Minden Press-Herald

Oct 01st

I Can’t Dance

Just like a bad nickel that you can't get rid of, I keep turning up. You know what I mean; a slightly bent nickel that is rejected through the coin slot of a vending machine! Oh, wait. I forgot. All of you ain't as old as I am and ain't got a clue as to what I'm talkin' 'bout.

It doesn't matter, though. But as I threatened earlier, I've survived the laminectomy surgery and am now back in circulation. Folks, I've got to say that I actually feel like a sixteen year old..., okay, okay. No way on earth do I feel that young. However, I do feel my age now and that's much better than feelin' the hundred and sixty or so before surgery.

It had been quite a few years since I spent any time in a hospital other than visitin' someone, so I really didn't know what to expect in how things are done and the way the staff was going to treat me. I figured to lay up like a spoiled fat cat and watch some TV while lappin' up some Blue Bell ice cream. Guess you could say I got a real education real quick!

Folks, doctors and nurses today don't waste any time! I checked in the hospital around 9 AM that Monday morning, by 10 AM was wheeled into the operating room, and by 12 noon or so I was in my room recouperatin'. About the only thing I can remember is talkin' to one of the guys in the OR about deer huntin', and the next thing I knew, it was all over but the hurtin'!

You know, if I could bottle that anestetick..., anthest..., if I could bottle the stuff they use to put you out, I'd be a multimillionaire in a matter of a few hours! Talk about La-La land! No aches; no pains; no worries; no thoughts; no nothin'!

Now, Dr. David Cavanaugh of the Spine Institute had warned me that after waking from the surgery I would feel a good bit of pain. However, he also said it wouldn't be pain from pinched nerves but from the disturbed muscles and tendons as a result of the surgery. He was right.

Within an hour or two, the nurse came in and said she would help me into the restroom. Well, I know I looked at her as if she just crawled outta a flyin' saucer that landed in the chair in my room! The way I hurt, I wasn't gonna move for at least a month or two! She insisted, and I, of course, resisted. She won.

I'm glad she did, though, for the quicker you work the soreness out, the quicker you feel better. Around 10 AM the next mornin', the doctor told me to get my stuff and get outta Dodge. They were kickin' me outta the hospital.

Now, I know you are thinkin' 'bout what I said when advisin' I was gonna have surgery and said "please pray for the doctors and nurses who would be takin' care of me". That was 'cause you and I both know I can be a hard pill to swallow every now and then. But in all honesty, I really tried to be on my best behavior during my stay. In this day and age and provided you are healing okay, they get you out of the hospital as soon as possible. In some cases, even open heart surgery patients go home within a few hours.

Anyway, I came home, rested and recouped, and honestly feel like I shoulda had the surgery months ago. About the only thing I've discovered since the surgery is that I can't dance. Of course, I couldn't dance before surgery either.

Folks, I cannot brag enough about the hospital staff and doctors. Not only were they capable and hard workers, they were extremely polite and accommodating; so much so that I almost asked if I could stay a few days longer.

And I certainly appreciate all of you who called, emailed, sent cards, or simply asked someone if I was locked up or simply doing okay. It doesn't matter why you asked; it matters to me that at least you thought about me. And for that I will be forever grateful.

Galen White lives in Homer. His column runs on Monday in the Minden Press-Herald.






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