down my coffee is a good excuse not to wear my mask. I’ve been spoiled by working from home, I guess, and didn’t develop the calluses on my ears that my wife and kids must have developed. Speaking of COVID-related measures, I got my booster yesterday. I guess that might also be the source of my aches.
I’m not particularly anxious. While it’s always possible that something could go wrong, this kind of surgery is so routine that I can’t even convince myself to worry. She’ll be home tonight and we’ll continue much as we have for the last week and a half. Anywhere from 6 to 12 weeks before she can start putting weight on that ankle, but once we get through surgery, the healing can begin.