His Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue – Chapter 6 Excerpt

Patience“And they wonder why people go crazy and burst into doctors’ offices with assault rifles,” said Mike, sitting sideways on the examining table of the orthopedic surgeon’s office.

“It’s not that bad, Mike,” said Patience.

“That’s easy for you to say.  You’re protected from radiation.  They’re going to give me cancer before I get my knee fixed.  I go to the doctor, who gives me an x-ray, which he admits doesn’t tell him anything.  He just gave it to me so that I could get into that fancy LMS scan and then get into the orthopedist’s office.  And what does the orthopedist do before he even sees me?”

“He has you get another x-ray.”

“He has me get another x-ray.”

“I’m sure that two x-rays will not put you at too much risk.”

“Sure, now,” replied Mike, crossing his arms.  “What if I break my arm next week?  Then what if I have to go to the dentist and get a filling?  Then what if I fall and bust my skull open.  I’ll be glowing by next month.”

“Mike, you lived almost fifty-two years without breaking a single bone.”

“That was before I knew you.  I’ve made up for lost time since you came along, Mrs. Smith.”

At that moment, the examining room door opened and the doctor stepped inside.  He closed the door without looking up from his texTee and reached out a hand toward Mike.  He was a tall, heavyset man with hints of Asian ancestry in his face, but when he spoke it was with an accent right out of West Virginia.

“I’m Dr. Pine.  Good to meet you.”

Mike shrugged.  Dr. Pine whipped his texTee around and held it in front of Mike’s face.

“Here’s your scan.  You’ve torn your medial meniscus in three places.”

“I’m going to have to stay out of those places,” said Mike.

“Oh, that was funny,” said the doctor, without cracking a smile.  “We’ll cut three little incisions around your knee and go in.  Once we get in there, we can see what’s what, and fix it.  I can get you on the schedule for the day after tomorrow.”

“May I see the scan?” asked Patience.

Pine hesitated.

“Let her see it,” said Mike.  “And let me get this straight.  I have a billion dollar LMS scan and enough x-rays to look like I spend my weekends at Chernobyl, and you still won’t know ‘what’s what’ until you dig around in my knee?”

“Well, soft tissue is notoriously difficult to get a good image on.  Based on the inflammation, it’s obvious that it’s the medial meniscus.  It’s not really surprising.  I see this injury half a dozen times a week.  We can fix you up in no time though.  It’s a day surgery.  Walk in, have the surgery, and go home.  You should stay off your feet for two days and then you’ll be back to your usual routine.”

“I’ll be able to walk after just two days?”

“Sure.  I’ll want you to take it easy for a while.  No jogging for two weeks.  No strenuous lifting for four weeks.  Other than that, usual activities are fine.”

“That prognosis seems extremely optimistic, Dr. Pine,” said Patience.  “With this type of surgery, I wouldn’t expect Mike to return to his usual activities for at least six months, and even then, only after physical therapy.”

Mike looked questioningly at the doctor.

“Well, quite a few patients feel like they benefit from physical therapy.  If after the surgery, that seems like the best option for you, I’ll prescribe it.”

“I don’t think you should have this surgery, Mike,” said Patience.

“If we don’t get you in this week,” said Dr. Pine.  “It might be three weeks before we can schedule it.”

“I don’t think he should have the surgery at all.”

“That is not a good idea,” said the doctor, grabbing his texTee from her hands.  “The meniscus is cartilaginous material.  It doesn’t grow back.  It has to be repaired.”

“And are you going to sew it back together, Dr. Pine?” asked Patience.  “Or are you just going to smooth it off with a heat probe and then send him back home.”

“If it’s torn completely through, it has to be repaired.  That’s something to be determined when we get in there.  But yes… if it’s a simple tear, we’ll just smooth it over so you don’t have any catches or clicks when you walk.”

“I don’t want to click when I walk,” said Mike.

“You’re just as likely to click with the surgery as without,” said his wife, and then she turned back to the doctor.  “Doesn’t the fact that Mike is walking with barely a limp indicate that the tears in his meniscus are fairly minor?”

“Possibly, but we can’t be sure.”

“Mike,” said Patience, stepping up beside him and putting a hand on his shoulder.  “I think you should try physical therapy now instead of surgery.  If it isn’t better, you can always have the surgery later.”

Mike looked at the doctor.  “Is that right?”

“I suppose,” he said with a frown.  “It’s not what I recommend.”

“Normally this would be a tough nut,” said Mike.  “But the fact that I hate hospitals pretty much tips the scales in the robot’s favor, Doc.  I’ll let you know if I feel like I need your services later.”

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His Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue – Now at Diesel Ebooks.

PatienceHis Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue is now available at The World Famous Diesel Ebook Store.  Follow this link.  Ebooks from Diesel can be read on Apple, Android, and other devices.

It is the year 2037, when men are men and robots are cute.  Patience, the robot wife, has a new friend– Wanda.  Wanda, another Daffodil, has been having difficulty bonding with her human, the recently divorced Ryan.  She hopes that with Patience’s mentoring, she’ll be able to help Ryan accept her into his troubled life.  But even Patience isn’t prepared for what happens when they take a joint vacation cruise to Antarctica.  His Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue is a science fiction story in a world where technology is more than just a pretty face.

His Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue – Now for iBooks

PatienceHis Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue is now available at iBookstore.  Follow this link, or look it up from iBooks.  With the next update to OS X, iBooks will be available for the Mac, something I’m looking forward to.  Until then, you can read it on your iPhone, iPad, iPad Mini, or your iPod.

It is the year 2037, when men are men and robots are cute.  Patience, the robot wife, has a new friend– Wanda.  Wanda, another Daffodil, has been having difficulty bonding with her human, the recently divorced Ryan.  She hopes that with Patience’s mentoring, she’ll be able to help Ryan accept her into his troubled life.  But even Patience isn’t prepared for what happens when they take a joint vacation cruise to Antarctica.  His Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue is a science fiction story in a world where technology is more than just a pretty face.

His Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue – Chapter 5 Excerpt

Patience“There’s a Burger 21 on the corner.  I’m going to stop there.  I think you do need to eat something.”

They stopped and went inside.  Mike squinted up at the multimedia menu.  The popular hamburger chain featured burgers that rotated in and out each month.  At any one time there were twenty-one different burgers available, and there were many different size combinations.  You could also get your choice of beef, turkey, veggie, or chicken.

“Nothing sounds good,” said Mike as he stared at the vast array of burger types.  “What should I get?”

“I’ll order for you.  Go sit down.”

Mike nodded and headed for a booth, while Patience turned her attention to the robotic clerk.  He didn’t quite look like a Gizmo, but he certainly wasn’t a Daffodil.  He was probably a German import, like her new yardbot.

“One Damn Gouda Burger, double junior size, with everything; an order of onion rings, and a large Diet Pepsi.”

Her order delivered to her within two minutes, Patience carried it on a green plastic tray to where Mike was sitting.  She carefully unwrapped his food and set it in front of him, before taking her place across the table.  He took a long sip of his drink before taking a large bite of his hamburger.

“This is a damn good burger,” he said appreciatively.

“No, it’s a Damn Gouda Burger.”

“Ah, very clever.  Good choice.”  He took a few more bites, then ate an onion ring, and then sighed.  “Yes, that’s better.  My headache is starting to go away already.”

He lifted his Diet Pepsi to his mouth.

“You know you shouldn’t drink that,” said a female voice from right beside them.  “It’s full of chemicals.”

Mike looked up at the woman standing beside them, his face frowning in annoyance.

“It has exactly the same amount of chemicals as the same-sized cup of regular Pepsi or water or milk or blood.  Those are all made up of chemicals, as is the human body and everything else on earth.  Didn’t you learn anything in school?  Who the hell are you anyway?”

“This is Mariah Keller,” said Patience.

“I just wanted to see who was with the whorebot,” said Mariah.

Mike snorted.  “Well, you got the bot part right.  I’d say the rest of it was pretty rich, coming from you.”

“I don’t know what she told you about me…”

“Actually, I was unaware that you two had met.  Everything I know about you comes from your ex-husband.”

Mariah frowned.

“That was a mistake.  I didn’t realize what I had.  I’ve changed.”

“What did you do?  Have your legs sewn shut?”

Mariah’s eyes teared up, and turning, she hurried from the restaurant.

“That was mean, Mike,” said Patience.

“Don’t you start with me,” he said, turning back to his burger.  “As soon as my headache is gone, you’re going to tell me all about your mysterious meetings with Mrs. Keller.”

“Just one meeting…”

“Ah!  I said, ‘when my headache is gone’.”  He took another bite.  “This is a Damn Gouda Burger.”

Life and Art: Knee Edition

For those of you reading His Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue (and for those who haven’t yet) a part of the plot is Mike injuring his knee and the associated doctor’s visits.  Most of that comes right from real life.  Mike is in fact, the most like me of any of my characters– we’re both schoolteachers, about the same age (he was older than me when we started, but I’m catching up), overweight (though Mike has lost his extra pounds), and generally obnoxious.  So, many little elements in all three books come from my own life.

About a year and a half ago, I injured my knee in a very similar way to how Mike injures his.  I went through the whole process of seeing doctor after doctor, and like Mike, was almost walking again by the time the bone guy saw me.  Unlike Mike, I had the surgery to “fix” my leg.  I came out of that almost completely unable to walk.  After physical therapy, I was better and I did continue to improve, but I had continual problems with my knee swelling and locking up.  I had injections of steroids, draining of fluids, etc, and through it all my doctor seemed to think I should just get up and dance my way out the door.

Finally I went to another doctor.  He said my knee was totally shot– bone on bone– no cartilage left.  I would probably need a knee replacement in the near future.  He gave me a series of injections that were supposed to lubricate the spaces between the bones and act like a buffer.  It took several weeks to get the injections and then there was a wait of six weeks for them to take full effect.  But they worked.  My knee wasn’t great, but it felt a whole lot better.  That lasted for six weeks.  Now it’s back to where it was before those injections.  This has been really depressing.

Well, I’m done with doctors.  I’ll be royally damned if I ever let one open up my knee again.  I’ve decided the best thing I can do is to build up my leg muscles.  Plus I really need to exercise.  I was several months into a good exercise program when I hurt my knee and haven’t done much of anything since.  So today, I ordered an exercise bike.  The bike is about the only thing I can do in which my knee doesn’t lock up.  I got one small enough to fit in my den, so I can hop on it anytime I want.  Of course I still have the main problem that I had in the first place.  Unlike Mike, I don’t have a robot to take care of me.

His Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue – Now at Sony Ebooks.

PatienceHis Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue is now available for the Sony eReader.  You can purchase it directly from you Sony Reading device, or follow this link to the Sony eBookstore.

It is the year 2037, when men are men and robots are cute. Patience, the robot wife, is back, this time mentoring her new friend– Wanda. But even Patience isn’t prepared for what happens when they take a joint vacation cruise to Antarctica. His Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue is a science fiction story in a world where technology is more than just a pretty face.

His Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue – Now for Nook!

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Overview

It is the year 2037, when men are men and robots are cute. Patience, the robot wife, is back, this time mentoring her new friend– Wanda. But even Patience isn’t prepared for what happens when they take a joint vacation cruise to Antarctica. His Robot Wife: Patience is a Virtue is a science fiction story in a world where technology is more than just a pretty face.