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Last Updated: Feb 7, 2016 - 9:48:39 AM 

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Down the Road

All stuck up
By Milt Gross
Feb 7, 2016 - 9:48:08 AM

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When I got my morning shower today, I found all kinds of round stickers on my poor old body.

No, not a rare disease. They're leftovers from yesterday's trip to the hospital so the doctor could decide if I was healthy enough to have my other hip replaced.

He said I was.

But I'm not sure why I was. They wheeled me into this room with a big "thing" front and center, got me lying on this cot, and shoved me under this "thing." The "thing" rolled back and forth and after an eternity or so, the technician turned it off. Then he took me to a room with an exercise device on which I walked. The doctor was there in case I dropped dead. I didn't. Then the technician took me back to the original room and put me under the "thing" again for another eternity.

Turned out I was fine. Now I can schedule the other hip to be replaced.

I was supposed to meet with the doctor today, so he could tell me I was alive and well. But today it's snowing like crazy, so we're skipping that trip. No point in getting killed on the highway on the way to having the doctor tell me I'm alive and well.

I don't like hospitals. They want you to be there at strange hours. One I didn't keep was for 6:00 a.m. This was to fix something? That one we had changed. They can fix it later. I'm retired. At 6:00 a.m., I'm trying to decide if I should roll over again or stay where I am in bed. I'm retired.

Oh yes, in hospitals, they love to wake you up at 5 a.m. and stick you with something. Then they do that later. And again, later yet. They do feed you, which makes it worthwhile despite being stuck up.

In addition to last September, I've only been in the hospital one other time, when I had a bad thingie in my back. The doctor took a minute to find the problem. In that hospital, they stretched my legs with a weight over the bottom of the bed. In a few minutes, I felt everything snap back into place.

I heard the voice of a minister I knew from another room, so I rolled out of bed and went visiting. I learned about his recent life, since I hadn't seen him in several years. Then a nurse caught me and chased me back to bed.

That was my only other hospital experience, except for the one during which I was born. I don't remember much about that.

I love this age of computers, where everything about you is on the computer because the hospital asked you about it in an office. Then everyone who sees you asks about you all over again. I've gotten so I just suggest they read the screen. They generally mumble. I'm not sure why reading a computer screen makes them mumble, but it seems to have that effect on them.

Last September, after one hip was replaced, "they" walked me to the bathroom and helped me get a shower and use the, you know, the little seat before which you stand if you're my sex and on which you sit for another purpose. Most of the nurses were women, but after awhile I didn't care if they were or not. They could see me, as they likely saw their husbands. It didn't much matter.

I survived that hospital stay by watching workmen on a roof outside my window. They were replacing the roof above that roof on which they walked, and I got to watch them. Boy, such excitement. I also rediscovered that there is not much on TV worth watching.

I was only too happy to escape and come home. Home is where, if you're feeling a tad weak, you can lie on the sofa instead of a hospital bed and rediscover there is not much worth watching on it. It's also where the cat can scratch -- me -- once in awhile, and I can take limps, since I'm still using those walking poles, outside for awhile.

I can also watch the seagulls that fly around in the trees outside my window where the sofa is located. Other birds fly around too, once in awhile. But it's mostly the seagulls. Which could be because out my study window, I can see the ocean a half-mile distant.

I'm not in the waiting mode. Waiting to have the other hip replaced, which makes me glad there are only two per person. I'm also waiting for spring, so we can get out and follow the trails. I'd follow them now, but everyone is afraid I'll fall. They ask what I'd do if I fell. I reply that I'd get up. What do they think I'd do?

Besides, I've had plenty of falling practice in my getting-long life. I know how to fall, and I know how to get up.

I've learned that much.

And I've learned that when you fall in the woods, no one is waiting to stick you with a needle for some dubious purpose.

Much better to fall in the woods.

Milt Gross can be reached for corrections, harassment, or other purposes at

Milton M. Gross Copyright 2015

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