Reflections

Rehab Not Available For Early Surgery Patients

By Charles Cooper

Hello everyone, hope you’re having a good week.  I almost didn’t make the deadline this week as I’ll explain.  I’ve known since last September that I was going to have hip replacement surgery and I kept delaying it until I got to the point that I couldn’t walk without a cane  and constant pain.  

The surgery is scheduled for Monday, March 3, at Baptist East in Memphis.  Fortunately I haven’t had much experience in surgeries and hospitals until I broke my hip two years ago this month.  

These days you are allowed to donate your own blood and I did the first procedure last Thursday.  

Today, Monday, I went for a pre-op physical and it took all morning.  I  was doing a comparison of my situation and that birthday of mine in 1943 during World War II.  Papa Badley had fallen from his horse the day before and Dr. Cooper had diagnosed him with a broken hip.  

Dr. Cooper said it would require a body cast for some months.  We called Newman-Gardner who operated an ambulance service as I’ve related in past columns.  

Mr. Newman and Bo Hall came out and picked Papa up and took him to the Culley hospital in Oxford.  That was when we first heard of using pins instead of a cast.  

Papa was in his seventies then but he was in good shape and was home in record time. In those days no one had heard of going to rehab and all the doctor said was after a certain time he needed to be up and try to walk.  

Our dear friend, Elmer Higginbotham, volunteered to come over and help him out of bed.  He would walk across the bottom as the roads were almost too bad to drive in a car.  Papa took a cane bottom chair and padded the posts and learned to walk again in what was our first experience with a walker.  

I don’t recall him taking any pain medication other than Bayer aspirin and his recovery was remarkable considering his age.  He never rode his horse again and he used a stick most of the time for the rest of his life – he lived to be 88.  

I could never have dreamed years later I would be going through the same situation.  I also couldn’t have dreamed that a few short years later I would be working for Newman-Gardner driving that same Olds/Miller that carried Papa to the hospital and back.

Today, I’ve talked to several people who have had this surgery and they tell me that they have them up and using a walker the next day.  

They all tell me the same thing, that I’ll be sorry I didn’t do it sooner. In writing this column I’ve always seen how one thing leads into something else and last week when Bill Sissell wrote about the tornadoes, I thought of one thing and that led to another.  

On the day of the Otuckalofa tornado, our school bus driver was Paul Reynolds and he was the son-in-law of Mr. Garfield Moore who was part of the Jumper’s Chapel family.  

Mr. Garfield was a quiet individual and considered a good farmer.  He never drove a car or truck but always had an outstanding team of mules and a good farm wagon.  

Usually when driving to town he would keep his mules in a steady lope most of the trip.  I know cause I caught a ride with him once.  Unfortunately one morning Paul Kahn and I were called to the depot to pick up a body out of a wagon.

It was Mr. Moore and apparently his heart attack was so sudden that he had a fresh chew of tobacco in his mouth.  He was a good man, a good neighbor and a supporter of Jumper’s Chapel –  although we learned he belonged to another denomination.  

We had two heart attack victims that week, Mr. Moore, and Mildred Harmon who had died while visiting a rodeo in Fort Worth, Texas.  Johnny Middleton and Spud Boydston were in Texas bringing her home when Mr. Moore died.  All it takes is one little hint and I’m off and running just as the old Country singers on the radio used to say, “Keep those cards and letters coming.”  

My email address is still charlescooper3616@sbcglobal.net or write me at P.O. Box 613189 Memphis, Tn 38101 and have a great week and remember me in your prayers.

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