In recent months I’ve had a couple of bouts with surgical knives. With that experience fresh on my mind I thought it timely to give you some up-to-date info on the good and the bad that resulted from those encounters.

I don’t profess to have scientific answers to the pros and cons of surgery but rather the common sense variety that comes with going one-on-one with a surgeon.

My report might be referred to as “cutting edge technology” or it might just be known as totally useless junk depending on your point of view. Nonetheless I’ll try to give you some worthwhile information on what you might expect in order for you to make an informed decision if you face some kind of procedure in the near future.

First of all for the cons.

The foremost things I can tell you on the negative side of the question is this; when someone cuts you with a knife it hurts and it stays sore for a good long time. I also noticed over the first few nights that sleep was hard to come by because of that pain.

I’d describe it as sleeping like a baby — that is to say I’d wake up every two hours and cry. Those are about the only bad things I could come up with about having surgery.

On the positive side of having a surgical procedure there are many things to consider.

First of all it helps you to get well. Without that surgery you’d probably be in pain for a much longer period of time. In more serious situations you might die and no one wants that. I’m sure this comes as no great revelation but just wanted to get the obvious out of the way.

Nearly as important are some other positives to having surgery. First of all when you get home your spouse will begin serving your meals on a tray while you are watching the football game. Nice perk because you don’t want to miss a moment of Georgia getting hammered by Alabama.

Next along the lines of benefits of surgery is this — you don’t have to vacuum, empty the dishwasher, clean the toilet bowls, wash clothes or dust. Now this my friends is a major bonus. Ride that horse while you can.

Another nice perk is that they send you home with some powerful drugs. These miracles of modern science will keep you happy and pain-free throughout the day and will enhance your enjoyment of any TV show. It doesn’t matter what program you are watching — it could be Nightmare on Elm Street — it will be hilarious. (Warning: these pills can be addictive and I now understand why.)

Continuing with our list of positive things about surgery is this little tidbit; you can take a nap anytime you like it and not feel guilty. I’ve never been one to snooze during the day but I must say that it can be habit forming. I’m certainly going to consider it going forward but I’m still working on ways to not feel guilty if it becomes part of my regular routine.

These are just a few of the unquestionably positive elements of having surgery. However there comes a time when the doctor starts talking about exercise to enhance your rehabilitation. I’m ok with walking or piddling around the yard but they want you to do stuff like lift weights, ride a bicycle or do yoga. I’m trying to convince the doc that playing golf and going fishing will do me just as much good but she just laughs at me. Worst of all is that they are saying these things in front of my wife and she is soaking it up verbatim.

The other day things took another bad turn. The doc mentioned something called occupational therapy. I learned that this term means, among other things, that I need to start getting back into my regular routine. Again my wife was listening intently and soon thereafter she began making her recommendations for the initial stages of my occupational therapy.

The first one was to unload the dishwasher and the second was to get the clothes out of the dryer and put them up. I’m sure that vacuuming and dusting are not far behind.

The gravy train days are now over and I’m in full occupational therapy mode as of this writing. I’m even having to fix my own plate which results in missing part of the game.

Those things aside I’d still say that having surgery has more pros than cons — even if afternoon naps have gone by the board and cleaning toilet bowls is once again part of my normal routine.

E-mail your thoughts on surgery to


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