I worked right up to the date of surgery. Early in the evening I received a call from the anesthesiologist, who reminded me not to eat or drink anything past midnight. Great. Dinner was some chicken meat I *was* going to make a burrito out of when I got home. Oh well, get used to being hungry.
I did eat some medicated candy toward the end of my shift. I figured it would help me sleep, and calm some of the pre-surgery jitters. I was relaxed, but the mind did tend to wander toward dark thoughts. Would some sweet chicken thigh be my last meal? I made sure to visit Meg, but not before Rain shanghaied me into a dark secluded place and gave me a clandestine romp to remember. My Alien Baby hurt much less after her magical pressure release. I felt loved. I could bravely go forth now.
The trip to the hospital was a blur, likely from lack of sleep and OMMP candy residuals. An old volunteer took me past the secured area, back to where surgery would take place. My room was a single, with cable TV. I clicked on Jerry Springer and turned the sound down low. I would watch them fight quietly.
I was given a fistful of pills to take. The anesthesiologist was a pleasant fellow, who asked medical history questions and described in grisly detail how the minute I was out they were gonna ram a breathing tube down my throat and I may have some soreness. Mmmkay. Would it be as sore as the area they were cutting on?
I had about an hour to wait. The ‘good drugs’ they gave me weren’t as much fun as my caregiver’s homemade treats. But then, I’m eating those for arthritic pain and general feelings of well-being, not getting a patch-job on my reproductive organs. I’d cut them some slack. They’re not as into the cerebral adventure as I am.
I did notice the drugs having an effect. Not necessarily a bad effect, but the timing could have been better. As I lay there relaxing, I felt a stiffness in my joint. Yes, that one. Singular. Sitting here waiting to be cut open, and I’m getting a boner.
I peeked. Yup. Still there. Rain took care of that the night before, or so I’d thought. Were the gods of Eros telling me to hit it one last time? As I lay there hoping it would just go down, there was a knock at the door.
It was my doctor. The one that looks like Sarah Connor from the Terminator movies. “Good morning! All ready for your big moment?”
Christ, if she only knew. I shifted a leg up so I wouldn’t be tent-poling.
“Yeah, I feel pretty good. I’m ready for this to be over.” Switching thoughts. Baseball. Cold showers. Raisins, candied yams, pictures of Linda Tripp. Pat Robertson having sex with a manatee.
There, that helped. The swelling began to subside just as she pulled the sheet back. My little friend was no longer on the hunt for a warm place to hide, but I was showing more than usual. Then the doctor did something I thought odd. She pulled out a purple Sharpie and wrote her initials on my freshly shaved pubic patch. I’ve been tagged!
“Looks good, they will be in in a few minutes to take you to the OR. See you on the table!” And with that, she was gone.
The orderly rolled me down the hall on a gurney while I told him of a Pink Floyd concert sequence where the hospital gurney turns into an airplane and flies until it crashes onstage. He was too young to know who Pink Floyd was, and that’s probably why they call them “the good drugs.”
The operating room was chilly. They put circulation boots on my calves, electrodes to my chest. Everyone was jovial My doctor was fresh from a three-martini lunch and steady as a rock. They got me just so on the table, and then came the magic words.
I kept hearing about these good drugs. Well, being a connoisseur of the space travel substances, I decided to see how long I could stay awake. The last time I tried, they had me count back from 100. I remember saying 92. That was a long time ago. I should at least feel the lights going out, and may even get a taste of what it feels like to die. But please bring me back if I do. Please? I ain’t done here yet.
I focused hard, waiting for the buzz. Hmm. Goddammit, I wish we could hurry up. I am sore again. How did my hernia pop out while I’m just laying here quietly. Fuck! Well, better push it back in…
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you,” said a voice from the chair behind me.
I looked over, a doctor-type was reading a magazine. “How you feeling?” he asked.
‘Fine, sore, wishing we could get this over with.”
“Well, we’ll be rolling you back to your room in a bit.”
By this time I’d discovered the bandages where my Alien Baby used to be. “You mean it’s done?”
“Yes sir! Went well too, from what I gather.” He put his magazine down and began taking notes.
I absolutely remember nothing. I was wide awake, trying to focus on my impending unconsciousness and the next thing I knew I was wide awake. In my head it had taken a second or less of my life. According to the clock, it had been about three hours. Wow. Good drugs all right.
The rest of the afternoon was me trying to figure out how to put on my shoes and underwear without tearing anything open. I felt gut-shot. Not bad, considering. But I am moving slow and careful, and that single bed Rain so despises may be the best $175 I’d ever spent.
I was given the modern-day version of Percocet to take home, but I still had an IV in the back of my left hand. I’d been getting shots of Dilaudid, a heavy narcotic. I knew they wouldn’t give me more than I could take, so I kept asking for shots. They kept giving them to me! By the time my ride arrived, I was a stoned junkie mess. A sore, good-natured happy-as-fuck stoned junkie mess.
Master P insisted of driving me home, and I didn’t argue. He drives a big black town car, and it made me feel like a rockstar, wheeling out into the night. Master P picked up my prescriptions, and even insisted on walking my paper sack of possessions to the door to hand to my sister, along with orders : “Don’t let him lift ANYTHING!”
I settled into my nice little room with the new bed and giant TV. Home. I will be spending a lot of time here the next couple weeks. This is my paid vacation. I must treat it accordingly. But I must also heal properly.
I hadn’t ate in 35 hours. Would pooping hurt? They watched me pee before they’d let me go home, that went fine. There could be more straining, yikes. Coughing required aforethought. If I didn’t sit just so, it could be excruciating.
I turned on the Blazer game, signed onto the internet and started giving static to friends and friends of friends on the web. I was a doped up, obnoxious mess. Not really, but I was as cocky as a guy with a six-inch incision adjacent to his manhood can be.