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My 200 Mile Drive Home After Surgery


English: Photograph of colored clouds at sunri...

English: Photograph of colored clouds at sunrise over Reno, NV, US. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

It’s funny they flew me there but wouldn’t fly me home. After having complications during my hip replacement surgery, I was flown 200 Miles to Reno, NV.

Beginning the Drive Home After Surgery

My husband and I stayed the night in Reno after I was released from Renown Medical Center. I was wheeled outside for my first taste of fresh air-yes, I do taste air-in almost one week. And the people! There were so very many souls lingering and rushing around that it made me feel dizzy and confused-remember that my hometown is Bishop, CA, pop. 3,500 (approximately) and we are never prepared for such a variety of humankind. The hustle and bustle of folks surrounding us, low-lifes, whores, and pimps as well as executives, health care professionals, and bankers, stunned Anthony and me. We must have looked like a pair of deer blinded by headlights. The entire area around Renown is replete with high-end retail stores, banks, and upscale coffee houses. You will also find many boarded-up houses, poverty-stricken areas (obviously), and places my mother would never had allowed me to go. Frightening? Yes and no.

Reno is a bizarre combination of extravagant casinos and places teeming with garbage and the homeless. So the contrast between the ‘outer Reno’ and the ‘inner Reno’ is glaringly obvious, and quite depressing.

To the right, you’ll see a photo of a part of a carpet in a casino posted by an outfit called “God Hates Reno”. I can see why. God would be horrified, as I was, to see such extravagance and poverty in such close proximity, with no excuses or shame whatsoever.

“Let’s Get Out of Here”!

Reno, Nevada - Virginia Street

Reno, Nevada – Virginia Street (Photo credit: tjgiordano)

Ahh, the drive. It is approximately 200 miles from Reno, NV to Bishop, CA. So the day after my release from Renown, we packed the car and began on our way home. HOME! My husband and I were terribly excited, forgetting momentarily about my fresh medical issues.

We were amazingly grateful to get out of Reno proper, for it is confusing and terribly congested-and the drivers, incredibly rude. Fingers flew and faces scowled. The traffic was unbelievably heavy and folks weren’t terribly patient getting from here to there.

We were impatient, as well-to get the hell out of town! And so we did. After frantically maneuvering our way out of Reno, we were finally on our-comfortable and calm-way toward Bishop. It was heaven, I tell you-absolute heaven. Around 10 miles out of Reno, the drive became familiar to me, since we had driven this route many times before-for other, more benign reasons.

One Hundred Ninety Miles to Go

Once we settled in to the rhythm of the road, we were once again fairly relaxed, chatting about how happy we were to finally be headed home. We spoke of how our dogs would greet us and the reception we might or might not get from our felines.

Laughing at all these potentialities, we forgot ourselves in the conversations-temporarily ignorant of my physical condition. We made a bathroom stop in Lee Vining, CA (An entryway into Yosemite National Park) and I went to the ladies’ room. Thankfully I looked down at my leg and was absolutely shocked. Surgery patients such as myself suffer from edema (The swelling of a body part), but this was different. It was not only swollen, it was beet red and scaly. And hard, extremely hard.

My exit from the bathroom was quick then, and I waited anxiously for Anthony to finish his business. When he arrived, I blurted out my new development, and in the car again, he saw what I had been talking about. It was all I could do to keep him from dialing 9-1-1. I told Anthony that all I had to do to minimize the damage was to stop every hour or so and get out of the car. He agreed.

All the way home, then, we stopped on the hour, yet my leg remained the same.

Home After Surgery at Last

The aforementioned edema vanished over the next two weeks, and my leg looked normal again. What a relief. To look at it now, you would never know any edema had existed.

Once we arrived home, my first task was to become accustomed to our home, which is crowded with creatures and small thorough-ways. The animals, I should actually say, had to become accustomed to me…and my walker. This piece of glorious aluminum is constructed in order to assist in walking, thus the name-the ‘walker’. I was absolutely dependent on it for the first two weeks after my surgery. Anthony had ‘tricked it out’ with 2 sizes of cup holders and a pouch velcroed on the front of the thing. The cup holders are self-explanatory, and in the pouch I put various medications, books, cell-phone, and pens/pencils. What a man! What a contraption!

WATERFORD, MI - OCTOBER 29: People say the Ple...

WATERFORD, MI – People say the Pledge of Allegiance  (Image credit: Getty Images via @daylife)

I graduated to a cane my son and daughter-in-law gave me soon after I no longer needed the walker. The cane lasted around a week. I have recovered incredibly quickly. My first surgery on the other hip took longer to heal than this one.

I’ve been walking with no assistance whatsoever since then, so I would say I am completely healed by today, the 18th of April, when I had the surgery on March 14th. Am I happy and relieved? Of course I am, once again, grateful.

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About Richard Nelson

Freelance science writing all day and night. I'm an expert at writing, marketing, and publishing. Providing writing services nearly everyday, SEO rich articles about science and tech are my specialties. I also love to make money so I'm for hire as an independent communications expert and business consultant with specializations in project management, writing, science, and engineering. With a vast network of professionals in various fields backed by two degrees, 180 credits hours, 6 graduate courses and several awards and recommendations along the way, who could go wrong?

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