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Hartselle Enquirer

A hospital stay I won’t forget

By Clif Knight

Seven weeks ago, I was admitted to Huntsville Hospital to have surgery to repair a damaged spine. The decision to operate was reached seven months after I accidentally injured a disc in the lower region of my back and began experiencing pain in both legs and lost the ability to walk without aid.

Thanks to a pre-op procedure conducted a week ahead of the surgery date, required tests and paperwork for surgery were completed soon after I arrived for surgery at 5:30 a.m.

The surgeon gave me an OK sign when he arrived and the nephrologists explained his procedure. When we install the mast, you’ll take a breath or two and be asleep until you arrive in recovery after surgery.

I remember the nurses shaking me and me asking for something to drink about four hours later in recovery. I remember Geanell standing next to the bed in my room, reminding me that I needed to lie on my back and be still for a couple of hours. She knew how addicted I am to being a right-side sleeper and have a hard time lying on my back. Most of what I remember from the next five days are what Geanell and our daughter Pam say are figments of my imagination.

I remember watching our youngest son, Cliff B., standing guard over me from a seated position in the hallway across from my room. He imitated every move I made, and disappeared when the hallway lights were turned off. I saw him lying in a ditch in front of our home the next day, until a nurse came by, took him by the hand was walked him away.

On the third day, I saw a young man dressed like male nurse sitting in the hallway across from my room. Later, he entered my room and introduced himself as an aide. He checked my lungs and said he thought I had the flu and promised he would do some more checking and let me know his findings the next day.

I questioned every nurse that came into my room about where I was and was told by everyone that I was in a room on the fifth floor of Huntsville Hospital. I didn’t believe a one of them. I thought I was being held somewhere in Hartselle but I had no way of verifying where. I was confined to bed and had no one to help me gets out and go home.

I was released three days later and was the happiest man in town when we turned off Highway 31 and I saw the lights shining in the windows at 301Bethel Road.

 

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