Tuesday, July 12, 2016

the splinter is out!

Joan and Her Left Hip

Joan 4 years ago, after right hip surgery

tomorrow, the better half of who we are as a couple, goes under the knife,
so that modern technology can replace the joint in her left hip,
both the ball and the socket,
those parts of her that over 6 decades of use have worn out,

no matter how strong her will,
her hip has increasingly thwarted her aerobic walking these last months,
she toughed it out on a once-in-a-lifetime late winter adventure 
in gorgeous Hawaii and devastatingly amazing New Zealand,

the hip increasingly has decided it had little left
and has become more enemy than ally in walking,
Joan’s speed slower and slower,
only in water could aerobics get any work out these last weeks,

neither of us sleep well the night before the surgery,
yet each of us are bright and ready Tuesday morning,
at the hospital, everyone nice and solicitous,
all ready to help a new hip come to be:
it’s all like removing a great splinter,
once out, just a flesh wound to heal,

the surgery goes fast, uneventfully,
the surgeon all matter-of-fact about it all afterwards,
the recovery room a longer process
as the pain blockers need to wear off
so that she can again wiggle her toes,

then into her room where nurses and physical therapy folks
swarm around her, making sure to know and do what she needs,

mid-afternoon, she sits up, stands up, and shuffles to the side a bit,
the p.t. folks pleased with how well she does,

her eyes are clearing from the chronic pain and befuddling pain killers,
her spirit again reasserting a brightness
that the disabled hip did its best to dull.

by Henry H. Walker
July 11-12, ‘16

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