The best thing about surgery is the little socks with treads on the bottom that they give you in pre-op. I collect them and so have several pairs. I’m wearing some now. I only wish they came in different colors than pukey tan; I’d like navy, and maybe mauve, which would go better with my wardrobe.
The worst part is the IV. Today, the nurse had difficulties finding a vein in the back of my hand; she poked around and it felt as if she was trying to insert a knitting needle. I yelled, “Ow!” a few times. She yelled back, “We’re not trying to hurt you!” I said, too loudly, “I know!” I stopped yelling when I noticed her brow was dewy with effort, and I apologized. Still, she was sort of frosty after that.
The surgery went well and was performed in record time; I was in at 6:15 a.m. and out by 10:30. I did not wake up during the operation. This happened twice before and was unpleasant. Today I slept through it; the surgeon pronounced himself optimistic, and since I know he’s a closet pessimist, this is indeed good news. I am not in pain or in need of painkilling drugs.
I took a Lyft to the hospital very early this morning and my friend Ellen picked me up at the clinic and dropped me off at home after the procedure. I am still a little loopy and fighting the urge to cook an 18-ounce steak. I was told to eat lightly for the rest of the day, drink lots of water, pee often, and rest. I have eaten a half-gallon of vanilla yogurt. Post-op munchies.
I’m grateful not to be the guy in the bay across from mine. He made frightening deathlike croaking sounds, waved his arms in the air and had bad hair. I, on the other hand, was congratulated by the nurses for being a great patient, possibly that morning’s best patient, as a matter of fact. Plus, when one of them put that little blue bonnet on my head, she said I had good hair. Little things like that count.
The best news is that I may not need to go through a round of chemo, as I’ve had to after all the prior surgeries. When I was told this, I wanted to do a little dance, but it might have been less than graceful because of all the tubes attached to me. So instead I thanked the surgeon, who smiled at work well done.
Saint Peregrine is the patron saint of cancer healing. I think he may have been around this morning.