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Tuesday, August 25, 2015

HAPPY DAY ~ NEW BATTERY

air bellows drive thru art museum
 
Yesterday I did nothing, yet accomplished a very great deal with the help of others. Took public transportation to Winston-Salem, Wake Forest hospital, to have defibrillator/pacemaker replaced. The battery in the previous one expired. Since they have a new model, the whole thing was replaced. The process of replacing it was perhaps the most relaxing part of the day. Being fussed over relaxes me. Sitting in the barber's chair having hair trimmed relaxes my interior such that I feel a bit wobbly standing up when it's over, like stepping outside in the light after seeing a matinee movie. Before and after, much activity and inactivity. A little over an hour in the van with Larry Cole driving for Alleghany In Motion, so grateful not to be driving, and grateful, too, the driver was someone I know and like, whose woman is someone I have a great deal of respect for. He let me out at the door. Next was morning exercise walking down a long hallway, up a flight of stairs, another hallway, follow the signs to the device clinic. Instructions said go to Admittance, but I had no idea where it was in the infinite labyrinth of white walls and ceilings, gray floors. I was carrying a copy of George Orwell's, 1984, for waiting periods.
 
air bellows drive thru art museum
 
In the elevator, G is the first floor up, M with a star in it is ground floor. Instead of the M button being under the G button, it's over to the side. Two columns of buttons zig-zag back and forth, rather than directly up and down. It has taken me several trips there to get it, thinking I may have got it this time. Though by next time it may have wiggled down the groundhog hole of memory loss, again. At Device Clinic, I was told to go to Admittance. Where? I was given directions, turn left, turn left, turn left, long crooked passageway. By the time I was out into the hallway, the directions were going every which way in my head and I turned left. Turned left again. Took elevator, turned left, long passageway, but it wasn't crooked. I asked a woman who worked there. I was at the far end of the building. She was going that way and led me to it. Thank you. In Admittance, I sat and waited, opened the book, read four pages, rereading a few paragraphs from inability to focus  in a big room with people in motion, people sitting, a tv going. I folded the book. Too much distraction catching my eyes and ears. Decided to sit and watch the activity in this room so huge people in the distance were small.
 
air bellows drive thru art museum
 
A woman my age came to take me to next stop in a wheelchair. I said I'd rather walk. Need the exercise. She weighed half as much as I do. I could not feel right taking the luxury of a wheelchair ride with her pushing it. It was a long walk, we talked, became acquainted pleasantly. Wait. Tried to read Orwell again, but found it hopeless again. Sat and watched the people sitting in the waiting room chairs. The old boy with round belly, plaid shirt, bald head, round face, the corners of his mouth pointing straight down. I thought, head full of anger propaganda from the Fake news network. His daughter was with him. Another man reading a book. He seemed to be having as successful a time as I had. My turn. A good nurse I liked was my guardian over changing into hospital skimpy, wheeled to the operating room, spread out on a comfortable table, legs strapped down, interesting pillow to hold head in place. Doctor had to cut open the pocket opening, take out old device, unplug it, plug in the new device, reinsert it, then patch up the slice in the skin. Local anesthetic, Novocain. The most it ever hurt was like taking a cat claw in the arm when putting Caterpillar down and she hangs on with one claw.
 
air bellows drive thru art museum
 
I was so relaxed throughout the process, it almost felt like on some painkiller. My feeling is the doctor and everyone concerned can do their work better if I'm relaxed with a clear mind. Sometimes it hurt like hell. I stayed calm like a good hillbilly and said to self, I can take it. When it comes to physical pains I've endured, this was nothing. It was better than working in a patch of briers with a scythe, raking one across the face. The pain was never more than a cat claw puncture. From patient etherized upon a table, wheeled to the waiting room where I was to rest connected to a blood pressure and heart rate machine. The nurse in this phase was my favorite, a beautiful, round-featured black woman named Tabitha, a beautiful human being. She was so charming she made this part of the day fun. Everybody, all along the way, made the stay a pleasant one from start to finish. Every one of the nurses was pleasant, fun company, as were the ones I asked for directions. I saw a lot of beautiful black people. Since cell phone videos have exposed police brutality on black people that has been going on all along, my heart opened to every black person I saw and met. I viewed every one with the highest respect. I feel deep empathy toward American black people. I always knew the black experience in America is unpleasant, but did not know, before, that they all have relatives and friends killed and brutalized by police, and fear for their children's lives. I felt happy comfortable with all the black people I saw, because my heart opened and I saw each one with a prayerful compassion. I felt impulse to bow before every black woman, man and child I saw. Justin drove to W-S to give me a ride home. I told him about the joys of the stay. The experience of the whole trip, from leaving home to arriving home, made a joyous day.
 

air bellows drive thru art museum
photos by tj worthington



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4 comments:

  1. TJ - so glad the procedure went well - love that you took us on the journey with you and you were surrounded by grace and beauty.

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    1. Thanks Christine, it was definitely a day of being surrounded by grace and beauty. A kind of magical day in that way.

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  2. Enjoyed reading your story. Very glad all went well with your medical experience.

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    1. Thanks, Sabra. It went so well it wasn't like it was "medical," but just a fun day.

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