View from the Barnyard

Another dose of medical melodrama

By Dee “Baby” Baysinger

Time ticks slowly by in the Forbes house of recovery. I sit in the porch watching my perennials wither away while the fireweeds continue to thrive with apparent gusto. Claude clearly is obsessed with the notion that I need to hear about any emission from his body. News of that sort is never welcome, especially when I’m eating breakfast.

For myself, I’ve been toiling at an especially exciting project – organizing my recipe box. Ridding myself of scraps of paper and even recipes hastily written on paper towels and tossing ones you question why you ever saved in the first place – Indonesian pasta?!

Friday in my never-ending quest for some sign of human affection from Claude, I reached across the kitchen table and held his hand – he kinda glares at me and says, “Now what!?” I am quite vexed with him over that and fervently wish I could give him a swift kick. (Perhaps when the foot is healed and with my steel-toed boot on.)

He gets his punishment sooner than expected. Seven o’clock Saturday morning he yells upstairs, “Get up I have to go to the emergency room!” I instantly reply, “Are you kidding me?” Now why do people always blurt that out, even when there is news of a death? No one is gonna joke about that.

I jump into clothes, hair uncombed, and I glance yearningly at the coffee pot, but Claude is already in the pickup. We do manage to argue on the way down over my not coming to a complete stop at the highway, road bumps and speed. (I should have drove 50 mph, not 80 mph.)

I am glad the familiar face of Pat Hinker (Forestburg) greets us. We feel safer immediately. I leave Claude to be poked and prodded and zone in on the closest coffee maker. I follow along on the way to the x-ray, listening to the two young nurses chatting when I abruptly stop in my tracks and ask, “What did you just ask him?” She replies, “I asked what side his pain is on?” I tell her my ear filters must be plugged because I heard her say, “What size is your penis!” Progress is halted while they bend over the gurney with Claude laughing. I told them, “Well, I was wondering if that was pertinent to his condition.”

Prognosis is swift – white count high – appendectomy. Kylie calls and asks if he is needed to pull the plug but I think a pillow will be sufficient. I debate whether I should slip out and go to a few rummage sales but decide the hospital staff may find that tacky. Yet, I should be guilt free ‘cuz as they were wheeling Claude into surgery the scrub nurse asked if  I want to kiss him goodbye. I leaned over and Claude says, “Whatever!” (I should have jap-slapped him.)

Surgery successful and another pleasant surprise awaits us at his room. Leslie Ohlrogge will be his nurse (hometown girl). Leslie joins me gleefully in poking fun at Claude at every opportunity. He’s at our mercy. Pat Hinker gives him his T.V. control and tells him under no circumstances should he press the red button in the center (it’s the nurse call light – He-He-He.)

I patiently watch over him all day. (Actually it’s easy – I brought a book, otherwise I would be close to insanity.) Claude mentions he’s glad he has a private room. I comment that yes, it’s so annoying when a roommate keeps trying to visit with you. Claude replied, “I know, so why don’t you shut up,” Grrrrrr. I collect my belongings and announce I am taking myself to Chef Louies and buying the most expensive meal and also ordering a bottle of wine. I pause dramatically at the doorway and sweetly say, “Oh, by the way I have your money clip.”

Thankfully cousin Mike Madsen arrives to break the monotony of Sunday. We intend to leave by 8:00 but Dr. Haley is tied up with three more appendectomies and a motorcycle crash.

Mike gallantly offers to take me out to dine – my choice. Sometimes all I crave is  greasy cheeseburger, so I chose Burger King. I am indecisive and Mike says, “Order whatever  you like, money is no object.” I tell him that’s a phrase you don’t often hear in Burger King. Then the man turns around ahead of us and mentions he used to take his mom here for Mother’s Day. I am appalled (Mike is four years older than me) and indignantly ask him if he thinks I’m Mike’s mother. The stranger backpedals and Mike tells him, “You’re very lucky you caught her on a good day.”

Mike tells Claude he has spent an enlightening lunch to say the least. Gratefully they release Claude at 3:30 p.m. and I really do try to miss the road bumps on the way home. No one is happier to see him than his blue heeler. Now that is true love.
I leave within the next five minutes and go to Georgia’s to toast her 59th birthday. Things are back to our own idea of normal.

Dee Baby

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