Hi Blog Friends,
A couple of weeks ago I scored another piece of titanium to add to my treasure trove of interior body hardware. Translation? A second hip replacement. Might I say I am “too hip”?
As I glide and dodge through these geezer years, I accumulate scars like a kid learning, badly, to ride a two wheeler. The hip scar, bigger, deeper, looks oddly like a zipper securing the precious hardware inside. Pins and a plate in my wrist, a pacemaker in my chest, to which I was given an extra layer of cyber security last year by the smiling tech person. Why, I wondered? The tech referenced a TV episode where a president’s pacemaker was hacked, threatening his health and national security. Yeah…wow, whose world am I in?
I strive to put my hospital stay, admittedly only an overnighter (what’s next – drive thru hip replacements?), in perspective. It felt a bit like an eternity to me. Hospitalization for surgery is a two edge sword (ouch on that metaphor.) There is the desired outcome of relief for a painful situation, but pain will need to be inflicted to rid you of the pain...
Arriving anywhere at 5am does not exist in my DNA, but there I was, in the basement at Albany Hospital, placing my trust in masked strangers, searching eyes for kindness. Vulnerability flourishes; one relinquishes self-possessed dignity at the door. No makeup, lotion, moisturizer; no jewelry, studs or otherwise, no polish on digits.
One becomes a statistic, a patient, a horizontal onlooker at all who bustle around. One obeys the directive, dons the gown, the bootees, the shower cap thingee. One takes deep breaths, imagines the best possible outcome, observes the sights and sounds; the gleam of metal machines, trails of wires coiled and connected everywhere, the bright white of sheets and coverings and curtains on circular tracks at the ceiling. Listens to the laughing nurses as they step lightly in their modish clogs outside the curtained cubby. One reiterates name, date of birth, reason for surgery, ad infinitum.
Where oh where is my humorous spin on all this? I can’t seem to dredge it up. Certainly, it wasn’t Nurse Cratchet, the nurse practitioner who seemed hell bent on bullying me. Perhaps when my doctor arrived to autograph my left leg with his scripted initials; after which the nurse came back to ask if I had been MF’d yet?
After the spinal, I succumbed to a glorious mind numbing place, even as doctors and nurses must have obviously tossed my body around, prepping me for the frigid zone of the operating room. Lord knows what the scene was after that. I once heard a nurse remark that the operating room was akin to a construction zone. “You don’t want to know what goes on when you’re under.”
She’s right about that.
Happy July y'all. Stay healthy, stay safe,
PS. Enjoy the Blog - The Mah Jong Ladies, written by a friend, Laurie Deutsch Mozian. I so enjoy her visual depictions and thank her for contributing this month.
July seeps into my pores
like love from a baby’s eyes
a lonely wood duck dips and sputters in the pond
her brown feathers melding
in water muddy from last night’s downpour.
my nose twitches with a familiar, watery smell
replicating a long ago memory of
low tide in a swampy area in Miller Place, LI, 1950’s
venturing my bare feet in low tide between tall reeds,
smell rising up to me
the tanned boy calling C’mon, c’mon.
my feet squish down into the mud
Feel around, feel around,
he calls from his stance yards away
When you feel a shell, grab it with your toes,
pick it up, drop it in the bucket
my toes inch along, flexing, feeling,
anxious to be successful
at this new boyish pastime
imagining my mother’s glee
when I bring home
a hard wrought bucket of clams
I see her lean over the big blue sink to scrub the shells,
use the special knife to pry one open
squeeze the lemon over the pinkish membrane,
tilt her head back to suck out the rubbery mass
from the shell
"Nuns Clamming", has nothing to do with me clamming, but couldn't resist the 1950's image.
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Fern Suess writes, snaps, and makes art. She has written poetry for decades and has written a work of autobiographical fiction,
re-titled Tablecloth Nights, which tells the story of a woman discovering the identity of her biological father. She's happy with a camera in her hand, likes to write in her car or in a coffee shop, loves the smell of paint, works in mixed media, collage, and three dimensional concepts, and has exhibited in group and solo shows and outdoor installations.
kfernsuess.com is listed as a Guest Blog on the Art Times Journal website.
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