Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Substitutes and Substitutions - and UNICORNS. Yes.

“I found the hum of his computer rather soothing, but it was the complete lack of unicorn carcasses that really pulled the room together.” 
― Diana PeterfreundRampant




I have to admit, I was tempted to just post the quote and picture to the right, with no explanation.  After all, I'm sitting in the hospital for the second day, as my shattered mother is in surgery.  (I originally typed "broken", changed it to "smashed," and decided to forego the image of holiday excesses.)  They are adding hardware to join her previously mono-united patella back to its original form.  

One of the biggest disappointments about this event is that I had to forego participation in two separate dances:  The GLOW dance during the Talent Show today at the high school, and the Celebratory Unicorn-Arrival Dance at the junior high yesterday, as we opened door #24 of our countdown to winter break.   

Of course, anyone who knows me well knows that the latter was one that was most anticipated, yet easily forgotten with the circumstances of yesterday.

Substitutes and Substitutions

I dashed into school this morning to clean off my desk, leave substitute plans, and (most importantly) retrieve the coffee cakes, cookies, and candies from students and colleagues before heading to the hospital for the anticipated surgery.  It is times like these that age and experience put me at a distinct advantage.  I was able to retrieve the most recent sub plans written, update them completely, and leave everything in order in less than 20 minutes.   I have enough understanding about the "Turn it In" program that my students are using to submit their research papers, that they can already view comments, instead of waiting all break for feedback.  And my wonderful orthopedic history this year allowed me to decode most of the acronyms tossed about by the surgeon and anesthesiologists today, allaying concerns of my mother.

Several observations:
  • Nurses appreciate chocolate truffles, even if it's Christmas and they have more cookies than they ever dreamed of wanting.
  • Saying thank you to everyone goes a long way - especially when nobody really wants to be in the hospital, let alone on Christmas Eve eve.
  • Parking Garages are not necessarily close to the actual building, but it's still not worth hauling the umbrella through rooms, preop, reception, and postop.
  • Despite what the people on talk radio say about last minute holiday shopping, the hospital gift shop is a perfectly fine place to find something unique for someone you love.
It's going to be a different kind of Christmas.  We will travel, instead of visited.  We will dine at noon instead of five, and at least one of us will be sitting straight legged in a chair instead of cross-legged while opening gifts.  The Glow Dance happened, and my glow suit was fashioned into a bowtie for the famous Seth, who is usually bowtied while teaching chemistry.  (As an aside, he has virtually NO EXCUSE not to update his blog during the next ten days.)

And the Celebratory Unicorn Arrival Dance?  Well, I HOPE it did not happen without me.  Mostly for selfish reasons.  

And, because I finally have the appropriate attire for the festivities.  (See photo above)