So Cute Nurse #1 and I pass through the double doors into the prep area, which is also the recovery area. Clearly noticing that I am nervous, the staff helpfully rolls past me a post-op patient who would be a cutie if she wasn’t babbling like Grandpa Simpson and drooling like Homer.
I begin to suspect this surgery is a bigger deal than was portrayed to me.
Deviation: Vital Backstory One: Two Weeks Ago. I am having the surgery explained to me by the surgeon, who tells me that it is “an outpatient thing. Takes about twenty minutes. Come in, we numb you up, do the surgery, and you’re out of here. It’s like a root canal.”
So I am pointed into a closet and directed to change into the gown and slippers. I am permitted to retain my own personal underpants, “as long as they’re cotton.” Happily, I have not worn my trademark satin thong today, and am thus able to keep my butt safe from leering eyes. (Truth be told, my butt isn’t that appealing. It might draw a look, but only out of morbid curiosity, or perhaps if there’s no other butt present to admire. It is the “That 70’s Show” of butts.)
I change and emerge. I am directed to my holding pen, where I sit in the chair I assume will be used for the procedure. Cute Nurse #1 smiles and says, “No, here,” and motions for me to LIE ON THE GURNEY. She is HOLDING AN IV. This doesn’t look like no root canal to me. Then she tells me we have to get a move on, because THE ANESTHESIOLOGIST IS COMING. Check, please.
Deviation: Vital Backstory Two: Christmas Day, 1976. My parents are having a dinner party. I have finished, with my customary haste, and adjourned to play with my new toys. We are messing around on the landing at the top of the stairs when the simian child of one of the attendees pushes me. I descend the stairs at an unusual rate and brake using my chin. I am rushed to West Suburban Hospital, where – I am told – I clearly tell the doctor that I’ll hold still so he can sew it up, but that he may not tie me down or put a bag over my head. So the fucker straps me to a papoose board, bags my head, and sews me up. I do not trust doctors, especially those who wish to work without my supervision.
So I’m deeply bothered by the bait and switch, and take a short break to compose myself. I get dressed and depart. I was properly psyched up for a much more minor surgery than this one. How I hate lying doctors.
After some time to recover, the fabulously patient person who has kindly accompanied me to the surgery arranges for a summit with the doctor. (Actually, she arranged for a sit-down with Cute Nurse #2, which was a welcome start.) Eventually, we are passed to the doctor, who explains what’s actually going to happen to me. It’s a much more involved procedure now than it was the first time it was presented. After protracted negotiations, we line up for take two.
Deviation: Vital Advice To Medical Professionals: “We do this every day” is comforting to trusting patients. It isn’t comforting to we mistrustful patients, because we don’t care if you do this every day — we don’t. Adjust your efforts at comfort accordingly.
So I change, again, go lie down unhappily on the gurney, and get hooked up to the IV. Then I get the “axillary block”, which is too awful to describe. (Especially the part about repeated giant-needle injections in the armpit.) My arm goes to sleep, and sleeps better for the next six hours than I will for the next four days.
Once my arm is adequately numb and my armpit is adequately bleeding, I am given **** 🙂 🙂 🙂 VERSED 🙂 🙂 🙂 ****
Do you remember the scene in The Blues Brothers when John Belushi sees the light? **** 🙂 🙂 🙂 VERSED 🙂 🙂 🙂 **** is just like that. Jesus H. Tap-dancing Christ, do I love **** 🙂 🙂 🙂 VERSED 🙂 🙂 🙂 ****. The things I would do for a steady supply of **** 🙂 🙂 🙂 VERSED 🙂 🙂 🙂 **** are disgusting and shameful, and not in the good cheap-woman-cheap-wine-cheap-motel-with-Magic-Fingers way, either.
The **** 🙂 🙂 🙂 VERSED 🙂 🙂 🙂 **** caused me to be extra amusing during the surgery, to the point where they had to stop several times. I was chided for this, but “hyperactivity” is one of the side effects of **** 🙂 🙂 🙂 VERSED 🙂 🙂 🙂 ****, and what did they expect? Wasn’t my idea, y’know. (Another side effect is “combativeness”, so they should thank their lucky fucking stars that I was funny.)
Recovery is hazy. None of the cute nurses slipped me their phone number, which was disappointing.
Maybe they’re waiting ‘til I go in to do the left hand.