Tuesday, December 6, 2022

All the King's Horses and One Immensely Talented Ortho Surgeon

When I was eight, I went into the hospital alone for the first time  — well, the first time I remember. I was there to have my tonsils out and while I don’t recall being afraid, at that age and situation I had to be. Luckily, the kid in the bed next to me (it was an Army hospital children’s ward) was talkative and. after talking for a few minutes, we discovered we had gone to kindergarten together. While this might be no big deal in the civilian kid world, for a military brat it meant that even though we had both lived in three different states since we last saw each other, we were together again. He was there for an operation on his eyes.

There were no TVs in the ward, so we spent the night talking and getting yelled at by the nurse for talking. The next morning, they wheeled all the beds in the ward out in a long line, and we were paraded down to the operating room to wait our turn. Sometime later, I woke up back in the ward with the worst sore throat of my young life. My friend had returned too, with patches over both eyes.

The most memorable thing that happened that day was when I puked in my bed and my friend was yelling his head off for a nurse to come help. When he could finally get one, she changed out the bedding while cursing me for not calling her sooner. Not sure how I was supposed to yell for her with a throat that had just had tonsils yanked out. By the way, not all Army nurses look like McMurphy.

Later that day, I went home. I never saw my classmate again, and I carried an aversion to nurses for a long while after. I got over it, even dedicating my book POMSILv2 to them.

Over the course of my life, I have had a few surgeries but never ran into another classmate.

Tomorrow, I am having my ankle repaired from an injury I suffered while in the Air Force. I guess after more than a few years it’s time to make my ankle work the way it should. According to what I’m told, I will enjoy a medically induced haze for a few days to mask the pain. So, if I take a few days to reply to an email, that is why.

Just didn’t want you to wonder if I fled the country to avoid being captured by some espionage agency I wrote about a little too realistically… then again, maybe I did.


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