pWdumaNjA-6CEEBhRoD5euxNETs When All This Actual Life Played Out: Once more with feeling

03 February 2013

Once more with feeling


Basketball game
9 March 2009

Like my mother and I, the daughter wanted to play basketball. Her build is a combination of mine and my mother's. She is shorter, more solid through the torso, wider through the hips, not so long, more proportional.

But she got the cursed knees. Like me. Like my brothers. Like her brother.

And she got my grandmother's beautiful tiny wrists and long, slender hands.

On Thursday, the nurses stared at her long, thin hands and debated. She sat in the bed, and shook: from fear, from lack of food, from the cold. I held her close and crooned into her abundant hair, urging her to breathe. Finally, a pediatric nurse was enlisted to find a vein and get the IV in. This she did with aplomb, and the daughter was finally able to sit back and relax a little.

The doctors came. We all talked. The surgeon signed her knee, indicating which one needed attention. The daughter sat quietly, looking stricken. The ramifications of surgery became all too apparent to her.

I kissed her and hugged her before they wheeled her away. An hour, the surgeon told us.

As I have so many times before, I returned to the waiting room. And waited.

About 50 minutes later, the surgeon appeared. As with the son's surgery, he began in a systematic and enthusiastic fashion to describe what had taken place. And this time he had photos! The chunk of bone he removed was about a 1/2 inch long; no wonder the kid had been unable to straighten her leg. But there was other bone debris he removed as well and looking at it, I cursed our insurance company, which had initially demanded that she be sent to physical therapy before doing an MRI. Who knows how much additional damage that would have created. ("It would have torn up the inside of her knee," the surgeon said, shaking his head in disgust.)

A bit later, we were called back to recovery. The daughter groggily asked me where she was.

She's three days into recovery now, and already hobbling around without crutches. Her ability to straighten her leg is still imperfect but better than it was before. She didn't react well to the painkillers that were prescribed for her and like thevrest of us, eschewed them for the occasional dose of acetaminophen. Her good humor has returned, and she and the cat are fighting over who owns the corner of the couch, the official Best Seat In the House.

Inconvenient? Gods,yes. But as I said when the son went through this, my children don't have a catastrophic illness and this is not life threatening. We will cope and I am grateful.

Tech stuff: Taken with my Nikon D40.

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