Wednesday, April 8

Dr. Manhattan vs. Bob Dole.

The Broken Elbow Quadrilogy - Part III.

No matter if you’re going there for your own problems or the problems of a loved one, a trip to the hospital is a generally unwelcome day out of the house, validated parking or otherwise.

As we walked through the waiting rooms adorned with expensive chairs, exotic aquariums and majestic water fountains, I briefly wondered why a hospital would spend so much money making their entrance look so spectacular. Then I remembered that, for most of us, it’ll probably be the last thing we see before we die, so I guess the more lavish, the better. I always donate money to HospiceCare, because I really don’t want to die in a hospital bed. Don’t get me wrong, I’d certainly like to die in a bed, but I’d like for it to be my own, preferably free of handles or mechanical devices of any kind.

Maybe a cat or two would be nice, though.

The Missus was there to get the diagnosis on her elbow. Specifically, if it required surgery, or just a little rest, relaxation and horrid daytime television. This meant a trip into the ‘Orthopedics and Podiatry’ wing of the hospital; a place that I was previously unfamiliar with. Basically, what ‘Orthopedics and Podiatry’ means is that everyone there, and I mean everyone, is limping. Whether it was the click-clacking of aluminum crutches or the subtle groaning and shuffling of a new patient, they sprung for the soft carpet and extra-high Waiting Room chairs for a reason. I was stifling incredulous laughter for the entire duration.

I don’t know what I find so funny about a room full of people unknowingly doing the same thing at the same time, but I just can’t get enough of it. A couple years ago, I went to a training seminar for my day job, and during a break in the action, about 20 gatherers silently ate apples in the conference room. Never mind that nobody there saw the humor in it; the sound alone was so funny that I had to leave before I wet my pantaloons.

As I watched her purse and waited for the Missus to emerge with good news, I fiddled with my iPhone (absolutely no reception whatsoever inside of a hospital) and read hopelessly out-of-date copies of Newsweek and Time. I enjoy reading recently-dated news magazines, however, because it makes me feel like some sort of clairvoyant, like Dr. Manhattan or something. I pretend to myself that I’m reading a new magazine, and can predict the future with stunning accuracy.

Hmm…AIG is asking for bailout money. Something tells me that they’re about to face some powerful and necessary scrutiny for using taxpayer dollars to institute bonuses to several of their high-ranking executives. Time will tell; time will tell…

Then I’ll teleport to Mars while the whole matter gets sorted out.

Fortunately, the prognosis was good. The Missus didn’t need surgery, the cast came off, and a lot of low-impact exercises and suggestions were put into place for a speedy recovery. In two or three weeks, she might actually be back to 100%. We left the hospital feeling optimistic for the future, and she itched her arm raw for the duration of the car ride back home. Damn casts, not allowing for dead skin to naturally shed from your body.

So, the good news is that she’ll be back to normal in no time. The bad news is that she’s still in a lot of pain and sky-high on medication. The hilarious news is that she has currently adopted the body stance of Bob Dole, clutching her still-useless limb tight to her torso. She should really consider sticking a ballpoint pen in there, just to make it look like her right arm serves any sort of purpose.

I shook his good hand when I met him in Washington DC many years ago.

Bob Dole, not Dr. Manhattan.


Then I’ll teleport to Mars while the whole matter gets sorted out.

When you get there, make sure you build a glass fortress out of the all the sand on Mars. That'll teach them.

As dumb as they may seem, make sure that Hathery does those excerises or it will be a long time until she's 100%.
My rehabilitation is called "functional rehabilitation." In other words, I'm just supposed to use my arm like normal and let my usual work strengthen it. The doc said if I went to PT it would just cause me unnecessary pain and it wouldn't help this type of injury. I'm back to about 95% now...still have about 5% before I'm full motion. :)

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