Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Ambulate! by Joe Q.

This week we have a wonderful guest post by Albany writer Joe Q. A cancer survivor, Joe was prompted to write after reading John’s surgery story here on Love in the Time of Cancer. Here is Joe’s reminiscence:

Diane, I laughed at the "ambulate" part of your blog.  It rang a bell.  I’m remembering the operation to remove my cancerous prostate in the fall of 2008 at a big hospital in Manhattan.

With the midnight staff change, Kathryn, an RN from Dublin, Ireland, asked whether I had walked yet.  Before I could answer, she demanded: "Up!  To the hall!  Walk!"  Another guy on the floor was in the same boat, Kathryn his drill sergeant too, the lament palpable on his face.  So the two of us trudged back and forth from midnight on, catheter, et al, the only consolation being the Manhattan skyline, Chrysler Building and seeing Central Park on one end, and Roosevelt Island and Queens on the other.

Finally, nurse Kathryn relented and we got to bed at 12:30 AM.  

But Kathryn wasn't done yet.  At 7 AM, I knew the drill as she approached, then demanded: "Up!  Walk!"   So the other guy and I trudged back and forth for another 1/2 hour.  

When my wife showed up to drive me home to Loudonville, New York, Kathryn thundered, "He can't ride in a car for three hours!"  But when my wife said that my surgeon approved, Kathryn demanded stipulations.  So at each Thruway rest area, I had to walk 10 minutes in the parking lot, again catheter, et al.  Plus Kathryn demanded I walk in the house for one hour daily for one week.

Kathryn reminded me of the Sisters of Mercy, the Irish nuns of my grade school. Jesus Christ reported to them in the 1950s.   

Yes, nurse Kathryn missed her calling.  She could have been the Ambulatory Nun!

Be well.  Joe

Thank you, Joe!

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