Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Messing with the Anesthesiologist

So, yesterday morning I'm up at the crack of ugly early to head for W'boro Hospital for an ankle surgery repeat.  Biggest difference: this time, I'll be in and out in a matter of hours, not days.  This procedure is also a lot simpler than before, and it's screws coming out of bone, rather than biting into it, so the pain should not be as severe this time either.  (I'll not leave you in suspense.  It's much less severe.  But Percocet is still my new best friend.)

Bless Pastor J, he called our house at 6a just as we were getting ready to leave, and asked if 7:30a for him to be at the hospital was going to be too late.  I told him I had to be there at 6:45a because they needed to run in the Vancomycin before the surgery, and I'd be surprised if I had an IV in before 7, so 7:30 should be just fine.  I would have been fine if he'd just prayed with me over the phone, but I was really touched that he was actually going to make the drive all the way to W'boro just to pray with me there.


The nurses get me all set up and in my lovely, oh-so-fashionable hospital gown, the IV is in, the Vancomycin flowing, and the nurse gets Hubby and Pastor J from the waiting room and brings them back.  We chatted for awhile and then we prayed together before things really started to get moving.  Doc P came by, gestured to my right leg, and said with a grin, "This one, right?"  I chuckled.  He used a Sharpie to write an R on my shin and said he'd see me in a little bit.  I knew I had two more people who would be in to see me...the anesthesiologist, and the OR nurse.

Let me explain for a minute here the difference between Hubby and Pastor J.  They're about the same height, but I think Hubby has an entire person on Pastor J.  He's a skinny dude, and if not for the fact that I've seen him not disappear when turning sideways, I'd wonder.  (Pastor J, if you're reading this, love you, man!  If it's any consolation, I think my 10th grade biology teacher was skinnier, and his last name was Oakleaf, and, well, he was about that skinny.) 

Pastor J has also known Hubby and I for 17 months.  He came to see me in the hospital the last time I was in one, for my combination pneumonia/PE debacle, and that was before I had even attended church there for the first time.  He's had my everlasting admiration and respect ever since then.  So it's fair to say that he knows us pretty well, and so he could just stand there looking entertained at what happened when the anesthesiologist showed up next.

He introduced himself to us (I think he might have been my anesthesiologist for my last ankle surgery)--we shall call him Dr. A because, for the life of me, I can't remember his name--and proceeded to review my medical history.  Most of the medical issues he asked about I said "no" to ever having had, and he wrapped up his litany with this: "Anything else wrong with you that we haven't discussed yet?"

I opened my mouth to say, "No," but Hubby beat me to it.

"She's just not right in the head," Hubby said.

Pastor J leaned against the opposite wall and looked amused.

Dr. A turned and looked at Hubby, and then me, and gestured between us.  "What's the relationship here?"

"She's my wife."

Dr. A looked at me somewhat incredulously.  "You're going to let him get away with that?"

I grinned impishly and half-shrugged.  "But it's the truth."

For a nanosecond, you could have heard a pin drop, and then Dr. A dropped his pen and his shoulders and laughed.  He tried to stop and failed about half a dozen times.

"You've messed up my anesthesiologist," I said to Hubby.

Hubby does a fist-pump.  "Yesssss!"

"C'mon, he's gotta be able to bring me out."  Dr. A is still chortling.

Pastor J is still leaning on the wall opposite Hubby and smiling.

Dr. A wiped his eyes and exhaled.  "Thanks for making my morning!"

It was still another minute or two before Dr. A thought he'd gotten to the point of being able to move on.  "Any other questions for me?" he asked me.

In all seriousness now, I looked him right in the eye.  "Please don't let my children down.  They're terrified that I'm not coming home."

He nodded.  He gave me a few last-minute instructions for what he would need me to do at the end of the procedure when the time came to pull out the breathing tube.

Apparently, I followed those instructions well enough, because the thing I knew next (after bantering with him regarding where I'd like to be as opposed to an OR and the Versed going in) was waking up in the recovery room.

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