November 20, 2004

It still hurts!

If the surgeon had told me that the repair of a hernia would cause this much pain, for such a long time, I might have thought twice about having the surgery. I’m still taking baby steps when I go to the bathroom, or kitchen. If I sneeze, if feels as though my belly will rip out and fly across the room, and if I reach for anything without thinking, it feels as though my belly button will pop out and fall on the floor. Of course some of the problem is because the surgeon repaired both sides. It seems I had an extra hernia that I didn’t know about, and some of this prolonged period of recovery is because of my age. I am told that I will not be back to normal for eight weeks. I guess at some point I’ll start feeling well enough that I will want to go to the health club, so I've been cautioned not to stretch or exercise. I told my surgeon not to worry, “I do not intend to go through this again, so I will do whatever you say.”

The only problem is that my back, knees, and shoulders are all getting stiff and sore because I’m not using them, and I’m afraid that at my age I might lose some mobility and never get it back.

Adam, my grandson was wonderful. He stayed for two days and waited on me hand and foot. He lugged food and dishes back and forth from THE BIG NEEDLE dining room, and even cooked several meals himself. He cleaned the apartment without disturbing things the way Ruth does. If he felt he had too move something, he would ask where I wanted him to put it. He rented Slaughterhouse Five because he knows that’s one of my favorite movies, and books of all time and we watched it Wednesday evening.

We had a very interesting conversations that started with Slaughterhouse Five and rambled to just about everywhere from there.

“Why do you like this story so much Grandpa? I mean, it’s really pretty gruesome in places.”


“Vonnegut was writing in a postmodern vein, Adam. And, He was writing that way before the Postmodern existed. He applies Quantum Physics to the world of the living. His protagonist’s idea that time is not a linear thing, but a series of particular points located randomly, and shifting in relation to one another, and his ability to visit any or all those points at will, while not practical for those of us who must live in a linear world, is one that Vonnegut uses to create a sense of fractured time and space. His hero is not linear, and therefore the text of the novel does not always proceed in linear fashion. The first time I read that book back in the 1960’s, I was flabbergasted, and enthralled.”

“You should be a teacher Grandpa. You think in ways that are fascinating.”

“Thanks, Adam, but you’re prejudiced in my favor.”

“I mean it. I’d love to have you come to my class sometime and talk about Vonnegut, science, time, and literature. They could read the book, see the movie, and you could talk to them about it. Not all the students would understand, but it might open doors for quite a few. Heck, you can take off in all kinds of directions from Vonnegut; science and physics, math, art, literature, and music. His work shows how the arts are necessary to a complete and practical understanding of the theory that science proposes.”

I wish that I could spend more time with Adam. I’m sad that it took my surgery to bring us closer together. I am going to have to make it a point to get off my duff, get in the car and go visit him when I have completely recovered from this surgery. I could cook for him for a couple of days.

* “Goodbye Cruel World: Kurt Vonnegut Fade to Black,” Zach Fine, The Online Daily of The Daily of the University of Washington, (1995) Saturday, November 20, 2004: 1134 AM EST.

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Blogger Anji said...

I hope that you are continuing to feel a little better. I'm trying to remember if I read Slaughterhouse five. I know that my mum had Kurt Vonnegut books in the house. I hate not being able to remember. I suppose the solution is to read them over again!

Adam sounds a wonderful Grandson. I really miss my Grandfather. He used to draw cartoons for us, mainly of my Grandmother smoking fat cigars with a spitton close by. Of course she wasn't like that in real life.

4:53 AM  

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