By The Time …

By the time you read this, I will be at the hospital. It is the day that my shoulder will be fixed and a long recuperation will begin. I’m scared. I’m not worried about the surgery so much. It’s routine, so there is little chance anything will go wrong. I’ll glance at the permission papers and sign them. Then, the IV will be inserted in my left arm and I will be rolled into the O.R. That’s the worst part for me Transferring from the gurney to the operating table is difficult. The operating table is narrow, hard and covered with a starched, white sheet. Once in position, I will go to sleep.

By the time I wake up, I will be on another gurney in the recovery room. Things will be fuzzy. I am awakening from a deep sleep. My arm will be in a sling and feel numb from shoulder to finger tips. There won’t be any pain, just a sense of loss. The nurses won’t get it, but I am mourning the long, albeit temporary loss of the use of one arm. Left alone with my thoughts, I’ll be wondering how I will pass the many long days and nights burdened with the pain and useless right arm.

By the time the surgical nerve block wears off, we will be deep in the weekend. I will have to learn when to take the powerful pain medications to keep away the agony. This is the beginning of the time I fear most.

By the time the weekend is over, Mrs. Lion may be very tired of the hard work of dealing with a grumpy, drugged lion. I will be regretting the decision to get the operation.

By the time I write my next post, I will have discovered how to cope with most of the basic survival challenges. There is no light yet at the end of the tunnel, but I will be able to believe I can keep going until the pain is gone.

Before any of this, Mrs. Lion and I will enjoy our last normal night. I’m even horny. We’ll go out to dinner and relax together. When we wake up tomorrow, everything will be different; except us.