When I checked in for my knee surgery yesterday the nurse asked me if I had ever fallen. “More times than I can remember.” I responded laughing at my figurative response to her literal question. She was not amused. “Do you live alone?” No one had ever asked me that before and when I answered yes, it dawned on me that I do. I have no husband, no children, no pets even. I immediately pictured the I’ve fallen and I can’t get up lady in the ads for the Med-Alert button and I realized that I am the ideal candidate for this device.
“Do you have an Advanced Directive, a notarized document giving someone authority to make medical decisions for you?” As I pictured myself on a respirator I told her “No, but I told my friend you can pull the plug if I go into a coma.” I giggled. She did not. “What is this friend’s name and phone number?” She asked in a grave tone that indicated she might be making the call this afternoon.
“Do you lose a lot of people during arthroscopes?” I asked. “You never know what could happen.” She responded. The procedure was “Out Patient” which I have decided should really be called “Get Out Patient” seeing as they scurry you out of there before the anesthesia has a chance to wear off or you realize that you may have in fact received a boob job instead of that hip replacement.
Now, 36 hours later as I lie awake here at home at an uncivilized hour, still alive, but in a great deal of pain, I long to be an “In Patient” preferably on a morphine drip with one of those clever nurse call buttons and unlimited tapioca pudding. My mother always says “it’s a great life if you don’t weaken.” Today I am weak, but there’s always tomorrow……….