Sunday, March 14, 2010

Dr. Roper and the Hospitalist Swing

A number of years ago Sue made me take a class with her to learn how to dance the West Coast Swing.  She was a Cal Poly Aggie in college and a life-time member of the 4-H and the FFA.  I was glad that Kim Buendia made her husband take the same class, too.  Misery loves company, you know.

Left two three, right two three, back step, and left two three, right two three, swing your gal around.   After I got the rudimentary moves down I bought some roper boots, Wrangler jeans, a western shirt, and Sue and I each got a Montana Silversmiths silver belt buckle (indian designs).  Oh, and Stetson hats.  Somehow dancing the West Coast Swing with a bunch of legitimate cowboys and cowgirls at Jim's place in Clovis just wasn't right with white Nike tennis shoes, shorts, a t-shirt and a baseball cap. I still wear the roper boots from time to time, but we haven't been dancing much this year. 

The current hospitalist seeing Sue daily is Dr. Roper.  He's going to have a G.I. doctor (that's gastro-intester-something-something-ologist) see Sue about inserting a peg -- a feeding tube -- directly into Sue's stomach.  It's not a big deal as far as surgeries go. But it will allow them to remove the tube from Sue's nose and gives a little more latitude in terms of what you can grind up and insert into her stomach.  I gather that the peg insertion is preparatory to discharging Sue from the hospital.

Just sitting in bed and talking, she seems like her old self.  She's been cutting back on her pain meds.  Physically, she is barely better.  While her left arm is still pretty much dead weight, she has juuuust enough strength, with assistance, to swing her legs over the edge of the bed and, with assistance, sit up, and scooch to the edge of the bed and, with assistance, stand up.  Then, standing in front of her and holding her left hand in my right hand, with my left hand behind her back holding the safety strap they make you clip on before assisting people out of bed, I have the fleeting sensation we are timing the music to kick off an up-tempo swing dance.  But we just stand there while she stretches her calves.  She's good for a few ginger steps forward and a few ginger steps back.  While holding on to you she can rotate to the commode, which is worlds better than a bed pan.  Back two three, front two three, swing your gal. 

Well, like the John Michael Montgomery country song says, "life's a dance you learn as you go."  I call this new dance "the Hospitalist Swing."


  1. And as Garth Brooks would sing, "I could have missed the pain but I'd have had to miss the dance."

    I picture you two dancing today.....

    God bless your dance!

  2. I think it was in the movie "The Notebook" that James Garner danced with his beloved when she could no longer remember who he was, but she remembered the music. Isn't it the music remembered that can rejuvenate us? It is encouraging to hear progress I continue to intend for more...

  3. I'm a dancer from way back. When you say Sue takes a ginger step forward and a ginger step back, you are referring to Fred and ginger, right? (Okay you can groan now.) Love and prayers-Janice

  4. It's wonderful to imagine the "dance" - or even that you imagine it that way. "Dance, then, wherever you may be..."

    I love a good pun - Thanks Janice - laughter's good medicine.

  5. We love your writing, George. Thank you for getting your thoughts down. Isn't life about the little things? Thank you for seeing that as an opportunity to "dance". Maybe you should bring her boots to the hospital so she can look the part!!! PJ & Keith Hartman

  6. ....and when you get the choice to sit it out or dance, I hope you dance.
    -LeAnn Womak "I Hope You Dance"

  7. JHRME... that's a great one! Love that song!