Monday, August 10, 2009

Guid Luck

Last week, my sister had major surgery on her foot. Said sister has been putting off said surgery for a very long time due to too-complicated-to-explain issues with her other foot, which meant she knew she’d be incapacitated for something like a month…confined to a wheelchair, electric scooter and walker (not necessarily in that order).

The family mobilized (as we tend to do) and coordinated who would be responsible for what…leaving very little of the decision-making to the person who is actually having the surgery. We’ve found it just works better for us this way.

So. Surgery-sister is staying with Nurturing-sister at Nurturing-sister’s house, while Fly-By-The-Seat-of-Her-Pants-sister (guess who?) takes responsibility for doctor visits, pharmacy runs and the occasional visits to deliver frantic pleas for double-stuf Oreos, cashews and a particular brand of tequila…which I do not believe is part of the AMA’s recommendation for a post surgical patient on narcotic pain relievers.

Whatever. I’m just the messenger.

My job on Thursday was to take my sister for her first post-op appt. at the surgeon’s office, which happens to be at the hospital. The appointment was at 1pm and I was told (in no uncertain terms by Nurturing-sister…who’s also kinda bossy) that I had to be there NO LATER THAN 11:45am. It’s a 30-minute drive to the doctor, so that meant it was going to be a 45-minute production to get Surgery-sister out the door, down the front steps and into the car. I was unconcerned about getting her out of the car and into the hospital as I informed my sisters that surely someone would help me. They both rolled their eyes and one said, “I don’t think so” while the other said, “I hope you’re right”.

Say it with me now: “What. Ev. Er.”

I arrived on the day of my appointed duty on time. (Yay.) Surgery-sister was ready to go. (Double-yay.) Between the scooter, the walker and the wheelchair, it took us 45 minutes to get Surgery-sister settled comfortably into the passenger seat of my car.

I hate it when Nurturing sister is right. She will simply add this to the list of things she has already been spot-on about and it’ll give her even more of a reason for insisting that we must do things her way because she’s been spot-on a total of 462 times in the last 12 months alone…and how do you argue with that? I’ve tried. It’s pointless.

When we got to the hospital, I drove into the circular drop-off lane, put the car in park and ran into the lobby, fully expecting to find some cute attendant that would offer to escort me with a wheelchair to my car to pick up my sister. There were no personnel in sight, but there were 2 wheelchairs available. One was evidently super-glued to the floor, so I went with the other one. I rolled it out, got within two feet of my car and my Prince Charming (in the form of a uniformed security guard) offered to take it from there. He helped sis into the chair and promised she’d still be in the lobby after I parked the car.

Unfortunately, the wheelchair I’d chosen had a slight glitch to it. It made this high-pitched “wheeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!”sound to it.

We got on the elevator with a small group of people who smiled politely…until I started rocking sis back & forth to see if it would change pitch. (It did not.) We exited the elevator and all eyes turned to us as we made our way to the check-in desk. I, personally, thought this was absolutely hilarious, but my sister is not a big fan of drawing attention to herself....I thought of it as kind of a cosmic-intervention. Everyone was either smiling, laughing, or had this comical “WTF?” look on their faces, which made me laugh harder and sis was busy trying to roll herself into a ball so she could disappear.

They checked us in right away and I’d only gotten 1/3 of the way through my funny waiting-room homicide story when they called us back to see the doctor. That involved more chuckling from our growing audience and we had to roll through a narrow hall with cubicles on both sides to reach the examination room. "wheeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" Needless to say, every single person in those cubicles came out to see what the ruckus was all about. No-one seemed annoyed and they all had their own interpretation of what it sounded like. The consensus seemed to be bagpipes…only the song never progressed past that first long, timeless, irritating note.

The doctor checked her wound, replaced her cast and I only hit her foot once on the way out of that too-narrow door of the examination room. (Kudos for me, a little pain for her.)

They all heard us leaving…"wheeEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!" and simultaneously yelled their farewells…with wishes for a great day…and thanked us for the laughs.

All in all, I thought it went pretty well. Surgery-sister says she’d rather go next time with someone a little…quieter.

What do you suppose she means by that??

JD at I Do Things said...


Hahaha. I love it. Why should hospital visits be boring and quiet? I say bring a Whoopie cushion next time.

kathryn said...

WHEEEEEEEEEEE! Whoopie cushion? Surgery-sister would kill me. Besides, I don't think she's planning on having me accompany her for the next one. She used words like "embarrassed" and "mortifying". I mean did she even notice? She was hopped up on pain pills the whole time...

jh said...

So very Kathryn-esque.

kathryn said...

jh: Of course, that's a compliment, right? And such an amazingly profound, new word as well...

Susan F said...

You can take me to my appointments any time. Sounds like fun!

kathryn said...

Thank you, Sue! And if you can just give me an 8-hour advance window so I can get up there, I'm your gal!

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