Home at last. My surgeon or the hospital has arranged for a different set of home health visitors than the ones I had in July. The nurse arrives and starts at the gate talking to my daughter about me. When she gets into my room, she sits facing my daughter and keeps talking only to her, referring to me as "she." I just want to yell the words from . . .THE TITANS: I'm hurt, not dead!
I finally stand and say as calmly as I can, "It would be good if you talked directly to me." When she looks at the incision, she becomes upset because the area is red. She puts a gauze pad over it, though the doctor had taken the cover off. She insists I must see the surgeon. Now I'm upset. After a three-way conversation, we make an appointment to go clear back to Pasadena the next day.
While waiting in the surgeon's office I learn from his assistant that I was given a sheet of post-op instructions earlier that urged me to shower! (No baths.) With only a few hundred papers from the first hospital, how could I have overlooked that instruction sheet?
The surgeon comes in and says the incision is red only because it was irritated. I am short. The brace has been way too tall and not nearly tight enough at my waist. (Irritating and painful as it sometimes is, I remember being grateful in Rehab that I didn't have the hard braces up to the neck, and one hard wood neck frame I saw on other patients.) He sends my daughter downstairs to have the big outer shell (heavy as a winter coat) removed. One hurdle overcome. He removes any remaining steri-strips.
My daughter went back to her home in a few days. When the nurse had only me to talk to, we became friends.
The two steps/landings into the apartment I used to do in my sleep. Now I stop and think of the PT slogans.