I went into the hospital very happy yesterday because Monday’s results were positive. Or negative for anything bad, so that’s positive. The first nurse I encountered recognized me right away. This was expected because of my anesthesia-induced verbal catastrophe the previous day.
“Weren’t you here yesterday?”
“Yes. Did you miss me?”
“Well, we’re glad you’re here.”
That’s code for NO.
This is always an appropriate time to joke around with pretend fashion poses to make other patients and their terrified family members laugh. No make-up and unwashed hair for two days makes it all the more entertaining.
The show lasted for one minute. They put me on a gurney and attached 18 tubes to me so I couldn’t get up again, and then blew out another vein inserting the IV to prove their point. My mood changed quickly.
They wheeled me into the procedure room so I could enjoy listening to Phil Collins being piped in. Nurse Barbie played on her iPhone not noticing a patient had been presented to her. My doctor came in, which she did notice, and while he was talking to me about what was about to happen (the three of them would be getting an up close and personal view of my hiney), I saw the plunger of Michael Jackson drug start to go down. “Am I leaving now? Because I don’t think he’s…” (finished talking is what I was going to say).
My eyes opened during the procedure and I glared at the anesthesiologist. “Why am I awake, please?” And then I wasn’t. I’m really proud of myself for remembering to say please given the circumstances.
I woke up in the recovery room and was informed I’d be “gassy.” There are few things a southern girl wants to hear LESS when her dude is in the same room. My own personal rule is no matter how long you’ve been together, if your butt has something to say, take it into another room. That’s because the one time you think oh for heaven’s sake, it’s not that big a deal and you let one go, it will sound like a linebacker. True story.
I was hoping she meant I’d become Princess Fartsalot later that day when I’d be alone. Two minutes later, still trapped by medical tethers, there was no denying what was about to happen. I apologized in advance and did one of those horrifying grandpa farts that goes on so long it actually changes tone throughout. When you’re in this situation, it’s best to make eye contact with your dude and say “I’m so sorry” over and over again until your butt agrees to stop.
Thankfully he laughed so hard he almost fell off his chair, which made me laugh so hard it happened AGAIN. This brought the hysterics to a new level. The nurse whipped the curtain back and gave us the children-please-lower-your-voices look. We collapsed into another round of 12-year old cackling. She snapped the curtain closed, and I apologized very loudly to my neighbors on either side of the curtain. They didn’t think it was funny at all. Apparently their asses have never gone rogue. Good for them.
The joyous news is that in spite of embarrassing myself beyond return and annoying everyone in the building, the report came back very positive. I will live a long and happy life if I just change my eating habits. Specifically, my body is no longer willing to tolerate me not eating for a day or two and then consuming half a cow in one sitting. My digestive system has become a demanding old queen who needs to be served brightly colored leafy snacks with touches of protein every few hours.
Joking aside, I couldn’t be more thankful that all this poking, prodding, passing out and passing gas translated into something so simple. Not everyone I shared the space with yesterday will be so lucky. Some of them may be having a very different conversation with their family and friends today. Ones that include surgery, chemo and life expectancy. That’s not me today, and I hope it’s not you.
With that in mind, I’ll go through my day with a new gratitude, a new happiness, and a new freedom.
And I’ll eat more broccoli.