Life of Hardin in Paraguay

Laugh as you travel through life with Josh Hardin.

Location: Spring Hill, TN, United States

Josh Hardin began writing in high school and published his first novel when he was twenty-two. He won an EPPIE award for his mystery novel "The Pride of Peacock." His non-fiction work includes "The Prayer of Faith", a book aimed at making personal prayers both powerful and effective. He has traveled widely and taught a summer philosophy course at the International University in Vienna. Hardin grew up in Tennessee and moved to Paraguay in 2006. He moved back to Tennessee in 2008.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

Life of Hardin Vol. IV, No. 23

Notes on a Surgery

--I guess I’ll have knee surgery. So what if it’s been nine years since I tore my ACL? I didn’t have the time before. I’m finally tired of putting this thing back into socket. Besides, it’s cheaper here in Paraguay. The question is how to find a doctor.

First Doctor visits
--This doctor knows what he’s doing. But I don’t think he wants me to know what he’s doing. He keeps saying, “We’ll cut you open. We’ll cut you open.” Don’t I have other options? What about acupuncture? Herbal remedies? It’s like pulling teeth to get any info out of him. Is he a spy or something?
--Second visit. What’s his secretary trying to pull? She charged me an extra ten dollars this time and told me it was the same as last time. Oh, yeah? We’ll here’s the receipt from last time. What do you think about that? I thought that’d change your mind. What do you mean change? Is that the only reason you overcharged me? Because you didn’t have change?!? I want a second opinion. AND a second secretary.

New doctor
--This place is nicer. Doctor tells me everything. And his secretary says every visit is a flat rate of 20 bucks.

Getting ready
--Found a cane. Got a nice big ball of stone on top of it. I’ll be the terror of the streets. See if anybody tries to wash my windshield now. I’ll knock ‘em out.
--This is crazy. I’ve got to buy my own surgical screws and rent the surgical tools.
--My conversation with every place I call about the screws: “I want biodegradable screws. I don’t want titanium. I don’t care if everyone else here uses them. I don’t want my knee to be a weather barometer for the rest of my life.” Achy=rain. Creaky=fog. Stiff=cold’s a comin’.
--Found a place with the screws. But I just saw the delivery box for the surgical tools wrapped in a rag that’s been stuck in the top of an oil can.

--I scream when the nurse comes in the room and tell her not to hurt me. I scream when he hangs up the saline bag. I scream when she produces an IV needle. I keep my mouth shut while she shoves it in. It’s boring in bed. I’ve got to do something to entertain myself.
--She shaves my knee. No cream. No soap. Dry. Dry as a bone. She uses some razor I’ve never seen. It doesn’t nick me once. Why don’t they sell it for faces? Gillette probably lobbies to keep them off the market.
--I have my wife write “WRONG” on my left knee with a Sharpie. The nurses think I’ve tattooed it.
--Off to surgery. Flat on my back. Can’t see where we’re going. They really should put pictures on hospital ceilings.
--Surgery’s not so bad. I can’t feel my legs. I keep looking up to make sure they’re there and they keep pushing my head back down.

--Quit pumping that pain killer in me! I don’t want to be a junkie. After I bark at the first nurse, they don’t give me any more pain meds.
--Middle of the night. They didn’t send me home, so in protest I climb out of bed and wander down the hall. The nurse at the station asks, “Where do you think you’re going?” “I’m walkin’ here!”
--The nurses keep coming in wanting to give me a sponge bath. They never offer me any money, so I turn them down.

Home again
--Not so bad. As long as the swelling keeps going down the knee moves and feels fine. But I can’t get it wet yet.
--Surgery’s a breeze. The hard part is showering your backside while keeping a leg stuck straight up in the air.