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Old Men and Old Women

January 22nd, 2009

During this latest hospital ordeal, I’ve spent many a long hour pacing up and down the halls at Desert Banner hospital, trying to kill time while somebody does something else to Don, and studying the other people whose paths I cross. One thing I noticed right away, especially on the Cardiac floor, where Don has been, is the family configurations of the patients. There are people of all ages who have heart problems, of course, and all kinds of family groups, but it seems to me that as I passed by the rooms and glanced in, there were an inordinate number of old men in the beds, and old women sitting in the chairs next to the beds. And then I noticed a large number of really old women in the beds, with middle-aged women sitting in the chairs.

It’s our American life passage. Papa gets sick and Mama devotes herself to caring for him for several years. Then, in her very old age, Mama gets sick and her daughter cares for her until her time comes. I was sitting in a waiting room one day and overheard a man say, “You get married and have a nice life together, and then one day you end up with one of you pushing the other down the hall in a wheelchair.” It’s what you sign up for, though at the time, you don’t really realize that the day will ever come. It’s quite shocking when it actually does.

I took Don back to Banner Desert yesterday morning at 7:15 for his heart test, and long story short, he did have to have the ICD (pacemaker/defibrillator) implanted. The doctor told me that it was more complicated than he expected, partially because Don’s heart device needed more adjustment than usual to work correctly, and partly because Don has no fat whatsoever. “He’s just skin and bones”, the doc said. He told me he padded him up as best he could, but he was going to have to be careful about the incision for a while. His arm will be in a sling for three or four days, and he’s not supposed to raise his arm higher than his shoulder for two weeks. He came through well. He’s in good spirits and has no pain to speak of. He came home this afternoon. We’ll see the urologist next Tuesday at 1.30 and make arrangements to take out the stones. The scheduler did say that the doc indicated that Don would have to have 2 operations per side. Egad. Apparently this is not going to be a quick process.

But, this is what I signed up for.

2 Responses to “Old Men and Old Women”

  1. Kay

    Donis, so glad to hear that part of Don’s treatment is finished but it does sound like you guys have your hands full. My thoughts and prayers are with you. Such a lovely little piece you wrote here.

    I loved THE SKY TOOK HIM. Have my review up on my blog. I very much enjoyed your event at Poisoned Pen. Hope to get to see you again sometime. Best wishes.

  2. Donis Casey

    I loved Kay’s review, Dear Readers. You should go over to http://www.myrandomactsofreading.blogspot.com and read it.

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