This Friday (March 30), I’m having diagnostic surgery. I’ve never had surgery or general anesthesia before, so pre-op was something of a “surprise.”
A better word might be shock. Don’t get me wrong. I have great love for modern medicine—the idea of blood letting is abhorrent to me. But when the intake administrator started “informing me about the procedure” and threw around words like resection and catheter, it sounds more like a medieval trial-by-ordeal.
As if anxiety by threat wasn’t enough, she told me that the nurse would take several vials of blood and asked to see my arm. I held it out. Her eyes went sparkly. She said, “Ooo, you have juicy veins. I’m going to do the blood draw.” I swallowed. Clearly, this woman had seen Twilight way too many times. Thankfully, the nurse in the room next door yelled, “I’m doing that blood draw.” Vampire admin chick yelled back. “But—” The nurse stuck her head into the room and said, “She’s mine.”
Having lost her venapuncture dominance, the admin started the pre-surgical questionnaire. “Have you ever had surgery before?” I said, “No.” Easy and simple. Of course, eight pages later my eyes were glazed. But we’d only just come to the interesting part. She focused on what non-foods I ingest. Medications, etc. It got a little old. One thing after another. My answers were “No, no, no...” She scowled. Apparently, I was boring. And then she got a twinkle in her eyes. “What about herbs?”
Her: You don’t take chamomile?
Her: What about vitamins?
Her with accusation in her tone: You don’t take a multi-vitamin every morning?
She looked at Calvin, who shrugged and said, “No, she really doesn’t take anything.”
She sighed. “Okay.”
Then she giggled. “What about street drugs? Do you take any of those?”
I rolled my eyes. She and Calvin burst out laughing. Then they made jokes about me running a meth lab in my kitchen.
I survived the pre-op though I’m sure I’m known in the hospital as the Meth Queen. Then the other day, a post-it note showed up on my bathroom mirror reminding me “No meth before surgery.” Calvin has a bizarre sense of humor, but it makes me smile every time I see it.