According to the surgeon, the accumulation of stalagmites in my right hip joint was so profound he had to spend an extra hour in there with instruments scaling it off, like bad dental plaque, before he could commence with the replacement process on that side. I asked him if he used a Dremel tool or what and he looked at me funny, but I imagine it being something like that.
The whole production took four hours. They are used to doing this to old, sedentary people I think and expect their lungs to kind of close down during the anesthesia, so there was someone right at my ear coaxing me to deep-breathe the moment I came up to the surface in the recovery room. I immediately launched into Puccini. By the time they found my posse — the Engineer and his mom, who had been out eating fish tacos — I had gotten through Wagner, Brahms, Schubert, and Oscar Brand’s repertory of dirty songs.
One of the recovery room nurses reportedly stuck her head out into the surgical lounge and asked who was here for the opera singer. I think they were glad to get me off their hands.
I spent one night in outer space, most of the next evening profoundly crashed, the intervals hobbling gingerly around the orthopedic floor on the hospital’s walker, and meal times cursing hospital kitchens. They did do a decent grilled cheese sandwich, of all things, but I was glad to get back to the Engineer’s cooking.
I am full of staples, sealed inside some kind of space age waterproof bandage, stuffed with drugs that make me conk out at random intervals, and swollen up like a toad from the bruising and the gallons of fluids they piped into me, but everything seems to have worked about as predicted so far. I am going to be yea tired of sleeping on my back by the time they get the staples out (god, that’s barbaric), but rolling onto a side full of hardware is not a promising idea.
Mr. Ferguson and Nickel’s nightly habit of performing their marital shenanigans right on top of me is problematic too. The Engineer shoves them to the floor, where they utter the feline equivalent of “oh god, oh god!” before yowling loudly and running madly off in all directions. Don’t ask me; they’re both fixed.
Keep the good vibes coming, if you have any to spare.