before surgery

As you know, I recently had my gallbladder, Stan, removed.  He was a real whippersnapper of a guy who always complained about what I ate and dictated when I went to the bathroom.  So basically, he was my mother in law, only far more attractive…and nicer…and sans the cigarettes.

I realize you’ve all been ridiculously worried about me and my recovery.  I know this by all of the flowers and “get well” cards you’ve sent.  Yeah, that’s right.  People have been sending me these things.  Don’t you feel badly that you haven’t done one single thing to let me know you want me to get well soon?

How am I supposed to know your well wishes if you don’t send them to me in a card with a picture of a dog holding a balloon in his paw?  (NOTE:  I believe your well wishes are far more genuine when they are accompanied by a Target gift card.)

I’m definitely on the mend, although I’ve got a long way to go before I’m back in the saddle again.  (By “saddle” I mean eating solid foods and not leaking gas from every orifice of my body.  I apologize to those within sniffing distance during my recovery period.)

Even though I’m doing better, it’s been a long road.  When I awoke from surgery, I was greeted with a huge punch in the gut at full speed…by a robot….with a fist full of razorblades.  Okay, that last part wasn’t true, but that’s what it felt like.

I woke up from surgery and before I could get the anesthesiologist’s digits to see how she concocted such goodness, I was overcome with intense pain.  Wasn’t surgery supposed to help the pain instead of make it worse?  Obviously, in addition to my gallbladder trying to kill me, my surgeon was too.

932I was quickly given more pain meds, probably because I threatened the nurse’s first born child. (I also may have told her I would cut her if she didn’t give me strong meds ASAP.  May have.  The hospital is still investigating the alleged assault claim.  Some people are sooooo sensitive.)

I was wheeled back to my room where I was informed I had a roommate.  What?  A roommate?  I didn’t know roommates were a thing in hospitals.  I was already upset there wasn’t a spa or a lounge area, but the roommate thing was a little much.

Then I realized it might be fun.  Immediately I envisioned us staying up late, braiding each other’s hair, chomping gum and calling boys on our rotary phone only to giggle and hang up.  We would also put our hair in curlers and sing songs about love and dreamy boys with leather jackets.  Clearly, I thought I was getting a roommate from the movie “Grease.”  I secretly hoped it was Rizzo.

At that point, I began humming “You’re the one that I want” and thinking maybe the roommate thing wouldn’t be too bad after all.  I just hoped there was a drag race with muscle cars later.

As I was picturing how my hair would look in curlers, I heard the nurse yell to another nurse across the room.  “She’s gonna need a pole!”  Everyone heard this assessment, including my new roommate Rizzo.  (Why was this nurse trying to embarrass me?!)

“THEY TOLD ME NOT TO WEAR UNDERWEAR FOR SURGERY!,” I blurted out immediately, trying to protect my reputation. (I had to impress Rizzo.)

“What are you talking about?” the nurse asked, staring at me as if I just admitted I licked the sofa.

“I don’t need a pole.” I responded quickly. “I’m not that kind of girl.  I will pay with insurance.” was all I could say, half joking and half serious.  What I didn’t say was that even if we had a pole, I wouldn’t have been able to do exciting moves anyway because I just had abdominal surgery.  (It’s quite the core workout.)

“We need to get you a pole for your IV” she told me, enunciating the last few words slowly, as if English wasn’t my first language. (In her defense, I did just come back from vacation and was super tan, so I let it slide.)

After getting me settled in (with my pole), I asked to use the restroom.  Nurse Sassy Pants said I could go, but she needed me to pee into a hat.  Um, seriously?  What kind of place was this?

Didn’t she know I was a chick and didn’t have great aim in the urinating department?  (Then again, what guy does?)  And why would I pee into a hat?  What kind of hat?  A baseball cap?  A helmet?  A top hat like the one Honest Abe wore?  Is that why he always wore it?  So he’d have a place to urinate?

Nurse Sassy Pants led me to the restroom and pointed to what she referred to as a hat, which was really just a plastic container shoved inside the toilet.  She clearly had an interesting imagination…or a strange understanding of fashion.  I’d hate to see what she would do with a jock strap if she wanted me to pee into a hat.

Later that evening, the doctor came in to check on me.  I refused to pee in the hat and I suspect this caused concern, which triggered the doctor’s visit (and a strongly worded note in my chart).  When the doctor came into my room he looked at me and immediately said “Are you tan or are you jaundice? This is important.”

Seriously?!  Apparently he was worried about infection and wanted to know if my glowing hue was from the sun or from bacteria and parasites eating away at my insides.  I told him I thought it was the former, but couldn’t be sure.

Unfortunately for me, my new roommate, Rizzo, watched all of this unfold, and I knew she most likely had a horrible impression of me.  Between thinking I was a stripper, to peeing in a hat, to looking yellow, I knew I had a rough road to convince her I was an amazing superstar.  But I knew I was up to the task.  After all, my skin was already halfway to that color.

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Click here for the conclusion of the saga

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