Home from the hospital – sore, swollen, fat jaw, bruised eye. You should see the other guy. Seriously, he looks great because I was asleep during my limited introduction to the doctor’s graceful hands and exacting instruments. To add insult to injury, I think I even shook his hand before the procedure began. Of course, I befriended the nurses, anesthesiologist, anesthesiologist’s assistant, nurse’s aide, phlebotomist and the volunteer who checked me in. My interest is genuine and it also hedges my bets. To like me is to help me if I need it and I really try to be a likable kind of patient. Because mostly all I seek is a smile, a little reassurance and a cup of coffee.
I woke up with my heart pounding in my ears – “You’re awake! You’re alive” I silently repeated my name and address, the names of family members, all the dogs we’ve had in proper order. Wiggled my toes, fingers, nose – all present and accounted for. Kelly the red-haired nurse who got engaged two weeks ago and is trying to plan a Christmas wedding because she’s also two seconds pregnant, brought me some ginger ale. Ah, the art of sucking soda through a straw with a fat jaw is a challenge. Half of the soda stains my hospital gown, the rest manages to make it down my throat. “Where’s your pain level Mimi?” About six, I gesture with my fingers. “Do you want me to give you something for the pain” Nope – just want to go home and put my head on my pillow. Someone give Andy permission to get me home.
The reality is that with a circle of angels and a firm belief that there is a God, I got home pretty damn quickly. And now that I’ve got nowhere I have to be, I will settle in and calm down, spend a bit more time soothing the voices in my head that tend to repeat stressful moments over and over – and over. The whole thing took far longer than originally planned, for they removed two nodes instead of one. But it’s all good – between the slices sent to microbiology and the samples to pathology perhaps we’ll know exactly what these interlopers are made of and how we can kick them out of their residences. Hey, maybe there’s a poem about neoplasm in here! I hesitate to write too much because I still have a lot of meds in my system. True story – after one of my spinal fusions, I received a call from work with news about a fantastic year-end merit bonus I had received. Good manners being important to me, I immediately sent off an email to the Chair and the Vice Chair thanking them profusely for such largesse. A few days later when I was corpus mentos, I read the sent email and it looked in part like this – “Thank you so much – I amrealyslpeesed…” Was I horrified? Yup – and when I called them they each laughingly assured me they were archiving the messages as a sample of when my writing ability eluded me. Nice guys. But I learned the valuable lesson that it is better sometimes to defer your communications until you are able. In fact, there should be a warning label on medication which says “don’t drive or operate heavy machinery and if you feel inclined to write something, move away from the keyboard and whatever you do, don’t hit ‘send'”.
So before I make a WordPress fool of myself (wouldn’t be the first time, though it may be the first time it was unintended), I’m going to sign off. Thank you for your prayers, your smiles, your sunshine, your teasing. Thank you for your good wishes, better friendships and outstanding support. Thank you for grinning if you find this sounds a little un-Mimi like and still read it all the way through. And when I can lift a glass of something less benign than ginger ale, I will raise a glass to you.