Archive for Thursday, July 29, 2010

Up against a stump’

July 29, 2010

My late father-in-law had a favorite saying whenever he faced a problem. He would smile, scratch his head and point out that “I guess I’m up against a stump.” Of course being a farmer he was referring to a problem that might come up when plowing or clearing a field. When the plow hit a stump all progress came to a halt and the obstacle had to be dealt with before moving on.

Well, I ran into a stump recently. Actually it wasn’t a stump, it was a clot and it brought my recovery process to a screeching halt. I spent another week at Providence Medical Center waiting, not too patiently, for proper blood levels so that I could be released. My doctor told me that this would be the most boring week of my life and he was certainly correct.

For most of the time the highlight of the day was watching the IV drip. I did discover that you could entertain yourself by raising the bed up and down. With a degree of imagination, you could actually tell yourself that you were on a Worlds of Fun ride. That’s how boring things were for six days. Another activity was to fill out the menu for the next day. Then you could guess on the time of arrival of the food cart, which was easy to determine as it sounded like a trash truck outside your room. The second part of the game was the surprise of lifting the lid on your food tray to see the difference between what you received as compared to what you ordered. I had some surprising results.

Now don’t get me wrong, Providence Medical Center is an excellent facility and they provide you with high quality medical care. The staff is good and well qualified. You get the feeling they care about you as an individual and work hard to get you back on your feet.

Unfortunately, their cable TV is very marginal and they don’t carry the Royals’ games. Somebody said the way the Royals were playing that might be understandable. The good part is I was in the hospital during All-Star week so I really didn’t miss much action.

What kept me sane was reading a great book entitled, “Satch, Dizzy and Rapid Robert,” by Timothy M. Gay. It was a riveting story about how three diverse characters, mostly driven by money, played major roles in integrating baseball. Their exploits in off-season baseball exhibition games during the 30s and 40s proved that black baseball players were extremely talented and great athletes. They taught the nation that all races could work together and compete equally. The book provided a good look at how life was in the “not-so-good olden days.”

My room had a great view since it was on the sixth floor. I could see the Kansas Speedway, Legends, construction cranes on new projects and the lights of Community America Ballpark. It was fun to imagine how the T-Bones’ games were going. I had hoped to see the fireworks, but fortunately was released from the hospital before Saturday night.

My “stump” kept me from attending a couple of meetings. However, I guess missing a budget planning session isn’t at all bad. I really missed physical therapy. Since I had an IV and blood pressure monitor hooked to my good arm and my other arm was still on strike, I was totally immobilized and confined to bed. However, by Saturday morning my blood reached the proper level, I was unhooked and free at last.

That meant I was able to go home and back to square one. My “stump” had been dealt with and I could resume what has now become somewhat normal activities. I can’t tell you how good that feels and in the words of one of the characters in the book, Sachel Paige, “Never look back, because something might be gaining on you” or in my case “silently lurking in your veins”. Yes, it was a temporary stumbling block but I’m back on the road to recovery.

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