Saturday, March 7, 2009



A Day in the Hospital

Yesterday, Rebecca and I arrived early at the hospital for her foot surgery.

Her right foot has been bothering her for years, and she had scheduled an extensive surgical procedure that involved a tarsal tunnel release and tendon repair on both sides of the ankle, an excess tendon removal, heel ligament repair, bone spur removal, and treatment for plantar fasciitis.

The surgery was originally scheduled for a month ago, but Rebecca rescheduled it so as not to miss our recent trip to New York and the event at the Explorer's Club. We had a rushed week preparing for the surgery, with Reb frantically finishing her copy-edit of WINDS OF DUNE, and then taking some time Thursday to go shopping before being laid up for weeks.

After checking in on the day of the surgery, we discussed the details of the procedure with the doctor, anesthesiologist, and nurses. Having had nothing to eat, and no coffee to drink, Rebecca was anxious to get it over with.

When they took her into the operating room for the two-hour scheduled procedure, she made me promise to go get her a thermos of her favorite Starbucks drink (sugar-free vanilla breve latte). I drove off to the nearest Starbucks and returned with thermos in hand, then sat in the waiting room with the laptop, checked my e-mail, MySpace, Twitter. I did a little cleanup work on some "Terra Incognita" files my typist had sent, grabbed a sandwich at the coffee shop near the waiting room at lunchtime, and the surgeon came out with a smile on his face. He said something I've never heard before in Rebecca's various surgeries over the years: "That was faster and easier than I expected."

Everything went well, and I was able to see her in the recovery room about an hour later. (In the meantime I made a bunch of phone calls to friends and relatives.) She was up and perky, and very happy to have her Starbucks.

We got her dressed and back home; her foot is wrapped in a giant ball of dressings and bandages, and she goes in Monday to have a cast put on.

She'll be in a cast for three weeks, then in a boot for another six.

Now at home recovering, Rebecca feels pretty well. She has a little scooter like a tricycle so she can rest her knee as she wheels back and forth to the bathroom (the extent of her travels so far). I have a little table set up near the bed and we've been catching up on a lot of movies and shows. Last night we saw the DVD of Michael Moore's SICKO -- a horrifying and compelling movie, though probably not the best thing to watch on the night after surgery. Even if you don't agree with everything Moore says, it's a movie you should watch during the continuing debate over health coverage.

"Burn Notice," "Monk," "Battlestar Galactica," maybe another movie. We just got the new animated "Wonder Woman" movie released by DC --looks very interesting. We have a lot to catch up on.

-- KJA


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