It’s late and I’m wide awake on account of leaving the world for a number of hours today. Some things of note happen today during my surgical procedure:
1. The anaesthesiologist (whom I distrust/fear/scrutinize more than anyone because of the timely release of that movie Awake) says, “Here, will you just hold these for a second? I forgot something!” He pats his pockets a couple times, looks both ways, leaves the room, I look down on my chest, and there are two syringes of unknown liquids lying in wait on top of my gown. He comes back. “What are these?” I ask. He says: “Your sedatives! Hah! Good thing you didn’t lose them!” And then he winks. Inapropriate on all levels. (This is, of course, before I’m drugged, so I can assure you it actually happened).
2. Some statements, post-sedatives, that I yell at my doctor and the general hospital staff (as vaguely remembered by me and as repeated by my embarrassed mother): “What are you having for Christmas dinner?” “Who is going to get me dressed after my surgery? You are? I’m not sure I’m ok with that, but I’ll get back to you later about it after I decide.” “And what are you having for Christmas dinner?” “I’m sorry for ruining your life and cramming 11 cookies in your VCR.”
3. My nurse is quite possibly the sweetest woman in the world. When I wake up, she tries to wipe my face off with a washcloth and I scream “GET AWAY FROM ME!” It feels like I have a fork lodged in my eye, and the tears are running down the side of my face, so she says, “It’s ok, I know you didn’t mean it,” because she thinks I’m crying in remorse. I say, “I think I have a fork lodged in my eye.” It’s actually still there, and my right eye has been leaking constantly. Seriously. I have to go the freaking eye doctor tomorrow on top of everything else to have a foreign invisible object removed from my face. The nice nurse is, incidentally, from Canada. Figures. Kindada? Does that work? Kate? Ash? Can I get a what-what?
4. From Henry James: “Three things in human life are important. The first is to be kind. The second is to be kind. And the third is to be kind.” Well, that didn’t so much happen today, more like 100 years ago, but it seems to fit nicely here and I agree with it.
5. My doctor, who doesn’t want to tell me about his Christmas dinner plans, responds to my banter in the recovery room by telling me: “In case you’re wondering what the incision is on your outer thigh, while we were drilling the tunnel through your femur, a piece of bone splintered, and we had to remove it from somewhere, right?” Ha ha-WRONG! My pristine upper thigh- RUINED?!?! Who will marry me now??!?! (Confession: I love scars. The more the merrier. I’m psyched for tomorrow when they change the dressings and I get to see this puppy).
6. Post-op at home: “Dad. How do you know they let senior citizens keep library books out forever?” He flashes a wide smile (if you call showing all of your teeth without moving the rest of your face a smile) and blinks a couple of times, which is quite creepy really, and answers: “Because I qualify as a senior at our library.” Which means I have insomnia, an extra hole in my leg, an anvil of Catholic guilt around my neck for being mean to kind hospital workers, AND I’m living with the enemy.