Under the Knife: Adventures in Surgery | Street Jazz

Monday, January 16, 2012

Under the Knife: Adventures in Surgery

Posted By on Mon, Jan 16, 2012 at 9:37 AM

To be begin with, it should be understood that I am the sort of person who considers the act of a doctor looking up his nose to be an invasive procedure.

It was with this in mind - and the fact that I had already had one one hernia surgery, back in 1991 - that I was less than overjoyed with the prospect of having to be opened up yet again.

I asked my doctor, “I don’t want to go to the hospital. Can’t we both just get real drunk and you can do it right here in the office with a big knife?”

He laughed, but didn’t think it was an especially good idea.

So it’s off to the surgeon I go for an appointment, whining all the way. And guess what? My gall bladder needs to come out! Oh, yeah, it does. You know how how a cartoon cat sticks its claw into a light socket and turns into a glowing skeleton? Well, that’s sort of how I was when he probed the gall bladder area.


Two surgeries for the price of . . . two surgeries.

Having both surgeries in one day appealed to my sense of physical economy, but not any sort of common sense. I won’t entertain you with tales of pain. Those who know me and don’t like me will only enjoy them too much, and besides, we all have our own hospital stories to tell.

Anyone who has ever lived with me knows how much I like to sleep, and this week was no exception, as the doctors were just a little concerned about me coming out of the anesthesia in a decent amount of time.

Tracy, who has borne up magnificently under the strain of her own breast cancer, my ICU adventure some years ago, her sister’s lingering death in Dallas and her mother’s death from cancer, found her nerves stretched to the very limits this time. She went to the WRMC cafeteria and tried to buy some milk but they don’t take credit cards.

This was the last emotional straw for Tracy, who had no cash on her.

It was all right, she was assured by a man in line next to her. He would take care of it, just asking her to “pay it forward.”

I’ve made fun of the movie this phrase comes from in the past, but never again.

Nobody really knows where you go during anesthesia, but I’m sort of assuming that I actually did wake up. If not, and the last few days are what passes for the After Life, it leaves me with a sense of deep foreboding for the rest of Eternity.

You always tell yourself, “Oh, when I’m recuperating I’ll be able to catch up on the writing I’m behind on.”

Yeah. Let me know how that works out for you sometime.


Dedicated to my former boss at Mexican Original

In 1991, while working at Mexican Original in Fayetteville (very few of us who worked at MO before Tyson took over ever referred to it as Tyson’s Mexican Original) I took several weeks off to recuperate after my first hernia surgery.

Company policy dictated that those of us on sick leave got 50 percent of our paychecks while we were off, but my boss didn’t pay attention to that, and so I didn’t have to explain to creditors why payments would be late that month.

There are still some decent bosses left in the universe.


And, oh, yeah, and also to the good folks at Fayetteville’s late Mountain Street Laundry

At the time I had my first surgery I was living in the townhouses behind Uncle Gaylord’s Restaurant. My friends who ran the laundry came to my home, picked up my laundry and brought it back to my home - all free of charge - during my convalescence.

Here’s to good people everywhere.


Quote of the Day

Another nation is made out to be utterly depraved and fiendish, while one's own nation stands for everything that is good and noble. Every action of the enemy is judged by one standard - every action of oneself by another. Even good deeds by the enemy are considered a sign of particular devilishness, meant to deceive us and the world, while our bad deeds are necessary and justified by our noble goals, which they serve. - Eric Fromm


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