“Hey, Larry,” I call from my room to the tall guy striding past my open door. “Larry! It’s me, Judith! I’m baaaack…..”
“Oh, Judith! Welcome!” He stops and turns, white jacket and hairnet a blur of energy, ‘Orchard Creek Chef’ clearly emblazoned over his pocket.
“Not everybody will stop you at 6 AM to tell you about the great green beans yesterday—but they were a treasure.”
“Oh, the fresh ones with the butter and garlic salt?”
“Yep! Some people enjoy the swiss steak, but it’s the green beans that ring my chimes!”
Well, it IS the small things that please me, I guess. Fresh green beans. The chocolate-raspberry bar Ed brought yesterday. The raspberry milkshake from Lisa and the promise of opening week of Bardon’s Wonder Freeze. A fresh page in my new coloring book, “Decorative Tile Designs” (I list that item just so you know all my pleasures are not food-related….)
And yes, I am baaack at Orchard Creek, following surgery to (once again) try for a total hip replacement (THR, as we hip people say). Yes, it’s the same surgery I had on October 8 of 2007, and I vow to get it right this time! I will not do wheelies in my walker and break my leg. I will rest lots and keep up my strength and do physical therapy as prescribed. I will err on the side of caution when I make decisions. I will visualize a healthy, strong Gertie Cranker once again doing speaking engagements, leading strategic planning sessions, walking the Tarpum Bay beach, and playing music with friends. And no, these are not chocolate-induced fantasies….
Quick Draw did a magnificent job with the surgery, I think. One nurse told me that the surgery report was quite a melodrama to read, all that sawing and pounding. The surgery took QD a couple of hours longer than he had anticipated, but he seems satisfied that he’s met his surgical goals. Best yet, so far there’s no sign of infection of any kind (knock, knock). And the IV line is out after all those months, so Gertie can crank again!
Obviously, I am back at Orchard Creek. There’s a whole new crop of residents here—and a couple of returnees. I have my old room back, the one across from the dining room, so I can watch the pre and post mealtime wheel chair races, which sometimes make the Kentucky Derby look tame. All those seniors, hell-bent for jello, edging each other out at the dining hall doorway….. This bunch seems a little more street-savvy, too—they come down to meals early and help themselves to coffee before anyone can serve them.
So, I have a couple of weeks ahead of me here: I can get a jump on fitness and a good diet (yay! Fresh green beans!), and finish the mountain of insurance paperwork. Obviously, I am optimistic and energetic—and the sun is shining, too. It’s uphill from here.