Cromey Online

The writings of author, therapist, and priest Robert Warren Cromey.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013


Tuesday, August 20, 2013

It all began last August 22nd with simple left knee replacement surgery. I had the right one done 20 years ago and it went well and I was up and at ‘em again in a month or two, I think. The surgery at the California Medical Center by Dr. Christopher Cox was routine this time too. I was up the next day doing exercises and walking very carefully. Ann was there of course and some visitors came by even though I had forbidden such. So much for my persuasive power. I wasn’t eating which was odd for me. My vital signs were fine but I began not feeling well. I desperately wanted to go home. Ann did not think it a good idea, but I persuaded the doctors to let me go. Ann of course knew what was the right thing to do, but my know-it-all arrogance won the day and ruined our night.

After being at home for a night Ann and friend Jamie demanded I return to the hospital. My plumbing department had completely shut down. Very little in and nothing out. After four more days in the hospital over the Labor Day weekend, I returned home again. But not until after doctors and nurses had performed unspeakable activities to get my plumbing working again.

I was incredibly weak and washed out – in more ways than one. Thirty pounds had drifted away. I spent the next several weeks in bed or sitting up in a chair. I even subscribed to the daily N.Y. Times to give me some more reading matter I could stand. There were a number of trips back and forth to the doctors.

Wonderful Ann took over the shopping and cooking, which I had done for the 291/2 years of our marriage. She is a fine cook but rather slow. Impatient I therefore, did most of the cooking.  Ann had a little trouble at Safeway. One day she met old friend Burton Weaver at the store. He sent me an email saying she looked so lost and confused when they met. She indicated that was indeed true. But she did valiantly. We ate better than ever. She got me water, things I needed when I had left them in another room, ran errands and was so loyal and loving while I just grouched away.

I recovered slowly enough that in February we went on a cruise from San Diego to Puerto Vallarta, Mexico, for a week. Ann was busy at the gym and I read a lot. I self-righteously commented on the number of fat people on the ship and there were plenty. It was a pleasant trip but again I was glad to get home.

I had a urinary complication and had to return to the urologist, Dr. Roderick Rodgers. He reamed out my urethra to get me flowing properly and wondrously.

Then in May I visited my internist, Gary Feldman, MD, because I became much too tired when climbing our 43 steps up to our flat. He sent me to the emergency room at CPMC for treatment for an Atrial Fibrillation of my heart. The cardiologist assigned was Anna Beyer, MD. I was in the hospital all of one day, overnight and all the next day before I got the electric shock to get my heart going again properly. I like to say they electrocuted me into normality. This was the first heart problem I had ever had. Ann of course was worried but was again so loving and supportive with yet again another problem of mine.

Well, we are not finished yet. Ophthalmologists have been watching glaucoma in my eyes for several years. My right eye needed work. On June 18th Dr. Scott So did a number on my eye to lessen the pressure that was damaging the nerve in that eye. There was no pain but I had to take it easy for a while and no swimming for fear of infection.

Since I can’t walk very far and then could not swim I was bereft of any real exercise except for repetitive exercises for my knee, which I hate to do. I was sure to become a blimp. Not, so, as I don’t eat as much as I used to my weight has remained steady just below 200 lbs. Well here it is August 20 just short of a years since this saga began.  My left knee continues to heal but it is not done yet.

Thank you my dearest Ann. You have no idea how much you contributed to my healing as wells as my joy.