May 19, 2007

Don't sign any legal documents.

There I was again: paper slippers, all jewelry removed, in a sea-green gown with an open back and a hair net, jiggling my foot nervously as a doctor, for the second time this year, went through the pre-surgical pep-talk. This surgery, unlike the last, which was a shoulder repair, was necessary to go from a diagnosis of "possibly cancerous" to "we actually know something, and by the way, you're fine". In other words: not optional.

Like last time, though, I was buzzing with nerves.

"I see you're still under the mistaken impression that green is flattering on everyone," I said, trying too hard to be funny as I fingered the papery fashion faux pas that is the required wardrobe, pre-surgery.

"Yeah," my (adorable but married) doctor smiled, "but it is an appropriate springtime color, is it not?"

I nodded. Thank God he was playing along. All the ways I could die over the course of the next three hours ran through my mind, alongside a mental montage of all the ways one could possibly do it in a hospital waiting room*.

(*To be clear, the death fantasy was an actual fear and the sex fantasy was an attempt to distract me from the death fantasty. It didn't work, and neither were more than 1 percent likely. I know this because I read the disclaimers before I sign, and because I'm a prude.)

A nurse entered the room, holding a clipboard and pushing one of those funny coatrack-looking things with a baggie of liquid hanging from it... a bag that would soon be attached to my arm and wheeled with me into the metal room where they do the cutting.

"Okay," Dr. Death cleared his throat, taking the clipboard from Nurse BaggieofFluids (sorry, I couldn't come up with anything clever). "You have a driver picking you up, right?" he asked, snapping me back to reality.

"Oh, yeah," I said, a little glazed, still jiggling my foot like it was my job, curled up in a chair across the room. "My girlfriend. She'll be here at 2."

I saw Dr. and Nurse exchange these tiny glances -- you know, the ones you exchange just barely, in order to say "did you notice that, too? we'll talk later..." and suddenly it occurred to me that they thought, when I said "girlfriend", that I meant "girl I perform sexual acts with". In other words, while I was refering to one of my friends, who is female, they did the whole really quick "she's a lesbian" secret look at each other.

But by the time I noticed their little exchange, too much time had passed for me to smoothly say "my roommate..." or "we've been friends since childhood" or something to more accurately deliniate our relationship. And, by the way, I only cared a little at the time. Remember, I had death and sex fantasies to get to, not to mention a surgery.

Everything went smoothly. As usual, I woke up laughing about what awesome dreams I had. By the time I was recovered and in a secondary waiting room, I was halfway through a diet Pepsi. A little weak, definitely glazed over, but in pretty good shape.

My friend was shown into the room by a different nurse and a pharmacist -- both quite stern and humorless, neither big talkers. Everyone sat, and the nurse and drug lady rattled off, to my friend, a long list of things to watch for, be concerned about, and do in the 24 hours after surgery. They handed her a baggie of pain meds, antibiotics, etc. and gave her those instructions, too.

I mostly giggled.

They didn't really look at me the whole time, until they came to the last set of instructions before they wheeled me to the car:

"Don't, under any circumstances, drive or sign any legal documents today," said stern nurse lady. Immediately I started giggling again, because, like, what legal documents would I possibly sign immediately after surgery?

And then my friend thought of one. Always a comic, she quipped:

"Damnit! We were going to sign those divorce papers today."

"Oh, shit, that's right," I said, playing along, thinking we were so funny, putting on a little show for the nurses in the room, thinking they'd appreciate a chuckle, "sorry about that... I guess we'll have to do it next week, hon."

We both cracked up, waiting for a response -- something, anything agknowledging our joke -- from the nurses.

I blinked, looking around the room, and exchanging a "what the??" glance with my friend. It was like the Twilight Zone.


The nurses had visibly stiffened, and were awkwardly putting things away, shuffling papers and bustling around, all quiet.

No more than three minutes later, I was in the car and we were out of there without so much as a "get well soon!"

In under four hours and four sentences (all completely misfired jokes), I managed to convince an entire surgery center I was a lesbian, and learned that makes people really, really uncomfortable.


Just another afternoon.


Catmoves said...

Geze. And here I thought all you Wisconsin girls were sunshine and milk pure.
After all, I was born in Milwaukee.
Well, your secret's out now.
Tell me, is your doctor still sweet and adorable in your eyes?

allmypulp said...

Yeah and "roommate" wouldn't of removed any speculation either. When I hear a girl say roommate I often think "clam lapper"

Speaking of sex fantasies did I ever mention how I found your blog?

From here...

Trebuchet said...

Wisconsin? I love that now I'm from Wisconsin. Can we do Boston next? I love Boston.

Pulpy: That post slayed me! Random and clever, just how I like it.

No, not THAT. Jeez.

I'd forgotten about that blog, though -- thanks for redirecting me. It's worth a check-in every once in a while if only for a post like that.

jali said...

Damn. In 2007 people are still acting up about lesbians?

I love to freak people out.

How are the drugs???

glad you're okay!