Day 106 – Updated

Ditto to yesterday’s post, with the exception that I’m a digit shorter…or maybe it’s a shorter digit.

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Cindy waiting with me

I see more worry in her face in this photo than I remember seeing when I took the shot. I was probably so busy feeling sorry for myself that I wasn’t all that concerned about the people who were there with me. Typical.

I didn’t sleep all that well the night before…first night in the hospital…nurses coming in to take blood, check vitals, talk to me…my mind going off in different directions trying to make sense of what was happening/deflect from what was happening.

For a while I put on the headphones and listened to my MP3 player. I keep the player on shuffle mode and that makes for interesting programming. I remember that one random sequence gave me Bob Gibson singing This Train, The Glenn Miller Orchestra with Tex Beneke doing Chatanooga Choo Choo, and Steve Goodman singing The City Of New Orleans. Later Steve Goodman came around again with Somebody Else’s Troubles. The second and fourth verses made me think, so I turned off the music before I could hear John Prine sing Please Don’t Bury Me. I didn’t want the nurses to think my laughter was hysterical.

To change my train of thought from train songs and death references in songs I started going over in my mind other things that were weighing on Cindy’s mind. Her mother, Flo, is in a nursing home and is rotating between the poles of being ready to die and wanting to be waited on hand and foot. Cindy had told me an incident concerning herself and her mother when Cindy was young. It reminded me of a similar incident from when I was young. In my case I was left in the car while my parents were in an Eastern Star meeting in LaPorte. That led me to reflect on the fact the my dad was a Mason, he and my mom were in Eastern Star, my sister was a Rainbow Girl. I was lucky, there was no DeMolay chapter in Rolling Prairie. I got to be in scouting instead. I was a Cub Scout, a Boy Scout, and an Explorer Scout. I don’t remember when I started losing interest in scouting, but it was probably around the time I was caught with a pack of cigarettes at Region 7 Canoe Base. So I’m not sure but I don’t think the Scouts had a secret handshake. That would make sense. How do you approach a stranger and test them with a secret handshake? I would personally find it weird if someone tried out a secret handshake on me. My first reaction would be, “What the…?” and then I would probably think, “You’re barking up the wrong tree because my tail doesn’t wag that way.” And so my mind kept moving around.

Cindy, Jill, Trina, JR, Marilyn & Barbara spent time with me during the morning, waiting for the surgery to start. Once they came to get me it all went pretty fast. There was very little prep since there was no general anesthetic, just local. They bathed my foot in antiseptic, administered the local, and got to work. Dr. Moon kept me informed, in general, what he was doing. He kept me engaged in conversation to keep my mind occupied (good call, that), and occasionally spoke in euphemisms like “you’ll feel some vibration now” meaning “I’m sawing off your toe now.” I forgot to mention that at some point he said he would be using a saw on the bone. My mind immediately envisioned everything from a jigsaw to a sabre saw, but decided it was probably nothing you would see on This Old House. Anyway he put in some packing, sewed me up partially, and wrapped the foot. The surgery lasted 16 minutes. They took me back to my room. Dr. Moon met Cindy in the room and explained what he had done, cleaning out all of the pus, dead flesh, etc. Specimens had been sent off for cultures and based on the results they would know what kind of antibiotic would be needed next. In the meantime I would stay in the hospital and keep getting the IV antibiotic.

A side effect of all of this was that I was not only hungry (I hadn’t eaten in 22 hours) and thirsty (nothing to drink for 14 hours) but I was also hyper. I was ready to talk about anything. I finally wore everyone out and they left. I put on my headphones, turned on my MP3 player, and crashed. I woke up later, ate another meal, watched some TV, and then slept better than I had in a long time.

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