My dad had his total knee replacement surgery a few days post Ragnar. Heavily medicated, the nurses didn’t believe he was the driver for 5 blondes (and his brunette daughter) to run from Chattanooga to Nashville in less than 2 days. I very much enjoyed seeing the nursing student’s expression when I confirmed the story was true, and we already wanted to book his services for next year.
At the first of the year, he had his other knee replaced and the surgery went great. He was in a toot to get the other one done – partly because of how great the new knee was feeling and party because he’d already met his deductible for the year. This time around we were hoping it would go as well, and feared he wouldn’t deal well with the disappointment when it didn’t. And we were right. It didn’t go as well.
It went better.
When it was time for him to be discharged from the hospital 2 days after his surgery, he walked unassisted – no wheel chair, walker, or even cane – to his car. His therapists have had the problem of forgetting his surgery was as recent as it was, thanks to the progress he’s been making. They’ve tried to put him on the bicycle, only to remember its a bit too early for that.
Yesterday I had the pleasure of taking my dad for his one month post op appointment. We went to McKay’s used bookstore to sell old books and shop for new ones. Okay, who am I kidding. I went to shop. He went because my mom had loaded up a few bags, but he had fun playing on his phone while waiting on me to make my selections.
After a Trader Joe’s stop and grabbing lunch at a Nixon’s deli, we headed to his appointment. Most of his stitches are out at this point, and his scar is already looking great. It surprised me now not grossed out it looked. (Technical writing on my part huh? :P)
My dad’s doctor is an excellent surgeon. Front the incision site to how quickly my dad recovered, these are all testaments to what a great doctor this man is. What blew me over, however, was his bedside manner.
The family had heard the tale (many times) about how the doc hung the signed, framed picture of my dad in his referee uniform – asking first where my dad would like it. He works on the University of Tennessee athletes, so we knew others had given pictures as well. We just assumed it was only collegiate or professional athletes.
If I’m honest, I have to admit tearing up when I first saw the picture of a patient and his daughter at her wedding. The note: Thanks to you I walked my daughter down the aisle. Another photo showed a client posed beside a bear he’d killed on a hunt. Yet another had a patient in front of his prize winning angus cow. In the place of honor (directly where patients face as they talk to the doc) was a nun who’d had both her knees replaced.
I don’t like being weepy and emotional. As a matter of fact, I make fun of my father for it on a regular basis. (Yes, one time I even passed him a tampon as he was crying in a movie.) But yesterday I couldn’t help but feel overwhelmed at just how blessed we are.
We, as the patients/families touched by this good doctor so much they wanted to express their thanks.
We – my dad, mom, sister, and me – having been through 5 family surgeries and a lost job in the past 2 years and making it through the other side successfully. (3 – dad, 2 mom)
We – my dad and I – for having that father daughter dance which, while defying polite society, summed up our relationship with 3 minutes of him wanting to kill me and loving every minute.
Me, for having my parents, grandparents, sister/BIL/niece/nephew as a major part of my life.
Me, for having a husband, job, and life that allows for time with my family – especially when they need my help.