The Surgical Story / by Reginald Crump

My mother and father arrive and I hop into the car. I've acquired more pain relief medication and finally antibiotics. This time a half step between the 800 milligrams of IB and the Percocet, which I assured the Dr's I didn't need to start taking yet.

Finally home in the house where I grew up, but unfortunately I would not be seeing my bedroom, up two flights of steps on the top level. That's ok, a comfy sofa and love seat will do or the bed that my grandfather use to sleep in, in my mom's office.

Mama fixed a light lunch and went uptown to pick up my new prescription. An hour or so passes and my phone rings again. This time it's Manchild eager to know what the Dr's had said (by this point I hadn't given anyone the full answer). Manchild pulled it out of me and I believe this time I said it loud enough for my mother to hear, "it's severely infected and if it's not taken care of he said I risk losing part of my leg."

Silence on the other end of the phone, followed by tears.

I console, trying to bring the bright side back into the picture. We talk a bit more before hanging up.

Most of that evening I spent wrapping my brain around having one leg and what it would take to bring that to the stage, photos and moving images. I had bad ass pirates on the brain.


I tossed and turned that night. Shifting on my new meds and my parents comfy sofa to the sound of HGTV playing in the background. Waking every time I needed to adjust to find comfort with a throbbing knee. It only hurt when I moved.

I woke up the next morning to breakfast, washed and prepared for the 30 minute drive to the original Riverside Hospital location. The one that was there before they built the Williamsburg version. The one where my grandmother passed away when I was 8 yrs old.

After passing by the entrance the first time, we finally arrived. I hobbled to the entrance of the building and sat in the first wheelchair I saw. It happened to be a size that I didn't need, which ultimately was too heavy for my mother to push. 

We eventually found our way to the right floor and of course had to go through a series of questions at the front desk. Healthcare insurance questions and an out of date insurance card. Everyone up to this point managed to click beyond the obvious to find what they needed to move me on through to the next level. Somehow this was taking longer than my nerves wanted it to. Finally we were told we could have a seat and wait.

"Mr. Crump?" My dad begins to shuffle beside me to prepare to stand. "No daddy this time they are calling me." He's gotten so use to being in this situation. My mom chuckles "you wait right here Reg, I'm gonna go back there with him."

My dad wouldn't be moving very far without us anyway, so he was content sitting there looking through magazines.

We enter the Dr's office, vitals are checked, I lift my sweat pant leg (now I'm wearing sweat pants because my mom joked me so much the day before about having jeans on that were so tight I couldn't pull them up over my swollen leg). I reveal the current state of what was once a harmless pimple.