Today I was racing the clock, going from one place to another. I went to my usual exercise class but used the recumbent bike only twenty minutes today because I was pressed for time.
I had a noontime appointment with an internist, Dr. Sarah Smiley, to have a physical exam, chest X-rays, blood draw and EKG. She was in a wheelchair and wearing a leg brace, which made her job more difficult. She told me that her legs had been severely injured on a ski trip. She was standing still when another skier, who was going about 40 miles per hour, plowed right into her. OUCH!! Her left knee had to be complete reconstructed. She also told me that she grew up in Lamesa, which is near my home town of Seagraves.
My next appointment was with Dr. Geck for counseling. He discussed the expected benefits of the back surgery, as well as possible complications and the expected recovery time. He was very good about answering my questions. Anesthesia was one of my main concerns, especially if it robbed me of my memory. He said that the ones based on gases are more apt to cause this problem and that he doesn’t use that kind. Patients very often lose weight after surgery. That would be a welcome outcome in my opinion because I’ve outgrown too many of my pants!! Walking is one of the best ways to get rid of “spare tires”. He said that I should be able to live at home with no problem after five to seven days in rehab but that I will have to take it easy.
After my visit with Dr. Geck, his nurse, Jacqueline, talked with me about some of the logistics. I shouldn’t take anything to the hospital because they don’t have storage space for patients’ belongings. I’ll be in ICU for two or three days and then taken to a regular room. Someone will need to bring my bag then.
Since I hadn’t had time to eat lunch between these appointments, I was very hungry. It wasn’t long until dinner time by then so I stopped to get a hamburger on the way home.