The Work of Healing

My biggest job here in Salt Lake City has been to help with little Peter here, whose cheeks extend so far to the right and left of his head he practically needs a set of directionals to signal before he turns.

I’ve noticed a few things in this fair city, limited as my movements have been:

One thing I couldn’t fail to pick up one is that my rental car’s radio kept scooting right past the two NPR stations favor of stations of a more muscular God-based nature. I also noted that it’s considered pious to save on water: I listened in awe as one announcer with an especially  pulpit-y voice told listeners that though God was indeed happy to see you looking CLEAN, he would also like to see you re-use the bath towels, even share their use among family members. “Remember,” he intoned, “you use a towel after you wash yourself, not before.”

Most of the rest of my experiences were right here in the home of our recovering patient where young Peter wakes cheerfully every morning, babbling for a while in his crib before having milk and a book in bed with his parents. Then he pads about taking  his daily inventory of the whole household, especially the three pets, the  serenely laconic feline team of Lucy and Elsie who regard all things with that lofty cat calm, and then this genial  goodwill ambassador Bosco. ( Photo credit to 21-month-month-old Peter, who after snapping both  pictures, let Bosco lick his face before then licking the whole front of my camera himself, lens and all.)

I have been responsible for the Pork and Black Beans night. the Steak with Peppers and Onions night, the Broiled Salmon night and the Scallops with Feta and Zucchini Pasta night. I haven’t done this much cooking since my first month of marriage.

After supper I clear the table and do the dishes, then set to work assisting with the snacks, drinks and double lunch that Peter will take to daycare in the morning, I have brought him there come 8am, sometimes on my own and sometimes with his Mum or Dad while he yodels away in his little car seat, naming objects and creatures like Adam in the Garden.

Meanwhile, the patient Susan, forgiven work until further notice, tends to her recovery.

She and I put drops in her left eye, which still won’t close all the way, that whole side of her face being paralyzed and without feeling still. When her cornea on that side began to dry out they sewed it shut,  poor lamb. By now the stitches are out but she wears a protective plastic patch.

We also  tend to the opening in her tummy where on Monday they inserted a kind of drinking straw that allows the slow exiting of blood mixed with the protein-rich white blood cells that being about her healing. When she does a mini-crunch a the doctors told her to do, this substance comes out quickly. this is pretty scary though so most of the time we just tape on the big gauze bandage and the liquid seeps slowly out. “Wicki-leaks” we call it.

Meanwhile, up in her head where the tumor was, all is well. The 2.5 cc. acoustic neuroma is gone and so what of the hearing on her left side went with it along with her balance?  Her right side will take over both functions if she keeps going out into the noisy world and letting it learn.

We went to the movies yesterday to help that happen, the $1.50 matinee showing of Seeking a Friend for the End of the World,  maybe not the best choice. When we walked in, the theater was totally empty which seemed pretty cool.

Then we came home again, I got back to work in the kitchen and she, Kevin and I once again gave ourselves over to the moist enveloping love of three pets and a baby.

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5 thoughts on “The Work of Healing

    1. for some reason, the beginning of my comment is missing! :0) it just said that you are amazing, terry, a truly exceptional person. i’m glad to be “part” of your journey…..xo

  1. You are more than a friend. Someone less than a friend is an acquaintance, but what is the word for someone who is more than a friend, though not a lover? A guardian angel? But you are of this world. Whoever knows you is incredibly fortunate because you are there (even mega miles from home) when needed. I cannot think of a word to describe what you are – ,maybe because you are a rarity, unique.

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