On Dec. 12, I obtained the services of an orthopedic surgeon to replace an arthritic right hip.
Less than three weeks later, after a nasty infection had developed in my new hip, I added a trauma surgeon and an infectious disease specialist to my entourage.
In short, the end of 2019 and the beginning of 2020 have been, well, a trial that maybe only an Iranian general could appreciate.
Some of those days have been bad. Others have been worse. Most have been a mishmash of pain medications and pill takings.
Every day becomes a battle with part of your mind wanting some lucidity and the rest of you wanting the hurting from two serious surgeries to stop.
To borrow from the late, great, gone-too-soon comedian Robin Williams, if you dream you are taking medicine in your sleep and you wake up and you are taking medicine — it’s not a good sign.
And then this happened …
I had been home from my latest stint in the hospital about 24 hours.
The World’s Greatest Fisherman and the World’s Finest Beautician, who had brought me into this world, have turned their combined computer/sewing area into my convalescence room.
It’s a good choice because it is on the main floor and my hip and narcotic-addled brain aren’t great on steps.
Keep in mind however, the World’s Greatest Fisherman has turned his home computer system area into something that looks like NASA’s control center with internet routers, signal boosters and modems. There are fewer blinking lights on the National Christmas Tree.
Maintaining up to 24G quantum computing isn’t easy. And one of the gizmos at command central was blinking red instead of blue. So, the World’s Greatest Fisherman had to call in an expert.
The day the expert could come look at the system was the same day the portable wound vacuum quit working on my hip.
The portable vacuum started beeping and the dressing covering my wound went from looking like a dry piece of thin cardboard to an expanding sponge.
I called the home health nurse, and within 20 minutes they had someone looking at the situation.
Now keep in mind, looking at the wound situation involving a hip replacement requires a pretty thorough undressing of your intrepid reporter.
So, in my 12-by-12 convalescence room there were the World’s Greatest Fisherman and the computer expert, huddled like a pair of mad scientists in the computer section and the World’s Greatest Beautician and a nurse who I had never met before hovering over me as I lay in my bed maybe five feet away.
At some point, others wandered into the room, maybe a half dozen people. Seems there was some kind of school tour.
It was the privacy of trying to take a nap in the middle of Main Street at rush hour.
And I was practically naked.
The home nurse was trying to reach my surgeon to see what might be done. Unable to reach anyone, she was asking me if I wanted her to call 911 to arrange emergency transport to the hospital because of the rapidly changing nature of my wound.
In my other ear, I could hear the World’s Greatest Fisherman relaying network identifiers and pass codes to the computer expert.
At one point, the computer expert asked if I might be going into shock from blood loss, and the nurse wanted to know the baud rate on the internet system.
Or maybe it was the other way around.
I, for my part, had pretty much been keeping my eyes closed the entire time as I lay on the bed in the center of the activity.
I don’t even like to see myself naked, much less see a few complete strangers see me partially disrobed.
I didn’t know whether to request an ambulance or ask for a month of free internet service.
In the end, the World’s Greatest Fisherman took me to the ER where it was determined the best course of action was simply to remove the wound vacuum. I got to go home which is always a plus.
I think we may to need to get a new computer expert, however. The last guy was looking a little green around the gills when he left.
And I may see about getting a more private room.