Friday, March 2, 2012

Idora Tucker: Broken Parts/Repaired Parts


My mother, Idora, recently spent 11 days at Gifford Hospital, where they did a bunch of tests and decided she could use a pacemaker. Thus, at age 90, she became the first Gifford patient to receive a pacemaker from the hospital's surgical team. She described her surgeon, Dr. Ciccarelli, as "a dreamboat." (She was born at Gifford in 1921, delivered by Dr. Gifford.) She's home now and doing well. She wrote the following in the middle of the night, about a week ago.

 A bag sits beside my chair. The label reads IDORA – Broken Parts. Next to it is another bag with the label IDORA – Repaired Parts. The first bag yields a package that says “Can’t hear.” The following conversation takes place:
 – “Idora, can you hear me?
– What?
– [Louder] Can you hear me?
– I can now. My hearing aids would help.
– Oh, you have hearing aids. [Very loud] How about this?
– Fine.
That’s fixed. It goes into the bag of repaired parts.
Next – feet cold. Where are my sox? Oh. Right here. Put them on feet. Now feet are warm. Don’t put them in the bag of repaired parts.
At intervals my helper reaches into the bag of parts and inquires, “Is Idora still there?”
Next little bag of broken parts: Can’t see to read or sign permission slips.
– Can you read this?
– No. But where are my glasses?
– Here. How about now?
Fine. Into the bag of repaired parts.
Eventally the “broken parts” bag is empty. Everything has been put in good working order.

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