Pre-Op

He gets drunk and climbs onto the back of a four-wheeler, flies through the air when the thing flips end-over-end into a cowpond, delivers him onto its rocky edge with a shattered kneecap peeking through deeply gashed flesh. Two days later he’s headed for surgery, badly infected, the doctors suspecting that flesh-eating bacteria might consume the leg, pump itself through his system, ruining what’s left of his meager life.

He tells Admitting what they already know: he’s an alcoholic. He doesn’t mention that he’s noncompliant with his doctor’s orders to lay off the booze and take his blood pressure meds, his COPD meds and, for God’s sake, to eat a vegetable once in a while.

He has no imagination; can’t foresee what his life would be like following a stroke, or dragging around an oxygen tank, or hopping around on a single leg. He says he’s ready for whatever comes his way, but he’s not; thinks his life can’t get much worse, but has no idea how wrong he is.

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