#3 Elective Surgery
So, a lot of things come to and through one’s mind as you near retirement. A sudden looming one in the last year is about insurance, your comfortable with your insurance, you understand it, it works for you. So, the idea of getting a few things taken care of while still having that cozy policy would be reasonable.
Last year about this time, I had to have near emergency surgery to have my intestines put back. No, not like that, its called an Inguinal hernia. Typical, I learn as I find a surgeon. As it were that all came out, or back in just fine, all glued up and healing to a point, I don’t even think about the thin scrubby fishnet like thingy stuffed inside to hold me in. I keep the plentiful toll-free numbers regarding Hernia Mesh lawsuits in my wallet. Never know.
It is now early Saturday morning, still dark thirtyish as I write this. You see, I got home about 4:30PM from a 10AM surgery. It started a week ago, the infamous Preoperative appointment, blah, blah, blah. Wash with this skin removal soap that morning, don’t wash your hair, nor use deodorant. Then an EKG to tell if I am alive because she couldn’t find a vein to get my blood. The nurse was having to know if I was pumping any or not. We brought in another nurse. She hit me across my face called me stupid, and we found a vein. Ok, no, she was just pretty good at it.
So my escort, I call my wife Marlene that when she drives. We left the house at 6:45. The traffic can be gruesome, better to early sit in the lobby, than late. At 8:45, we walked the long, ok, really long hallway to the Operating room I was told to report to. “Oh right, your Surgeon is here early too, we will get you prepped and in early. The OR is being cleaned. Oh great, I think, the last guy either peed himself or bled out, a rousing endorsement.
First, the older nurse, pleasant, gives instructions, remove all clothing, and put this gown on arms in front. Then lay down, and I will take your vitals. I reply, where are you taking them? She laughed. An easy mark apparently. “Any liquids today, any food at all today? The list goes on ad-nauseum. It is tough to remember what lies you tell in this interrogation. Never know when you’ll be in front of a Senate Inquiry. All were answered truthfully, except one. The six or so, ok maybe more cups of black coffee, that without, I get angry about mid-morning would not have been accepted as making anyone happy. She was lucky on that count, I never barfed it up that day.
Then in comes the Anesthesiologist or so I thought, no, he is the head anesthesiologist, there with a clipboard and the same frigging questions I just answered. Mild irritation at the lies I’ve now told, at least it was only a few.
“No, I have had no recent infections of the lungs.” In reality, I was one day off Ciprofloxacin, an antibiotic to clean out a nasty head cold and drainage infection of the lung. It was damn hard not to cough up a lung in front of him.
So then his Nurse anesthesiologist comes in and hangs a bag of whatever, spends three tries sticking a vein, with properly tied trout flies, he was embarrassed he couldn’t get a vein, I told him the nurse over in Pre-op got it in one attempt. I wasn’t helping my situation, but it was fun. To get his revenge, he left a fishing fly stuck in the back of my hand, at least that is what it looked like. Something to probe with for veins when your fishing, also a numbing agent the amazon tribes taught him. Then he asks the same damn questions I’ve already answered. Lord, they need to figure this out, make copies and hand out programs.
The surgeon comes in and tells me all the bad things that could go wrong as he slices my back to remove this lump of fat on my back. This man has a sense of humor, apparently. He didn’t bother asking any questions, which was good, because the knock out drugs were beginning to set in. I was going down hard.
Another nurse came in and said she would be taking me to surgery, Oh, good a date I said groggily. Then she wanted to ensure I wouldn’t pee in the OR and mess up their bed, so now with IV bag and my ass hanging out, we go the 3 steps to pee. I think she liked following me in my open gown. After all, we were dating.
WE headed out, bouncing off three doorways and hitting a wheelchair into the corner pocket, getting to the OR. I’m way groggy, but I felt as if I was wheeled into the mechanic's garage down the street, so much equipment. Fairly sure there were car parts in the corner, the front grill of an Edsel for sure.
So I went out like for good about 10:30, waking up three hours later maybe more still in the OR, apparently scraping fat takes a while. No lie I asked, “Will I be able to play the piano.” This apparently is not new for them, no one laughed. Now groggy, a throat raw, from having a tube shoved down it. Nauseous from the knockout drops and generally happy, though. Once more on the move, I get to race a Studebaker in the hall, and we arrive in a room with a bunch of other race fans recovering from whatever parts they are missing. I asked the departing nurse, what about our date?” She smiled and said, “don’t you remember?”
Finally, I get to show my ass again and dress in yet another room back where my clothes were. We leave this Halloween Hall of Torture in search of happy pills to tide me over. I remember them from the Hernia surgery and smile fondly. Happy pills are either popular this day, or no one wants me to be happy. Third pharmacy and bingo, nap time is in my future. Half a pill is more than enough, and I dutifully cut the tiniest little pill ever. Wake up at midnight, not dizzy, not sleepy, but wide awake. Tylenol did not help, so I made coffee and wrote this Blog.
The RV paperwork was mailed yesterday, I’m told. This way, Marlene will sign, and I get to fly to Texas, see what I am buying and sign in front of them. I wasn’t sure if the surgery would impact my trip, but apparently not, as I can type still, sort of. It did not help my Spelling and Grammar though.