COLUMN: On the mend

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The Chatham Voice’s Bruce Corcoran literally feels no pain and hams it up for the camera shortly after his recent surgery to replace his left hip.

Well, as I sit at home and type this up, I can tell you all, I have another new hip.

Surgery took place as scheduled March 9.

I have to say, once again, most of the Chatham-Kent Health Alliance staff was incredible and compassionate. It began with the surgery prep nurse, Christie, who helped get me ready for the procedure. One issue, and it was from my end, was that because of me being off liquids essentially for 10 hours (you should have a drink just before you aren’t supposed to anymore), my veins weren’t behaving for the I.V. She tried twice, had another nurse try twice, and then they went to a more senior nurse, who got it the first time.

From there I went to hang out with nurses Cathy and Angela and my anesthetist for the surgery, Dr. Sumr Tabl.

These folks were true champions. They had me bend forward so Dr. Tabl could administer a spinal anesthetic, allowing me to not be as “out” under normal anesthetic for the hip replacement.

It went well, and we communicated throughout the injections to make sure the drugs got to just the right spots.

In no time at all, I was in the operating room, on my side and getting ready for the replacement. Through it all, Dr. Tabl was right at my head.

Meanwhile, Dr. John Turnbull was at the other end, and got to work when I was out.

He kept on working after I woke up too. I must mention that when I had my right hip done eight years ago, I woke up as they were stapling up my incision. No big deal, as I didn’t feel anything.

This time around, I woke up as they were still banging in the titanium replacement at the top of my femur. Again, zero pain, just an odd feeling that I was at a body shop and I was the automobile being worked on.

As I woke, Dr. Tabl kept up with words of encouragement and Dr. Turnbull kept doing his thing.

Once I was closed up, it was off to recovery. There, I had to wiggle my toes and have feeling in my legs before they’d send me off to my room. That was the spinal anesthesia coming out.

When I got to my room, Natasha, another compassionate and supportive nurse I encountered at the hospital, greeted me. It turned out; I had her for about 30 hours of my time there. She helped me through some frustration one evening, which was really appreciated.

I hope her daughter won her Sunday morning hockey game!

Even the housekeeping personnel were amazing. I encountered one who knew two friends of mine and had helped them through a rough patch in their lives in another job, even bringing them a furry present. I think Brenda and Randy would know about whom I am talking.

Another took it upon herself to wheel me out to our vehicle on checkout day, as the porter was backed up with other patients.

The physiotherapists, people who probably got my darkest glares, provided the tough love needed to get me moving. I thank them for that, and apologize if I was too belligerent at times.

I felt like a VIP during my time at CKHA. Having written previous columns about my experiences at the hospital, I was asked to write an impact letter in January about getting notified my surgery had been pushed back.

Janice Wilmott, director of surgery, the person who asked me to pen the letter, popped by as I was getting ready for surgery, just to say hello and to thank me for the letter.

My Friday morning lunch came with another visitor, president and CEO Lori Marshall, a very likeable person who has done a great deal for the CKHA in a short time period. 

Both visits were not necessary, but appreciated.

My wife and daughter, Mary Beth and Brenna, are angels. It can’t be easy living with me at the best of times, let alone when I am all banged up. Super troopers.

I’m working from home, hobbling around the house with a walker, and I have also started eating better. The extra weight I carry yells at me with every step I take.

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