Friday, November 06, 2009

Dr. Dad

Today I finally got the referral to see an orthopedist about my broken hand; it's likely I will have to wear a cast of some kind for four to six weeks. Ah, the inconvenience of it all, especially heading into the holidays! It's hard to knead bread with only one hand.

All week long I've been missing my dad especially hard. Dad was an orthopedic surgeon (that's him in action on the left, above), and if he were around my week would have gone differently. He would have driven me to his office in the middle of the night, taken and developed the x-ray himself, confirmed the fracture, and put the cast on himself. The whole thing would have taken an hour or so, not this week-plus ordeal it has turned into.

Dad loved being a surgeon; he really enjoyed operating. He had originally planned on becoming a general practitioner, but he fell in love with orthopedics when he hit that part of his residency rotation. It took him an extra year (or was it semester?) in med school to learn his chosen specialty, but he felt it was worth the extra time. He specialized in clubfoot, which seems like a fairly rare condition, but he had a steady stream of patients, nearly all of them under a year old. He would put tiny plaster casts on their chubby little legs to correct the bone deformities, and most of those kids never needed surgery thanks to his careful ministrations. I remember asking him once if there was a particular kind of surgery he disliked, thinking he'd tell me about some boring, tedious procedure, perhaps one that kept him on his feet for hours at a time; he said the only kind of surgery he didn't like was performing amputations, because they made him sad.

I miss you something fierce, Dad.


Lucy said...

I always like the stories you tell about your parents but this post about your dad makes me like him more than ever. What a nice man. I'm so sorry he is no longer with us but just think of all of those babies he helped who are running around leading fabulous lives because of what he chose to specialize in. What a wonderful legacy!

I'm also sorry your paw is having to wait so long to be attended to but I'm glad for this post. Thank you for sharing.

The Invisible Mo said...

Sounds like your dad was one of a kind. I've known several kids with club feet and I think it's great that your dad chose to specialize in it. I hope your hand heals quickly.

kb said...

What a wonderful and touching post about your Dad and the wonderful surgeon that he was.

And I'm so sorry about all that you've had to go through with your hand. I hope it heals quickly and well so you can tend to your bread :)