Archive for February, 2014

Hilary’s surgeries

February 5, 2014

I was reminded of our three years of visits and as many surgeries in as many years by a friend’s blog post about her daughter who just had her spine fused to solve a problem she’s been having for quite awhile.  I don’t write about Hilary’s problems because she doesn’t want me to.  But I can talk about a few of my own.  For the big surgery, complete realignment of both jaws, I spent three days by her side, mostly in a small chair next to her bed that folded out into a longer, but still very narrow, chair/bed.  We had nice walks down the mural-covered halls of the children’s wing to the glass-walled visiting room on the 24th floor where we could see ten or 20 miles in 360 degrees around us.  We faced the airport, where planes landed and took off as we have occasionally done, Winthrop, where we go to Christmas parties with our family, close by the Science Museum and a little farther to the right the Aquarium, where Hilary has spent many happy hours ever since she was very small, the common and Back Bay, where Hilary took art lessons, behind us the hill on Rte. 2 that leads to Bedford, far off the South Shore, where we have some relatives, the waterfront, and the boats to the islands, and places in between.  The waiting room also has a huge aquarium, with brightly colored fish in it, and we would hang out there sometimes with our computers, or Hilary drawing.  We came to feel about MGH as if it were a second home, with the cafeteria and its array of food available all hours of the day and night, the nice valets at the entrance, the Whole Foods nearby to get a special treat.  Even the one conflict we had with a caregiver took on more of the quality of a family problem, with forgiveness as the resolution and lessons learned about our true natures.  Hilary became reacquainted with the simple pleasure of sipping soup through a straw, chewing food after two months of a liquid diet and properly for the first time, learned something about pain and the solving of it, and of human kindness.  I learned something about human nature, as I have throughout the 23 years she as her guide on this planet.