Humor in the OR (and I don't mean Oregon)

Earlier this week, I went under the knife, or more accurately, under the laser. I can no longer count the number of surgeries I’ve endured (maybe my brain’s still a bit fuzzy from the pain medicine), but I’ve never spent the night in a hospital. These days, you can have a frontal lobotomy in day surgery and be sent home before dinner for your unskilled "nurse" to tend to you. Maybe it’s my strange coping mechanism, but every time I have surgery, I not only entertain the nurses in the recovery room, but I find all kinds of comedic material. Most of it is not suitable for the worldwide web. Hopefully this is.

Five days before the operation, I met with a stern-faced administrator. She clamped a hospital bracelet on my wrist and told me I could not take it off under any circumstances. I felt like a prisoner with an ankle monitoring device. I wanted to cut it and flee, but I feared the police would come flying with sirens blaring (the same as when I take the law into my own hands and brazenly cut tags off pillows.) 

She asked me (in English) which language I would like to be spoken to. I so wanted it to be Romanian, maybe even Hungarian, but I decided to go with English and not upset her. She did not appear to have a sense of humor.

"What are you having done?" she asked me.

Don’t you know? I thought, alarmed. I toyed with saying that I was having my tonsils removed, but my better judgment won out. After I answered hysterectomy, I had to sign a paper stating that I understood that I would no longer be able to bear children. Really? At age 54 with no uterus? Who knew? 

The first time I was operated on, the anesthesia didn’t take. After a short five-minute nap, I was wide awake for the whole procedure, but feeling good from the drugs. My glasses had been removed so I could only see a blurry red reflection on the stainless steel ceiling. "Cool! Is that my blood?" I asked the doctor.

"You’re going to hear a loud noise as we break your left toe," the doctor had stated calmly, revving up his chain saw-sounding contraption.

This time, I made sure they knocked me out cold. When the nurse removed my breathing tube and I woke up, my only sensation was that of extreme thirst and difficulty swallowing. She gave me ginger ale to sip and, later, peanut butter crackers to nibble on. Have you ever fed peanut butter to your dog?  Not the best choice.

Stop. I can’t laugh. It hurts too much. One more thing: if anything I’ve posted here is offensive, I am under the influence of pain medication and not liable.

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