Saturday, February 7, 2015

I Left My Hip in Sinnn-a-lo-a: Meet Rosie

                                    I Left My Hip in Sinnn-a-lo-a: Meet Rosie
             With a bit of lyrical jiggling, I could write a new hit song. Okay. So I’m not Tony Bennett. Okay. So not all my good ideas work.

            I’m happy to be back in my casa. My bionic knee, Ruth, acquired in India, is bonding with my new bionic body part, Rose Hip. With every step, I lean onto the arms of my new best friend, Hopalong Cassidy. I have another supportive friend who lives in the bathroom whom I call Howdy Doody.

            This sounds like my body is quite cosmopolitan, chic multi-national. However, I suspect Ruth and Rosie were each purchased in a US Body Part Store.

            No, I do not have multiple personalities. I have multiple replacement parts.

            My hospital experience was the best, new modern facility, attentive doctors and nurses. I can say only good things about my care. My surgeon came to check me several times a day. I know this is hard to believe, but he comes to my house to check my progress at home and replace the dressing over the incision. He will come to my house to remove the stitches. I tell the truth.

Two more truths. I’ve become a firm believer in prayer in the trenches. Surgery is not fun.

In one area only did this hospital experience fail to impress. After eating the best Indian food I’ve ever had at the hospital in Bangalore, India, the food in this lovely facility was despicable. How can anybody render Mexican food both unappealing and tasteless?

Rueben and Sylvia who own the luncheria at the corner of my apartment building make the best marlin quesadillas in town. They bring meals to me until I feel up to cooking again. They are open weekdays only but friends and neighbors keep me well supplied on the weekends.

First in a steady stream of visitors, Dorothy from St. Paul, Minnesota and up the street six houses, walked in with a good old-fashioned mid-western macaroni hot dish in hand. Comfort food, yes, and I enjoyed every comforting forkful. Frank, my neighbor, makes a killer southern-style chili (an American dish I’m talking about here) at least once a week. He brought me a bowlful. Mmmm. More comfort food.

I’m soaking up all the comforting I can get. My post-surgery emotions keep me on a tilt-a-whirl, bouncing from gratitude to my good friends and neighbors to abject self-pity and feelings of alone-ness. Feelings pass. I know that in my head. Heart rules.

Physically, I’m healing quickly. On my hip, covering a six inch incision, looking like a fungus growth on a tree, rests a poufy bandage the size of an Unabridged Oxford English Dictionary. But it couldn’t weigh three grams. I have to wear dresses, loose and casual, not slinky. I like dresses.

The next three weeks I will read an amazing number of books, sit in my chair with my leg propped on a stool, keep my foot jiggling to make the lymphatic sausage effect recede, and will drink enough water to drain a mid-size lake. I had more pain pre-surgery than I have post-surgery. The way it should be.

While I was in the hospital I could feel all the good hopes, prayers, best wishes buzzing over the airwaves all the way from Havre. Now that I am in recovery, please send books, tuna casserole, grilled cheese sandwiches, tomato soup, Cocoa Puffs, more chocolate and lots of love.

Sondra Ashton
HDN: Looking out my back door

February 5, 2015

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