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Meet the Columnist

Columnist, Sheila Moss, is humor writer from  Tennessee. She writes  a weekly human interest column about daily life and the funny things that happen to everyone.

   She has written for  the Daily News of Kingsport,   Griffin Journal, Oakridge Now, Atlanta Woman Magazine, Aberdeen Examiner, Angleton Advocate,  and Smyrna AM, a supplement of the Murfreesboro Daily News Journal. She has been published by Voyageur Press, McGraw Hill, and the good folks at Guidepost Books.  Her articles have appeared in numerous anthologies and other publications, both in print and online.

    She is a former board member and past  Editor of  the, website of  the National Society of Newspaper Columnists, the oldest and largest professional organization for columnists. She is the Web Editor of Southern  and  a founder of the Southern Humorists writers' organization. She is writer, editor, and webmaster of

    To carry her weekly column in your newspaper, or to republish an article, please contact her. It's that easy. 

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I've Been Sick....

I've Been Sick

Hospitals, I hate 'em. I was an unwilling victim who held off as long as possible. But, my knees were giving out fast. My doctor advised me years ago that I need a knee replacement surgery. But as long as I could walk, why do anything so radical?

Finally, however, I got to point where I knew I had no choice. Every step was painful and I had already resorted to using a cane to be sure I didn't take a tumble. How could I do my work, keep house, travel, shop when I was so limited?

Well, at least it is fixable, I thought. So, I granted my orthopedic surgeon his wish and consented to surgery.

"Which one do you want to have done first?" he asked. He advised me to do one and then in six months to do the other. Two surgeries? I don't think so.

"I want them both done first," I replied.

"Both? That's really hard," he replied. "You won't have a leg to stand on." (Doctors do not make very good jokes.)

Any surgery is hard, I figured. I'd rather do it in one giant swoop of pain and get it over with. Besides, I have things to do, places to go. I can't be laid up twice.

So, I talked him into it, telling him that I would go to a rehab hospital after the surgery was over.

Somehow I expected the surgery to be like the last one where I had very little pain and was back to normal in a matter of weeks.

So, on the scheduled morning, I reported to admissions for duty. They sped me into the operating room so fast that they hardly had time to get the IV started. They didn't really need to worry. I was not going to change my mind at that point.

What followed can only be described as a blur of pain and nurses between naps. They say the mind forgets what it does not want to remember. It must be true. I only remember that I had to stand up the next day on the flaming sticks that used to be my legs.

After three days, the doctor said I was being released to rehab. Released? I could not possibly get in the car and go to another hospital. I guess they were smarter than I thought as paramedics arrived and took me in an ambulance.

So, I spent 10 glorious days in a rehabilitation hospital where they put me through hours of rehab, doing exercises in a gym-like therapy room that I called the torture chamber.

The rest of the time I spent sobbing and begging for pain meds. Finally the rehab doctor had mercy and upped my meds to control the pain better. I was pretty loopy most of the time after that, but managed to learn to wheel myself up and down the halls of the hospital pretty fast, especially when the nurse was chasing me with a dose of milk of magnesia.

Eventually, I learned to use my flaming legs and was released to go home -- home sweet home. I was still laid up for several weeks in bed.

When I went back to my own doctor for a follow up, he was not pleased with all the drugs I was taking and cut me back drastically. So much for my drug-laced dreams.

I have two ugly scars and a mind full of painful memories, but it's over. I'm now a bionic woman with knees that can set off airport alarms from 50 feet away.

Whatever happened to those visions of flowers, cards and looking cute in pretty nightgowns? It was nothing like that, I'm here to tell you. In fact, the only good thing about it is getting it over and moving on with life.

So, I have something to really be thankful for this Thanksgiving. Funny how we take things for granted until we are reminded just how important the things we take for granted are.

Copyright 2010 Sheila Moss

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