The people who worked at the hospital were very proud of their facility. They pointed out to us that it was quiet and smelled nice compared to other hospitals. One person actually assured us that their food was "excellent." It was only after I tasted it that I realized she was using the word "excellent" in a manner not familiar to most English speakers, because most of us would not apply that word to purple guacamole and chicken salad drenched in relish.
At night, when all the visitors departed, the hospital, like all hospitals, put on its special shift of people that really hate sick people, to keep the patients awake and annoyed so they have something to complain about to their visitors the next day.
Now, getting chopped open and having a titanium joint shoved into your bone hurts just as much as it sounds like it should, and the hospital solves this problem by pumping its patients full of drugs whose street value probably exceeds that of a stolen Escalade. After four days of mostly sitting quietly watching my girl hallucinate, we were discharged. As per rigid hospital policy, they waited until rush hour to cut her loose, so she could enjoy the healing vibe of being stuck mid-air on the Coronado Bridge for ten minutes.
She is on a walker for a few weeks until her body adjusts to its new parts. For the first few days, I hovered behind her at every move, thinking she would fall over, but now she's getting quite good at it—she may soon be ready for the all-walker version of Bring It On.
"Down with the bad—up with the good" she mutters to herself as she bangs around the condo, reminding herself which foot to place first when using the stairs but sounding more like a demented superhero making a mission statement.
Mostly it's me that has to take care of her, which is straining my stunted male capabilities of noticing things and paying attention to other people's needs to their limits. The man who would be my brother-in-law if I was married to my S.O. contributed by making two giant bags of peanut-butter cookies for her and bringing them over, then announced "I hate peanut butter cookies," ate all the rest of my Thin Mints instead and then slipped out the door without so much as throwing away the wrapper.
I'm not particularly fond of peanut-butter cookies either, and as far as I can tell the patient hasn't eaten a single one, but as she heals I sit around munching them dutifully and wondering bitterly why a man who would bother making cookies wouldn't learn to make cookies that he liked instead of depriving me of Thin Mints until next February. I also believe I became first heterosexual male to sit through a full episode of "Operation Runway—Under the Gunn" without making a single smart-ass remark, out of deference to my patient's sensibilities. Correct me if I am wrong.
One day at a time.