Sunday, April 10, 2011

Forever Hip!

I slashed around in bed last night and had a terrible time sleeping!
by Charlie Leck

It wasn’t that 18 inch putt Tiger Woods missed on the number 11 green yesterday in the Masters that was keeping me awake, but it was ugly enough that it might have done so several years ago. I remember when Woods could knock down putts just with his sheer force of will. That was, of course, before that Thanksgiving weekend a year and a half ago. Woods doesn’t have that will power and dominating control over a golf ball anymore. People speculate about what might be wrong with Tiger’s swing. Believe me, it isn’t his swing. It’s his mind. Unless he figures out a way to get his head clear again and his mind in control on the golf course, we’ll never again see the old Tiger. And, that saddens me.

But, no, it was the hip that kept me awake last night. The pain throbbed and pounded away in there as I struggled to find a position in bed that would give it and me some comfort. Only four more nights like this and then the surgery.

I tried doing the relaxation thing they had tried to show us at the hospital in pre-surgery instruction class. The Penny George Institute for Heath and Healing (one of those holistic health and medicine organizations) had sent someone into the classroom to lead us in a relaxation exercise. Amazingly it had worked for me as I sat there in a chair, behind a table.

“Relax your head and your eyes and the skin of your face and the muscles in your neck!” The instructor led us, with these commands, down our entire body – right through relaxing our little tootsies. And, it had worked and the pain had just seeped out of me.”

It didn’t work last night. Perhaps it’s because I kept challenging myself.

“Ga-dammit, relax!”

At one point in the middle of the night, as thunder clashed and lightening streaked across the sky, I rose up on an elbow and looked up into the dark space at the top of the room and cried out in frustration.

“All right, all ready! How ‘bout giving me a little peace!”

“Huh?” My wife stirred but didn’t really awaken.

I let my head crash back down into the pillow and something strange happened. Something washed over my body and the pain receded and disappeared.

I was a bit shaken and I thought a bit about what had happened.

I had uttered a plea to heaven. Had it been answered?

“I’m not that easy,” I said into the darkness. “You’re not winning me over with a little thing like that.”

Again my wife stirred.

“What are you talking about?”

“Nothing! I’m just having a private conversation over here. Go back to sleep.”

“You’re crazy,” she uttered, even as she drifted off to sleep again.

I waited patiently and thought. The pain had not returned. My hip was quiet and at peace. This time I whispered into the darkness.

“I wouldn’t give a dime for a god who would do a cheap trick like that!”

I waited. There wasn’t any answer.

“Why aren’t you downtown on a night like this? I’m here in a comfortable bed, next to someone who loves me," I said. "Why aren’t you tending to those homeless people who live beneath the freeway bridge? Imagine how they must feel on a night like this, when you’re spouting all that booming and crashing and sparks are flying. That’s where you should be!”

Again, there was no reply. There was also no pain. I felt my face breaking out into a sweat.

“It worked,” I whispered.

“What worked?” My wife mumbled the question at me, rather than to me.

“Oh, that relaxation bit they showed us the other day at the hospital. I tried it and it worked.”

“Good,” she said, “now sleep.”

I couldn’t sleep. It was too odd – feeling no pain was strange. I tried to close my eyes, but they were drawn to the little window near my face. I could see the lightening slashing across the sky. Thunder continued to rumble.

I thought about those people who slept out on the streets. What were they cramming their bodies into on a night like this? Where could they find shelter?

I whispered again into the darkness.

“If human beings are so danged smart, why can’t they figure out a way to rid the word of homelessness? How tough can it be to make sure everyone has a comfortable place to sleep at night and a good, healthy breakfast in the morning? How tough?”

No answer again – only the slashing lightening and rumbling thunder!

“And Jesus answered, saying: “A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, who stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead. By chance there came down a certain priest that way; and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side. And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side. But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was; and when he saw him, he had compassion on him, and went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.”

I drifted off into a painless sleep.


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  1. Charlie - am happy you had some relief and I'm sure you will feel much better after the surgery is done and you are on the mend. I will be keeping you in my thoughts (and prayers). Lynn