The pre-op rendezvous

Whenever I’ve had surgery in the past there was very little pre-operative attention given to or required of me.  No doubt because I was already in extremis (“Put this under your tongue and don’t move; we’re doing you tomorrow morning!”); or, I had had the courtesy to distract myself with an overwhelming concussion, punctured lung or broken ribs. This time however the surgery is in the nature of elective, having been scheduled over six months ago before we left for Key Largo in anticipation of fixing my deteriorating left knee.

It was today as part of the upcoming surgery that I attended a pre-operative rendezvous at the Perth & Smiths Falls District Hospital , 60 Cornelia Street W in Smiths Falls. Following a blood test and a thorough examination of my current medications, and then a one-hour preparation lecture from a local physiotherapist, I was directed to the basement for X-rays of my left knee and chest. The overall message is, be there at 8:30 am on May 24th, nothing to eat after midnight, no liquid except water until 6:30 am, casual shoes and clothing, and have support in the wings. The more compelling intelligence is that the surgery is predicted to make life difficult for about six weeks. I am hoping the restriction on driving will be minimal.

I can’t imagine how dreadful it must have been for people years ago to endure similar knee problems without the prospect of improvement.  Plus the fact that my surgery is apparently being done by a robot!  You can’t tell me that isn’t new!

The presumption of those who work in a hospital is clearly that dignity is not an issue.  Alternately this morning I was asked to remove clothing and a gold necklace (but not the two rings). It reminded me how many accoutrements are secured upon me, things like a hearing aid, all of which must be stored somewhere if removed.  I used a shoe and the pockets of my short pants. Parading about in a hospital gown was I am certain less than fashionable.  But once again dignity mattered not.

After this heated foregathering at the hospital early this morning, I have now the pleasure of regaining my position at my desk overlooking the Mississippi River and the late afternoon sunshine highlighting the eastern horizon. The only disappointment is that the letters “f” and “F” on my MacBook Pro keyboard are acting up. I must push down on the key to make it work. We’ve made an appointment with the so-called “Genius Bar” at the Apple Store in Bayshore tomorrow afternoon.  It’s annoying but it must be addressed, not unlike many of the things which have lately preoccupied me. These are hardly misfortunes but they have unsettled my usual regard. The impatience of old people is well documented. I don’t think it’s a temporal thing; rather it is the sense of abuse for having to withstand assault on a range of trifling matters. The Universe is indeed ultimately personal!  And detailed! Attempting to by-pass that detail is near impossible. The lovely generalities of life depend so much upon those seemingly insignificant matters.