Along with the usual delights of Christmas, such as over-eating, under-exercising and watching copious amounts of football, I thought I’d add a little different twist this year. In the hopes of spurring the local economy and increasing my capacity to whine about small pains, I scheduled arthroscopic knee surgery for the Wednesday following the annual celebration.
I was a bit worried that maybe I should have waited more than three months and a single set of X-rays and one MRI. You know, don’t want to be wasting money with something that might heal on its own in another month or decade or two. I sure didn’t want to lose my Man Card over something more trivial than amputation. As it turned out, my worries were wasted.
Indeed, the meniscus was well-torn, a nice jagged rip about twelve inches long according to the pictures I saw later. Maybe that was centimeters; I’m not sure. In addition, there was a fold in the critter that had wrapped itself underneath the other portion. On top of that, and a genuine delight to my surgeon, was the discovery of an impinged ACL. I think that means that the ligament was located on the wrong side of the bone. Whatever it was, it was truly exciting to Dr. Fullen.
“I’ve seen pictures of this and read about it,” he exclaimed at my bedside. “But you are the first patient I’ve ever worked on who had this!” I shared his excitement as best I could through the post-operative haze of diminished anesthesia and somewhat engaging pain-killers.
By mid-afternoon, I was turning somersaults, jumping over bedpans and playing hopscotch with the hospital staff. While those are obvious lies, I must say in complete truth and sincerity that everyone involved in my conscious acquaintance at William Newton Hospital was exceptionally kind, courteous and competent. I left that day with a completely positive view of every individual and the group collectively.
Of course, the long-term winner for exceptional patient care goes to my wife, Randa. In the following days of my complete uselessness, she was attentive, tolerant and encouraging. And continues to be so. Whether preparing meals, finding me a different pillow or chauffeuring me around, she has been the model of loving care. None of which has been even slightly surprising; she has been all of those things for over twenty-six years.
One of the truly wonderful things about that is that she actually seems to want to do what she’s doing for me. That’s how serving works when we truly love those we serve, an example given us by an ancient Lord and King who chose to be a carpenter. Who also taught us that those who serve are the true royalty in His Kingdom.