During a recent brief hospital stay, my mother casually mentioned to me that one of her nurses recognized her from a brief hospital stay a few months earlier. (She’s doing well, thank you.)
She and I were both surprised by this. My mother is not a frequent visitor to the hospital, a place that does quite a lot of business. It’s not out of the question, of course. I, for example, only see my mother at Christmas, but I recognize her on sight almost every time. And there are blackjack dealers in Vegas who recognize me every year when I go out on vacation, despite the fact that they see upwards of 100,000 players in between, and I’m not the kind of high-roller that gets noticed.
But it got me thinking about how being recognized on sight is a mixed bag. Sometimes you want to go where (almost) everybody knows your name, and they’re (usually) glad you came. Other times not so much. For example: Continue reading
(Note: This is part 3 of a longer story. Parts 1, 2, and 4 are here, here, and here.)
If Hippocrates were alive today, his oath would look something like this:
“First, don’t screw up. Then blah blah blah medicine something…”
Thursday was the surgery to fix my (non-itchy) trigger finger. There’s not much of a coherent narrative here, but I did want to point out a few highlights for those playing along at home.
Tuesday night the hospital called to make all the arrangements. The call began oddly, with the nurse/receptionist’s first question, “Can you tell me what surgery you’re having?” Note that she called me, and apparently this question (which I would hear repeatedly before the surgery was over) was a test for me, to see if I was the right person. Once I guessed right, she proceeded to ask me the exact same 5 pages of questions I had answered when I went to the doctor’s office in the first place.
Now, honor compels me to point out my own shortcomings. I don’t always pay attention. I especially don’t pay attention when I think I know what’s what. I once started an online relationship with a lovely young lady from Greenville. It wasn’t until we got to the point of arranging to meet that I realized that she lived not in Greenville, NC (about 90 minutes away) but in Greenville, SC (about 5 hours away). That didn’t work out as well.
I bring this point up only because I went to the wrong hospital. Continue reading
The Stroke Saga
Once upon a time, there was a little boy who had a little stroke…
OK, technically I was neither little nor a boy, but on May 26, 2011, I had a minor stroke, or to be a little less oxymoronic, a very small part of my brain starved to death one morning. I didn’t know what it was at the time, but I ended up spending 3 weeks in the hospital learning how to stand and walk again.
During that time, I kept my friends updated via Facebook. I did this for a number of reasons, the most important of which was to stay ahead of the rumor mill. But I also wrote about my experiences for my benefit, to make sure I was still me, and that the damage was purely physical and not mental.
But something odd happened. What started as data points slowly turned into a story. A story about a man trying to mock his way through the worst thing that had ever happened to him. And largely succeeding. After 45 years of watching TV, I was suddenly living in a poorly scripted House/Scrubs crossover episode. And since I seemed to be the only one aware of it, I took it upon myself to make the experience as entertaining for everyone else as I could.
A lot of people laughed, both in and out of the hospital. That made the whole experience livable. Once I started to write that the whole experience would have been fascinating if it were happening to someone else. I never wrote that, because if this had happened to someone I cared about, I would have been basically useless. I can laugh at things happening to me that I couldn’t if they happened to someone else. Because I believe that the good Lord is looking out for me. Laying in the hospital the first night, I found myself faced with two possibilities: either God had forgotten to keep me from having a stroke, or God knew and let it happen for a reason. And once I got down to that question, the answer was easy. And my response was surprisingly easy, too. “OK, let’s see what you have planned this time.” Continue reading