For the first time in my life, I went under the knife.
Not the fun under the knife where you stand in front of a target wearing a sparkly bathing suit and a swarthy man dramatically throws knives at you while the crowd gasps in relief when you don’t end up impaled.
It was the bad kind. The kind where I reluctantly went to the emergency room hoping for a quick fix and instead ended up having a man stick a sword in me. OK, the man was a surgeon and – to use some of my newly minted medical jargon – the sword was technically a scalpel. But, I was completely unprepared for the ordeal. And it was not one little bit fun.
I won’t bore you with all the myriad details, even though I have total recall of each. What I will say is that my cavalier attitude toward surgery has done a complete 180. I used to think “How bad can it be? They knock you out for the cutting part and then they give you lovely mind-altering drugs. Sign me up.” Such blissful ignorance.
What I learned is that hospitals are depressing. And boring. And frustrating. And designed to keep you awake. In fact, I think perhaps we are overlooking a veritable gold mine when it comes to modifying criminal behavior. Send those ne’er-do-wells to the closest infirmary.
Let me whine a bit more…. As far as the mind altering drugs go – big, fat lie. I don’t know why people pay for morphine. I was expecting to spend some time in the strawberry fields with the Beatles. I stayed right where I was (see above) with nobody but the night nurse for company. And she only wanted to make sure I wasn’t sleeping. Very disappointing.
Shall I go on? Did you know that when they do laparoscopic surgery they inflate your abdomen (with a bellows, I believe) until it is roughly the size of New Zealand and then seal up all the escape routes so you can double as the Hindenburg for the next few days? It’s very pretty.
Anyway. I got better. And my doctor and nurses were lovely. I think mostly because they knew they could go home as soon as their shifts ended. And, all in all, I came to appreciate how ridiculously healthy I usually am. I am determined not to take feeling good for granted. Also, as I was walking around the gray, cheerless hallways in the middle of the night, I realized that there are so many people who are really, really sick and who will probably not get better. So I am truly thankful for how blessed I am.
One more thing. I learned that while my family is comprised of very caring individuals, my unlicensed and, in one case, underaged children are not above using my car to joyride around while I lay prone in a hospital bed completely unaware. The girls tried to rationalize their complete disregard for the law by saying that they only wanted to visit me and bolster my spirit. Complete hogwash. The last time I checked, the mall was not on the way to the hospital. Considering the fact that we live about four blocks from the hospital, nothing is on the way.
We all survived.