Dr. Roper and the Hospitalist Swing

A number of years ago Sue made me take a class with her to learn how to dance the West Coast Swing.  She was a Cal Poly Aggie in college and a life-time member of the 4-H and the FFA.  I was glad that Kim Buendia made her husband take the same class, too.  Misery loves company, you know.

Left two three, right two three, back step, and left two three, right two three, swing your gal around.   After I got the rudimentary moves down I bought some roper boots, Wrangler jeans, a western shirt, and Sue and I each got a Montana Silversmiths silver belt buckle (indian designs).  Oh, and Stetson hats.  Somehow dancing the West Coast Swing with a bunch of legitimate cowboys and cowgirls at Jim’s place in Clovis just wasn’t right with white Nike tennis shoes, shorts, a t-shirt and a baseball cap. I still wear the roper boots from time to time, but we haven’t been dancing much this year. 

The current hospitalist seeing Sue daily is Dr. Roper.  He’s going to have a G.I. doctor (that’s gastro-intester-something-something-ologist) see Sue about inserting a peg — a feeding tube — directly into Sue’s stomach.  It’s not a big deal as far as surgeries go. But it will allow them to remove the tube from Sue’s nose and gives a little more latitude in terms of what you can grind up and insert into her stomach.  I gather that the peg insertion is preparatory to discharging Sue from the hospital.

Just sitting in bed and talking, she seems like her old self.  She’s been cutting back on her pain meds.  Physically, she is barely better.  While her left arm is still pretty much dead weight, she has juuuust enough strength, with assistance, to swing her legs over the edge of the bed and, with assistance, sit up, and scooch to the edge of the bed and, with assistance, stand up.  Then, standing in front of her and holding her left hand in my right hand, with my left hand behind her back holding the safety strap they make you clip on before assisting people out of bed, I have the fleeting sensation we are timing the music to kick off an up-tempo swing dance.  But we just stand there while she stretches her calves.  She’s good for a few ginger steps forward and a few ginger steps back.  While holding on to you she can rotate to the commode, which is worlds better than a bed pan.  Back two three, front two three, swing your gal. 

Well, like the John Michael Montgomery country song says, “life’s a dance you learn as you go.”  I call this new dance “the Hospitalist Swing.”