Cutting Remarks

By Don Shearon

First Published February 27, 1976

While probably unnoticed by most casual observers, the architectural design of Jefferson County Memorial Hospital provides one means of access that, for me at least, works on the revolving door principle.
Having wound up our much-celebrated Bicentennial Year as a paying guest at this resort, released by a kind-hearted physician on New Year’s Eve in time to view the remaining post-season Bowl game in the relative comfort of my own home, I managed to get a leg up on the nation’s next 100 years by re-entering the same resort (again as a paying guest, of course) little more than two months into the country’s Tricentennial countdown.
It all occurred so rapidly that the invisible revolving door couldn’t have made more than a couple or three turns before I was dropping another dime into its turnstile.
This time, I found myself employed as a testing medium for freshly-sharpened scalpels.
In a word, it was my first (and hopefully my last) experience as a surgery patient. I cannot bring myself to recommend it very highly as a hot-selling item in the parlor game line.
Now, I am not too well informed concerning the sensations sought by kids addicted to glue-sniffing, but am told they find themselves transported into a Dream World of sorts. I suspect pre-surgery preparations lend the patient a certain kinship with the glue-sniffer, with a couple of important differences:

  1. The services of a highly-trained and therefore expensive surgeon are not required to squeeze the contents from a glue tube, and
  2. Unless some argument develops among the glue-sniffers about who’s taking the next sniffing turn, knife play is not necessarily a part of this recreational pursuit.

This leaves open to conjecture whatever similarities may exist with respect to post-operative — or post-sniffery — convalescence.
Speaking for the post-operative group, and that group only —it’s plain hell!!
Strength could compare quite favorably with that of a soggy noodle, although the noodle dries out gradually; very, very gradually in my case at least.
Uncertain footing makes it something of an adventure to walk across the rooms, bravely keeping hands off anything of a supportive or steadying quality. This is true during the first several days, eves among familiar home surroundings.
How many days? I’ll let you know when further developments warrant an additional report on changing ambulatory procedures.
During this initial period. trying to take a shower seems a risky undertaking. Perhaps it’s cowardice on my part, but about all I need right now is a broken leg, arm or anything else except skull, in which case little difference could be detected.
The ripening process became so advanced as to absolutely dictate something beyond perfunctory application of a wet wash-cloth; so, against my better judgment, I climbed into a bathtub,. wallowed around in the soapy water long enough to rearrange the scum, then attempted to disembark from that infernal contraption, unassisted.
I was just about a half-breath away from yelling for help when a last-ditch effort paid off.
As far as I am concerned. the flesh can drop from the bones before I ever crawl into one of those torture devices again, especially when the cause of sanitation gains very little, if anything, from the nightmarish experience.
This attitude may be tempered a bit once my scars have healed, but don’t give very generous odds on it if you’re making book.
Now, I search for nearly-outworn shorts whose elastic bands have used up most of their resistance to expansion, attempting to put as little pressure as possible on certain affected portions of my anatomy.
Always the efficient one, the Queen of Mortgage Manor keeps her Jester reasonably well supplied with snugly fitting articles of clothing, even at a time when sloppiness would have a certain degree of charm.
But all this part of past-hospitalization adjustment upon re-entry into the Real World puts us way ahead of our story.
Now, I’ve never had much difficulty keeping my sense of direction, unlike the Lady of Our House who, without a cue card, has trouble onsorting her right hand from her left.
To pursue this further at this point would be too taxing on both time and space. As the deep-tone “Perils of Pauline” announcer used to tease the youngsters, don’t miss the next episode. And pay attention, ’cause some questions may be asked at a later date.


Related Articles

Check Also