today was a long one

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Berit's ankle is bolted back together, but the doctor doesn't want her to put any weight on it for six weeks. No dangling her feet off the side of the bed. Just short trips to the bathroom or to eat a meal and then back in the bed with her ankle raised higher than her heart. It was much more difficult to do on her soft bones and this is going to go very hard on my friends.

I met a really neat old lady in the waiting room for the OR. She'd been there since noon, and didn't get to leave until nearly 11pm. She's German, but her husband is Spanish, but they are Americans now and her sons are both born and raised here. She speaks Spanish in a German accent and English in a sort of blend of German and Spanish accents that sounds somehow vaguely French.

She has a cold, so she wore a yellow surgical mask over her face the whole time. Her poor husband was having very bad kidney stone trouble and it took a long time to fix him up and get him stabilized enough to leave the recovery room. I know she was very worried and sorry for his prolonged agony, but she was loving and friendly company.

She spoke Spanish to her sons when they called her on her cell phone. They were speaking English. I guess their household was one where at least three languages were going on at once, because that's pretty much how she talked with me, sliding in and out of different languages... catching herself and then apologizing for forgetting herself.

Funny thing was, I could almost understand all of it.

Her name was Ava and she wished us a good life as she left.

Another funny thing was that after we left the ER in the middle of the night last night, about 15 miles back down 101 toward Stinson Beach, we stopped at a gas station for enough gas to get back to the hospital today to bolt Berit's completely broken ankle back on to the bottom of her leg bones. While Billy was out pumping the gas I noticed a woman at the pump island across from us acting sort of strangely... hand kept going up to her ear as though she were speaking on a cell phone, but I don't think there was a cell phone in her hand.

She was mostly with her back to me, watching gasoline pump tv, I guess, but she turned around and looked straight in our direction a few times. Very distinctive-looking woman.

She was in the OR waiting room today when we arrived. Wearing the exact same clothes and still acting strangely. It was sort of like she was playing musical chairs with ghosts.

If you had any idea how beyond the pale crowded Marin is nowadays, you would be even more shocked at this outrageously strange coincidence or maybe even synchronicity... whatever.

Everyone is tired and cranky and exasperated, but I'm just plain dropping down into the love zone.

Sorry if I worried anyone by not showing up for duty earlier. Just sooo much logistics to get ironed out and sooo much driving and meeting and tromps down long mega-medical-complex corridors, memorizing of ornate elevator color codes in an elaborate or maybe even labyrinthine scheme of getting from parking lot to the OR and making sure I got the doctor's orders firmly in mind and making sure the pain meds get taken on time and sneaking in some food here and there.... It's been long. We're all old and safe now, and everyone too freaked to deal is sound asleep and everyone too drugged to do much else is too.

So I thought I'd tell you I love you and I'm sorry if I worried you.

pipe up any time....