I fell in love the minute I met her, and 27 years later, I’m still gaga over my baby girl.
Carlene was here waiting when I got home from the hospital on Saturday, and except to run out for an oil change and car wash today, she has not NOT taken care of me ever since.
On Sunday night, she and Larry and I were watching “It’s Complicated” (highly recommend!) as my knee got redder and tighter. It had been a warm day – the high had been 87 – and it was still humid, so I thought maybe that was the reason. When it got worse, I scoured my discharge papers for instructions on what abnormalities I was supposed to let my doctor know about. “Excessive swelling and redness” were two of them, but how did they define “excessive”? I talked to an on-call nurse with my insurance company and she thought it would be a good idea to contact the resident on call at my doctor’s office in Pittsburgh. (For those of you new to my blog, I live about 70 miles north of Pittsburgh.)
The resident called me back and said she recommended I go to our local hospital to get checked out. Carlene drove me there me. It was 11:30. Four vials of blood, a shot of morphine and a chest x-ray later, I was strapped to a gurney and loaded in an ambulance. Carlene handed me my purse. I told her to go get some sleep and she said she’d be down in a few hours.
11 more vials of blood, two aspirations (to check for bacteria under my knee cap…oh yeah…THAT was fun), an ultrasound (to check for blood clots) and a shot of dilaudid later, Carlene arrived with a banana in her purse because she knew I wouldn’t have eaten for nearly 18 hours.
All my tests checked out and the docs guessed the swelling was in response to such a major debridement, so I was discharged. Carlene loaded me in the car, surrounded me with pillows, and drove us to Panera where she rolled down a window, locked me in the car, and got us some food.
Last night we watched “Connie and Carla” snuggled up on my twin bed.
I could list all the things Carlene’s done to help me, like getting me safely from point A to point B, and helping me eat right and stay clean, but I’d be typing all night. Besides, those things aren’t the most important components of my recovery. Carlene’s presence is better for my knee than any narcotic. She is soothing and loving, funny and kind. We’re on the same snark level, and we love to discuss books and history. She’s the kind of friend we all dream of, let alone child we hope to bear.
When I think of Carlene, I always get a sweet ache in my heart. I will miss her when she goes home Thursday, but I know with certainty that the next time I see her I will fall in love all over again.
A quick note about my recent “theme” change to my blog. Those of you who use Firefox or a Mac computer have not been able to post comments or click through on links. I apologize for this. I tried to reset my theme to what it was before, but being the computer genius I’m not, I have been unsuccessful so far. So if you’re unable to leave a comments here and you’d like to contact me, feel free to send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.