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Thursday, September 06, 2007

nice guy's anatomy

so if i were to come up with a list of days in my life that i would rather not have to repeat, i would put tuesday fairly high up there.

of course surgery is never fun. the doctor's office tells you that they want to come first thing in the morning so you can be done by noon "and walk out of there on a cane." this entails arriving at 5:30 in the morning. it's still dark outside and you haven't slept because, you know, you're going to have surgery as soon as you wake up. but then you couldn't find a car because there's a taxi strike and all the car services in brooklyn are booked so you frantically call every ride in the phone book until you find some ghetto-ass dude who comes to pick you up in his rusted out mercury sable and he doesn't take credit cards.

fine. so you get there at 5:30 and you're given paperwork to do. ahhh, paperwork before dawn -- is there any greater delight? you try to focus. do you have any allergies to latex? no. any history of heart disease? nope. did you pack your bags yourself? uhh. did any strangers ask you to carry anything into the operating room for them? definitely. do you swear to tell the whole truth? never!

then you wait. then they escort you to a freezing hospital room and someone else asks you all the same questions again before telling you to get naked and put on a paper robe and wait some more. then at around 7 am they put an IV in your arm, a saline drip. this is the first fluid that enters your body since about 9 pm the night before. you're hungry and would commit foul crimes against nature for a cup of coffee.

then the physician's assistant comes in and makes small talk while fondling you knee. she asks you all the same questions all over again. takes your pulse. after a nurse takes your blood pressure and asks you all the same questions yet again, you're told that your number has come up: surgery time.

you amble over to the OR in your paper robe, a nurse trailing behind you holding the saline bag. you accidentally walk a little too close to a table with scary-looking surgical tools on it, sending the entire room into a tizzy: "DID HE JUST TOUCH THOSE? CHRIST! THOSE ARE STERILIZED! DID YOU TOUCH THEM?!?!?!" you did not. so they lay you down on the table.

the anesthesiology resident, who looks about 13, appears over your head. he is fiddling with your IV. he says: "just you giving a something little to to to take the edge offfffffffffffff lurpooooooting quib893 hhhhhhhhhhhhhhjui EEP EEP EEP EEP!" then his face dissolves and is replaced by a blinding white light and suddenly you can hear what god smells like.

you wake up either 2 hours or 900 years later. you can't tell which. you feel pretty damn good. then you remember where you are and you suddenly realize that the epidural you were given has rendered you paralyzed from the waist down. you can't move your feet, much less feel them. there is a flimsy little tube stuck in your nostrils blowing cold, unwanted air straight up your nose. you are suddenly feeling not as pretty damn good.

time passes. the nurse brings you the best-tasting turkey sandwich and cup of coffee you have ever had in your life. you slowly regain sensation in your legs. your wife is on her way to pick you up. you're feeling pretty damn good again. then you are informed at this point that YOU CANNOT LEAVE UNTIL YOU PEE and are wheeled to the bathroom while a nurse waits outside, making it very difficult indeed to pee.

while you're getting dressed the physician's assistant comes to tell you what they found: a little tiny tear at the periphery of the meniscus. nothing serious. also: a shit-ton of scar tissue and adhesions that were gumming up the mechanics of the joint, not unlike charlie chaplin caught up in those gears in Modern Times. and all that clicking and popping and locking? turns out it WAS the get fresh crew! seems you had a serious case of b-boy infestation. the doctor took them out and put them in a little jar for you to take home. aren't they cute?

so your wife comes and together you get into a cab. this is because the hospital won't let you leave on your own even though you feel fine. they don't want you to sue them if you die on the way home because you were unsupervised. anyway your wife puts you in a cab and she gets out like three blocks later to go back to work. that'll show the hospital protocol! you go home to brooklyn where your daughter is playing with the sitter. she has been briefed that you might not be feeling well, so she greets you accordingly. "daddy go to doctor?" "yes, sweetie. i went to the doctor." "daddy scary?" "no, i wasn't that scared." "yeah. daddy scary and daddy cry. poor daddy." bless.

you spend the afternoon on the couch watching netflix goodness. your wife won't be home until 7 or so, and she's got your prescription for Vicodin. but you start to feel a little unpleasantness in your knee at around 5, so you go to your medicine cabinet and pull out the leftover Percocet from your surgery in march. you take one.

ok, maybe you take two. after all, you just had surgery and you earned it. for about an hour you feel fucking fantastic. you are a fluffy cloud filling; your are eight million stars puncturing the black canopy of night with your shimmering incandescence. then, you are suddenly very nauseous.

you lie down on your bed, your headphones excreting Funkadelic into your ears in a desperate bid to get the ceiling to stop spinning. you float in and out of nauseous consciousness for three hours. you get your sorry ass out of bed at around 9 pm to urinate. as you're peeing you realize that there is an awful lot of saliva in your mouth. your stomach turns. crap. you're going to barf. but you're standing, bearing all your weight on your one good leg. how are you supposed to get down on the ground quickly enough in order to puke into the toiLUUURRRRRGGGGHHHHHH!!!!! oof. you just barely make it. sure your bad leg knocked the cover off the heating vent, but at least you BLLLURRRRRRRRGHHHHHH!!

your wife looks at you as you emerge from the bathroom. "whoa. did that come out of nowhere?" and this is the last thing you remember saying tuesday night: "no. it came out of my stomach."


Anonymous sallyacious said...

Aw, dude. That sucks.

I hope you're feeling better today.

When I had my ACL replaced, nobody mentioned the adhesion potential because, as the surgeon put it, "You didn't look like you'd adhere". Well I did adhere, and almost fainted from the pain when one tore loose during a rehearsal after a fellow actor bumped me. You have my heartfelt sympathy.

9/06/2007 8:03 PM  
Blogger Mediocre Housewife said...

Suddenly, my strep throat doesn't feel as much like the end of the world anymore...

9/06/2007 11:42 PM  
Blogger Maxine Dangerous said...

Jesus, you make surgery funny. :) Feel better soon!

9/07/2007 12:22 PM  
Blogger globaltravelgal said...

wow, that was totally hilarious, but wow, what a total bummer. feel well soon.

9/07/2007 12:47 PM  
Anonymous mel said...

what comes around, goes around, MNG. had a great vacation overall? hmmmmm... let's see what we can do about that... some painful surgery and general sickness should get him off that cloud PDQ... : (

at least the docs found something amiss to fix. hope you heal properly soon, and thank you for the rollicking good memoir of germany and the 'lands. cracked me up. you're too much.

9/07/2007 2:39 PM  
Blogger Fairly Odd Mother said...

Gosh, getting a tube up my butt was a picnic compared to that! Sorry! Hope you are feeling better soon.

9/09/2007 10:28 PM  
Blogger cape buffalo said...

I'm sure I'd feel sorrier for you if I could just stop laughing at you.

9/10/2007 12:37 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Fear and Loathing...Brooklyn style!

9/11/2007 2:43 PM  

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