Family Matters

“Look at your limp.  You can barely walk!  Man, you’ve got serious problems.”

Always trust your brother to give you the unvarnished truth.  Brothers keep you grounded.  Just when you are feeling proud and special, they remind you that instead of a Star Wars action figure, you once asked Santa Claus for a Wonder Woman doll.  Mothers think you are special, so they ensure that Santa puts the Wonder Woman doll in your stocking.  They were impressed that you were expressing your feelings and had the courage to go against the grain at such an early age.  Spouses devour the Wonder Woman story because it’s cute.  They love you despite your poor six-year old judgment.  Whether it’s a brother who reminds you when you do wrong, a mother whose son can do no wrong, or a wife who knows her husband can do plenty wrong, but loves him anyway, family provides a net to fall into when something is wrong.

“Make sure you arrange for help when you get home.  Whether it’s family or a friend, you will need someone to help you when you return home from the hospital.”

This was the advice from Kathy, a nurse at my pre-op class.  She gave me a lot of information on what to expect during my hospital stay and after I returned home, but I had the “helping hands” section covered.

For months, Stacie, my wife, has been mentally preparing for my arrival home from the hospital.  In fact, Stacie may be the only person dreading my surgery more than me.  I think I have a high pain tolerance.  But, in 2008, Stacie lived through my recovery process after my hip arthroscopy and apparently, I was not the model patient.  She deals with enough whining and I don’t blame her for not wanting another complainer in the house.  But regardless of my condition, Stacie will be the tip of the spear in Operation Doug’s Recovery.

Instead of taking vacation, my mother and step-father are flying from Vancouver to help.  The nurse said I should clear the house of all clutter and objects that could cause me to trip and fall.  Not only has my mother offered to help keep the house clean, but she and Pat will also be taking care of three clutter creating tripping hazards who will be excited to see their Daddy after four days in the hospital.

The hospital will give me some tools which should ease the family’s burden.  I’ll get a Long Handled Sponge with Contour Head, a Dressing Stick and, my favorite, the Dual Handle Sock Assist.  If I’m lucky, I may return home with a 3-in-1 commode that serves as a seat and a portable toilet.  Kathy said, “You can even use it to go to the bathroom in your living room.”  Tempting, but we’ve had enough people going to the bathroom in our living room over the past six years.  Besides, I cannot afford to have the tip of the spear suddenly pointed at the patient.

I’ll be in good hands when I get home from the hospital.  But what matters most is not home cooked meals, a clean bedroom and a comfortable toilet seat.  What matters is my Mom and Pat care to be here; my extended family will be sending their get well wishes; my Dad will be watching over me; three monkeys will attack me when I get home from the hospital; and, Stacie’s face will be the first I see when I wake up from surgery.

My brother and his family live in NYC, but I’ll look forward to hearing from them too, even if it’s in the form of an e-card with Wonder Woman wishing me a speedy recovery.

13 responses to “Family Matters

  1. Another great post Doug. We’ll be thinking of you and your implements of servitude as you approach Clean Hip Day.

  2. Next time I come over, I promise to refrain from pissing in your living room! Best of luck, and a speedy recovery:) WW

  3. Wait just a minute ……
    Wonder Woman??
    Not a model patient??
    Clutter creating tripping hazards??
    Enough people pissing in the living room??
    I (we) have re-read our pending care-giving agreement, and nowhere is there anything about the above. Specifically the living room ‘activities’.
    I (we) were of the understanding the three clutter creating lads would be well & truly trained upon our arrival.
    Needless to say it is much to late to resurrect our vacation plans. Therefore, at this late hour we will do the righteous thing & honor our agreement, but we’ll talk.
    See you tomorrow.
    PS: Wonder Woman?!

    • Thanks Pat. We look forward to seeing you tomorrow. As for Wonder Woman, I simply shared a hypothetical story. But I’m sure he whose name begins with G would be happy to share his perspective.
      Have a safe flight!

  4. Shirley Delorme

    As always your Mom is looking forward to seeing you, Stacie and the boys. I look forward to hearing the stories when they get home and look forward to reading your blog. You are a fantastic writer. Take care.

  5. Good luck, man. I’m in the office this afternoon — with an ice-pack on the site of my hip surgery after a hard workout this morning. But the surgery was well worth it. And yours will be too.

  6. Good luck with the surgery and all the best for a speedy recovery. Do you think the dual-handled sock assist would work for panythouse? You might want to patent that. Relax and enjoy all that help as much as possible and please send your Mom back in one piece!

  7. Oh my …. you see what happens without spell-check?!!!!

  8. Young Luke, go forth and return with the “Force” in your new hip. Lee

  9. Hi Doug,
    Hope you are recovering well. Rumour has it that the boys have taken over the household and Pat’s on the next flight to Vancouver!!
    Not to worry, we’ll send him right back bound and gagged!!
    All the best,
    Bev and Bill

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