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Just imagine . . . you can't

Are you the type that sometimes tries to imagine how you’d react or behave in certain situations? Situations that in reality have very little chance of happening, but that could, because they do happen to others.

Say, for example, you’re sitting up working late to get your job done early. Because tomorrow’s a busy day – one that will pull you down a path you had never envisioned, but nevertheless, here you are.

You see, I’m not that type. I don’t spend time worrying about things that potentially could happen, how they would affect me and how I would react. And as a result, more often than I’d like to admit, I end up facing the unknown with no real idea how I should be reacting, how a “normal” person would react or behave. I just wing it.

And so here I am. After three years of battling mounting foot injuries, exacerbated by diabetes, made worse by careless actions such as jumping off the tailgate of my truck like I was 25 instead of the 60 that I actually was, the time has come to pay the piper.

Tomorrow, I lose my right foot. And tonight, I work late to get my job done early.

Long story short, infection caused by pressure sores caused by bones that broke and collapsed landed me in the hospital a week ago. Belton Regional Medical Center has amazed me daily since last Tuesday with the incredible care I have gotten, from the time I limped into the emergency room through to tonight.

I haven’t been an overnight patient in a hospital since 1978, so of course I’ve had no clue what to expect.

From the nursing staff to the specialists, from podiatry to infectious disease to orthopaedic surgery, I’ve never seen such a seamless operation. Maybe because I’ve spent so little time as a patient in my life, my expectations haven’t been developed to the degree others have.

Maybe I’m easily impressed, I don’t know. But to be going through such a crisis right here, close to home, in a place of such universal understanding and care, is certainly far beyond what I would have imagined if I did happen to be the type that concocted scenarios such as the one I find myself in tonight.

And maybe that’s part of why my thoughts aren’t on losing my foot at all. They’re instead on gratitude. Gratitude for the care I’m receiving, for the friends and family flooding us with offers of love and help.

And finally, gratitude for the fact that there’s a plan in place to get me mobile again a whole lot faster than I could have ever imagined. And that was punctuated by what happened just today.

I had been under the impression I would be waiting for Friday of this week to undergo this procedure (yes, we can say it, amputation). Of course, I had been dreading the empty days of waiting.

Early this afternoon, a well-known orthopaedic surgeon in our community walked in to my room and announced that he would be handling the surgery, and that he could do it . . . tomorrow!

He said he had realized I was just sitting here waiting, and that there was no reason he couldn’t just jump in and take care of it since he had an opening.

You know, this place has been my home since 1987 and those of us that have called it home that long and longer have known we have a special place. Who knows, maybe my ancestors that arrived in Cass County in the 1850s from Kentucky even recognized it.

Not everyone can treat a crisis quite this way, I understand that. But life will go on here for all of us, and in the scheme of things, my right foot just isn’t anything to lose my happiness, gratitude and hope over. Naive? Perhaps. But I’ll take it.

1 Comment

Kirby Hall
Kirby Hall
Sep 15, 2023

Allen, wishing you and the medical staff the very best!

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