continued from The Brick and the Elbow…
There were twelve of us. We met while teaching. We socialized, confided, supported one other and then, over time, realized we were Sisters. Our numbers have ebbed over the years, from moves and death, but the bond is still strong especially when one of us is in need.
It made perfect sense that the Sisters would immediately connect once word spread that I had injured myself and was in surgery. The doctors were having a rough time bringing me out of the anesthesia and sent in Sister Jane to rouse me.
I could hear her voice. She sounded just like an English teacher, which she was, reprimanding a class.
Do you hear me? Wake up. Right Now.
I could hear her. I was trying to wake. I couldn’t move. Couldn’t speak. Couldn’t see. I was trying, but all I could do was hear her.
And then her voice changed direction as though her head had turned away from me while she continued to speak.
What the hell have you done to her?
What the hell have they done to me? I still had no voice, couldn’t move and couldn’t see. But I could hear. WHAT DID THEY DO TO ME?
Panic should have ensued except that I faded off once again.
When I finally awoke, body swollen, bandaged and well-tubed, I did a brief limb check. Everything was still there. Wiggled all ten fingers. Toes. All there. Moved the non-injured arm. Still there, so I assumed they operated on the correct arm.
I drifted in and out of consciousness until my daughter arrived and then the surgeon appeared somewhat later to explain that they didn’t realize I meditated so there was something about lung capacity, deep breathing and morphine that is counter productive. Had they not caught the falling blood oxygen levels, I probably wouldn’t be writing today.
My daughter, a soft-spoken physical therapist, asked about beginning light therapy. The surgeon raised his eyebrow. It was not standard procedure, but given the past 24 hours, he wasn’t going to argue with her.
Whatever you think is best.
Then he looked at me and counseled to not get my hopes up. Even with Physical Therapy, I’d never be able to put my hand behind my head, twist my arm, touch my lower back or do a myriad of other things. Full range would never happen.
And, with that, my daughter took me home, settled me in and then left to get the items she knew I would need.
In her absence, the Sisters began gathering. They had already divided up chores, meals, me. I was going to be well cared for and pampered beyond anything I had ever experienced.
I had become the Queen Bee.
Ten minutes later, I was just getting settled into a pile of pillows on the couch and sipping tea when daughter walked in the door, packages in hand. She surveyed the room.
We have your mom covered. We’re just making some lunch. Do you want some?
Stop. Right now. My sweet, soft-spoken daughter had somehow morphed into Attila the Hun and spoke in a voice of total authority.
Mom, here some large clothes. Get into the shower and get dressed.
I was watching my Queen Bee status crumble before my eyes.
But my arm…
I have 80 year old little ladies with one arm. They can shower and get dressed, including a bra. So can you. Get going.
The Sisters stood at attention. It was now obvious who was in charge.
If she is going to get her arm back, there’s to be no pampering. She will make you meals. She will get up and get anything she needs. No pampering. She will take care of you. Got it?
And with that, I showered, washed my hair, got dressed including the bra, and made everyone lunch.
The Queen Bee had been officially de-throned.
to be continued…