Longleaf Stories

full circle in the hundred acre wood

It felt like rebirth yesterday. My doctor said, “Those steri-strips can come off now and you can paddle around in your pool — just no competition swimming. Baths are okay, too.”

Then he dispensed a welcome opinion. “You’re doing much better than par for the course.”

I didn’t have to “gin up” a smile all afternoon and evening. It was spontaneous, full candle power.

Later, at home, I soaked the steri-strips in a hot, wet wash cloth, and then peeled them off, one through nine. The scar is ugly, and despite my low weight of 117, there is a small, very obvious roll of flab just above the scar. The day I came home from the hospital, my entire abdomen was huge and I weighed 125. I felt as though my skin could split, especailly at the line where the doctor made his cut.

It felt good to have the steri-strips gone. They pulled the skin when I moved, and were a constant reminder that something major had happened and my insides had been redecorated.

I walked outside and sat, naked, in a patio chair. I read for a few minutes, until Buck came out and went into the pool. I walked around in the sunshine for a minute, feeling the warm wind on my wound. A high airplane overhead left a snowy contrail.

I tested my balance step by step into the pool, until I was fully immersed and could not stop grinning.

After supper, I filled our huge whirlpool tub and took an extravagant bath.

No pain meds. None needed. Great night’s sleep. Ready for a morning swim with Buck and then we’ll take Maggie along for a walk to the gate.



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