A telephone call. Simple to make, right? Key in ten numbers, push the call button and…VOILA!…you’ve got yourself a phone call.
At least, I thought it was easy. Then, on November 2, a man in a gown and mask cut into my brain.
November 9, 1995
As I wake up in the dark room, waiting for my eyes to focus, I see it — a white contraption with buttons — on my bedside table.
Picking it up, I point it at the t.v. and push “5” to bring up my favorite channel, but the dark t.v. screen sticks out its tongue at me.
Frustrated, I mash one button after another, trying to get a picture when I hear a robotic female voice.
“If you’d like to make a call….”
So, that’s what this is! Great…I’ll call my husband.
My index finger is poised over the first button when a huge question dawns on me: what is my phone number?
Wait…I know. It’s 817-something.
After I key in the first three numbers, I draw another blank. What comes after that? I know, I can call Mike and find out.
Meanwhile, I’ll call Mama. I know her number!
But what are the last four numbers? 1382 or 2381? 3218?
By now I’m really exasperated. Why can’t I remember? Then, I remember why I can’t remember — brain surgery. That surgeon stole the phone numbers right outta my head.
Then the phone starts ringing. When I pick it up to answer, I push the wrong button.
Finally, a nurse bounces in.
“We’re up early, this morning, aren’t we?”
“We,” I explain, “are trying to make a phone call but we forgot our number.”
So, this Angel of Mercy sits on the side of my bed and shows me how to work the phone. Then she goes one better; she looks in my chart and writes my number on a notepad.
With this tasty nugget of knowledge, I call my mother. Sister-in-law. And Mike …eleven times.
Five weeks and many phone calls later, I’m ready to be discharged. My sense of balance is back and I have out-walked my physical therapist.
The biggest challenge is six weeks away…driving a car.
Piece of cake. First, you turn on the radio….