She’s on her way to being completely bionic

FATHER’S DAZE
Emmitt B. Feldner for The Review

The way I see it, I’m about one-quarter of the way to being married to the Bionic Woman.

Terry got the first of her replacement parts last week – a knee replacement.

That means she only needs one more leg, an arm and her hearing and she could be a ‘70s television science fiction show.

She just got one knee replaced – her left one.

She tried to talk the surgeon into a buy one, get one free deal and get both knees replaced, but he wouldn’t go for it.

It doesn’t make sense – you don’t buy just one tire for your car, or one shoe at a time – but there was no BOGO deal on knee replacements.

The doctor even showed her the X-rays to prove that only the left knee was shot and the right one still had a few more thousand miles on it, so that was that.

She’d been anticipating this since late last summer, when her left knee went out on her at work and she wound up in a wheelchair for a few weeks while her knee recuperated – though it wasn’t fully rehabilitated, unfortunately.

She went under the knife on a Tuesday morning and I got to spend the morning in the hospital waiting for the procedure to be completed and for her to be all right.

While I’ve only spent a couple of nights hospitalized in my entire life – a record I’d like to keep going as long as possible – I’ve spent enough time in hospitals with other people that I’ve learned to bring a good book along to read.

Considering that we had to have her there at 7 a.m., I was debating whether I should bring an entire library along, but I finally settled for a good 350-page or so book.

Terry got all settled in and ready to go, then I was sent off to the waiting room to do – what else – wait.

They did have a screen with color-coded displays that showed just exactly what phase of the process she was in – from pre-op to surgery to post-surgery to finally in her room, but that proved to be a slow-moving program, so I got a lot of reading done.

The doctor did come out while she was in recovery to let me know that the surgery had gone well with no complications.

I was tempted to ask him if Terry would be able to play the violin after her surgery, but he wasn’t old enough to appreciate or remember the joke, so I just let it pass.

I went up to her room after they finally got her all settled in and found her in bed with her leg completely wrapped up – and yes, it was the left leg, they hadn’t made that mistake.

Terry was pretty sleepy from the operation and the pain medication, so I managed to get down to the cafeteria just barely in time before they stopped serving lunch.

They got her working on her therapy that afternoon already, and they had her out of the hospital by Thursday afternoon – the marvels of modern medicine, I guess.

Terry got to come home, to recuperate and rehabilitate under the tender, loving care of her husband.

If that doesn’t qualify as medical malpractice, I’m not sure what would.

It meant we had to rearrange our living room, since she was – and still is – in no shape to make up the flight of stairs to our bedroom.

Instead, I pulled an extra bed frame and mattress out of the basement and set it up in the living room, right next to her favorite recliner.

We had to position everything so that she had a good view of the television, since that is going to be providing much of her entertainment and company for the next several weeks.

It also meant we had to make sure there was adequate space for her and her walker to get around the first floor of the house – and most particularly, to the bathroom.

The other challenge was to keep Terry and the dogs from getting entangled and causing irreparable damage.

The biggest challenge was Gracie, her nearly two-year-old Plott Hound who is convinced that she’s a lap dog – and prefers to spend the night on Terry’s lap as much, and as long, as possible.

Terry had two walkers – the first was an old one that was not quite adequate, the second a newer one she found better suited – and we soon figured out how to set them in front of the recliner to block Gracie from her usual leap onto Terry’s lap.

Gracie still spends her nights in a kennel in the den – something to do with a disagreeable habit of digging into the garbage when she thinks no one’s around – so that meant at least we didn’t have to worry about keeping her off Terry’s bed at night.

Needless to say, we have one confused and frustrated dog in the house these days.

NEXT WEEK: The rehabilitation continues under the postoperative care of Dr. Me.


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