When my wife, Barbara, and I learned last Thursday she would have surgery on Saturday I called our daughter, Amy, told her about it, and asked her to call the other four offspring. I called her because she lives near Dallas, and it was cheaper to phone her than any of the others, who are scattered from coast to coast. She also was the least likely to forget to make the calls.
She made them, and she also got to Topeka so fast I barely had time to dig out the pictures of her children and display them prominently around the house. We like to make whichever child is visiting think he or she is No. 1 in our hearts and in photo display space.
Before the Thursday decision there had been tests conducted or ordered by the renowned gastroenterologist, Dr. Robert Ricci. It would be an exaggeration to refer to him as the late Dr. Ricci, but he has been known to run, as he puts it, “on Ricci time.”
He was punctual, however, in reporting to us that the tests indicated surgery was called for, and in making an appointment for us to see the surgeon, Dr. James Hamilton, who is famous for having separated me from my gall bladder four years ago, and for writing learned letters to the editor on matters ranging from medicine to neighborhood blight.
When we went to see him we were accompanied by Michelle Meier, a close friend, a neighbor and a nurse who is administrator of the Kansas Medical Clinic. It wasn’t exactly the same as taking your lawyer to a real estate closing, but it made us feel more comfortable.
Dr. Hamilton explained in detail why the surgery was necessary, and what he would do. In layman’s language, he would remove a segment of bad colon, then sew the two loose ends together. It sounded simple enough. Continue reading