Craig Walker had a serious surgical operation in the midst of this Pandemic Season. It was over a month ago. He is now doing well. He tells about his surgery results in Hoping for a Miracle. I have admired the way he keeps a good sense of humor in this stressful time.
Below is Craig's description of how humor helped him to prepare for the surgery:
After reading the news this morning, there is not much to laugh about. The world appears “to be going to hell in a hand basket,” as my sweet mother used to say (only to her friends). At 80 years of age, I am supposed to be sheltering in place for fear I might expose myself to the virus. Writing about 1910, Gertrude Stein said that we should expose ourselves to art. That is funny, because just eight years later, she found herself in the same position that we are in today. The world pandemic of 1918 killed more than 650,000 Americans alone.
What is ignored is that I had the virus in January, or at least I had a virus. There was no test available. The fever, coughing, pneumonia, and shortness of breath are all earmarks of COVID-19, but without testing, it remains an open question. They say that it is a novel virus. Funny, but I didn’t say, “My how novel” as I sat up all night just to be able to breathe. It was miserable and it took a month to get over it. The sad thing is that I can’t even brag about having survived the virus because there is no way of knowing whether the virus that I had was the virus. Maybe it was a virus that wasn’t so novel.
My wife and I are being very compliant. We don’t shake hands but we still kiss. We are staying home with no visitors. I do the banking in a drive-through, order groceries online, and listen to the church service on the internet. The preacher gets up to preach to an empty building and the choir members sing their little hearts out to no one present. That is life today in March, 2020. April does not appear that it will be much different.
Just ten days ago, I had a regular appointment with my dermatologist. I wanted to cancel, but because of my past issues with skin cancer, I went. He found something that he didn’t like. In just a couple of hours, I leave for the hospital to have it cut out.
Hospital? Who would want to go to such a scary place today? I was already told that whoever drives me has to wait in the car. They told me which door I have to enter at exactly 1 p.m. and that someone from surgery would be waiting for me. I was wondering if there is a secret password. I am to be wearing a mask, if I have one. If not, they will give me one. My temperature will be taken and I will be assisted to the preparation room. The waiting rooms will be filled with empty seats, just like in church.
Yesterday I went for a bike ride. OK, I have to be honest and admit that it was a trike. My doctor does not want me on a bike, sitting there in the catapult position. It was a 25-mile ride up over Oak Glen with more than 2000’ of climbing. Yes, I used my electric motor but I set the power level at as low as it would go, so I had to pedal hard the whole way.
With sweat pouring down my face, I made it to the top, just as I did the first time when I was 27, riding a Schwinn Le Tour. I was really strong then and just took it for granted. There was no physical challenge that I feared. I could hike all night and climb a peak the next morning. Now at 80, I carefully assess and choose physical challenges.
I will soon be surrounded by heroes in our medical profession. The nurses and doctors in hospitals are truly risking their lives just by going to work each day. If that were me, would I have the courage to go to work, or would I decide to stay home where it is safe? Their unselfish heroism gives me hope that the plight of the world is not so bad after all. Hope will carry us through.
When the surgeon called me yesterday, I asked if I could wear my mask during surgery. It seemed like a reasonable request. She laughed. You see the surgery is on my nose.