In the beginning, there was a trip to the doctor. That begat a trip to the lab, which begat a trip to the specialist, which begat a trip to more labs, which begat another trip to the specialist. Are you tripping out yet?
“You have a well-differentiated atypical lipoma-sarcoma in your right thigh, extending from the metamarsupial flangit to the mediumal meninlingustrum.”
“It has two areas of high signal.”
“What? Is it, like, broadcasting? Am I interfering with airplane navigation?”
“No, but it could animorphically gyroscutolize into a de-differentiated lipoma.”
“Sounds awesome. Do I get superpowers?”
“No, it means we’re going to split your thigh like a rib roast and dig out the fatty growing thing before it gets worse.”
“Think: ticking time bomb.”
“Oh. Well, in that case, start cutting and, hey, while you’re cutting the fatty growth out of my thigh, think you can make a left turn and do something about this spare tire around my middle? No? Okay, just asking.”
Fast Forward – Day of Surgery
Intake admin: “Name-DOB-SSN-Are-you-allergic-to-any-medications.”
You recite your personal info, including stuff you’d never tell your mother.
Intake admin: “Are you an organ donor?”
“Just kidding, sign here.”
“It’s a form that says if we accidentally kill you, you agree in advance that it wasn’t our fault.”
“Well. Okay then. Gimme the pen.”
They have a specialist in hospitals whose job it is to drive your gurney from Room A to Room B. You think of her as Chipper Gurney Driver.
Chipper Gurney Driver: “Name-DOB-SSN-Are-you-allergic-to-any-medications.”
“Cool, let’s go for a ride. Yay! Isn’t this fun?” BANG! “Oops, when’d they move that wall?”
They have a specialist who gets you ready for the next stage of your visit to Hospitaland. She says: “Name-DOB-SSN-Are-you-allergic-to-any-medications.”
They have a specialist who draws your blood. He says: “Name-DOB-SSN-Are-you-allergic-to-any-medications.”
They have a surgical nurse who stops by to say: “Name-DOB-SSN-Are-you-allergic-to-any-medications.”
They have a gas passer who comes in to tell you he’ll be sending you on a really good high and you’ll be, like, wow, man, all the pretty colors. Then he says: “Name-DOB-SSN-Are-you-allergic-to-any-medications.”
Your specialist doctor, the meat-cutter himself, tops in his field, the expert comes in wearing these Mr. Magoo glasses and says: “Now what will be doing to you today?”
“You mean you don’t have a plan?”
He writes CUT HERE on your leg and wanders off.
There’s a janitor passing by in the hall who stops in to say: “¿Como se llama? ¿DOB? ¿SSN? ¿ Es alérgico a algún medicamento?”
The gas passer comes back and says…Well you know by now. Then he says: “I’m going to give you something to help you relax…”
Fade to Black
Fast Forward 16 Hours
It’s night. All your people have gone away. You’re alone in your Posture-Unpedic hospital bed. There are more cables and wires and tubes hooked up to you than a geek’s computer system. You’ve enjoyed your tasteless and non-nutritious broth with a side of Jello and about eighteen gallons of water because the morphine dries you out worse than an alky in rehab.
And you love the little green button that feeds you more drugs because every time you twitch that right thigh, even a little bit, it hurts like a HOT NASTY BITCH.
But the inevitable occurs, no matter how high the morphine cloud, or how bad it hurts to move.
You have to urinate.
Now, when you were a kid, you could pee laying down, you could pee sitting in a chair, you could pee standing on your head, you could pee turning cartwheels in the front yard. But you’re old now. You need gravitational assistance.
Which means getting out of bed.
Which means moving the leg.
Just kill me now. Can I OD on morphine? Evidently not.
Okay, step one: blankets and sheets OFF.
The sheet’s stuck on your right toe. It won’t budge. You flap it, you sweep it, you jerk it—
—DON’T EVER JERK IT AGAIN! Bad sheet. Bad.
You eek it off with the left big toe.
Second step: get out of bed. You’ve already practiced this maneuver with the Torture Witch, aka the Physical Therapist. You know how. There’s a process. Just Do It.
Victory! You’re standing. On the opposite side of the bed from the IV stand and the bathroom, meaning no way on God’s earth you’re going to get around the bed without pulling loose a dozen cords and screaming like Jamie Lee Curtis in Friday the 13th. Call the nurse for help; just push the button? Oh hell no. Only weinies push the button. I’m a MAN, I don’ need no stinkin’ help.
No matter, the hospital has provided a pee jug. You lift your gappy gown and get everything into position and…
“I don’t wanna.”
“What do you mean, you don’t wanna? Ten seconds ago you were dying to go, now you don’t want to?”
“Screw scared. I’m dying here. My leg’s trembling, I’m sweating buckets—” Oh, by the way, the after surgery, medicated sweat. It’s incredible. It’s like taking a bath in a Sumo wrestler’s armpit. “—the bladder’s full, so let’s GO!”
And, finally, the floodwaters of the Yellow River overflow the damn. And flow.
And you think: Just how big is this jug? Will it hold? Maybe I should supersize it next time. Ask for room for cream.
Mercifully, it stops. Life is good. Cap the jug. NO, not like at Starbucks—make sure the damn lids secure. Good.
Next step: get back in bed.
Oh hell no.
To be continued.