Find the funny in early morning OR trips

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First Posted: 3/2/2015

Yesterday, my husband, whom I‘ll call “Nancy,” had a minor surgical procedure scheduled for 7:30 a.m. Those of you who know me well, know that sleep is my kryptonite, so even though it was he who faced the scalpel, it was I who was more cranky. Apparently, someone made the stupid rule that if you’re scheduled for surgery at 7:30, it’s imperative to arrive at the same time one enters the 7th circle of Hell: 5:15 a.m. So this translated to Nervous Nancy awakening me with his flatulent alarm at 4:15 a.m. What a fun day this will be.

Here’s a tip for anyone who’s scheduled for the first surgery of the day: no rush. Because, instead of scrubbing up in the OR, his surgeon must’ve been at Perkins, enjoying a heap of pumpkin pancakes, bacon and scrapple; he was almost 2 hours late. Shame on him. I think if you attend medical school, there should be a required course called: “How not to be an arrogant health professional and not keep your half-naked patients waiting in a very cold room for two hours.”

While we were waiting for him to finish his short stack, another doctor sauntered into the cubicle. He barely introduced himself, didn’t look us in the eye and glanced minimally at my husband’s chart. We asked him some anesthesia-related queries and he could barely control his eye roll. When we pondered aloud some general questions regarding, you know, life and death, he uttered those words that make my blood boil: “It is what it is.” I had to excuse myself because I wanted to thrown a bedpan at his inflated head. I don’t care if the letters D and R precede his name; he was an imbecile whose bedside manner was that of an orangutan. A legend in his own mind. Please.

As we sat waiting for Nancy to be rolled into the OR, my eyes were closing. While they administered his happy juice, I tried to soothe him with these words of comfort: “I don’t understand if there are all these empty beds, why can’t I just lie down and take a little nap? I’ve been awake since 4:15 you know…” No answer.

I took that as an invitation to siesta. As more patients were rolled in, though, I retreated to the Surgical Waiting Area to perch upon chairs made from what felt like cereal boxes and Popsicle sticks. I developed a bunion on my rear end.

Post-surgery, the poor boy couldn’t be released without first doing his duty. Alas, we’d been there 14 hours and he was unable to yield the output necessary for an early release. As if my own bladder was commiserating, it seized up and I tinkled enough to fill a small third world country. I would say it was my nerves, but that cafeteria had the best coffee ever. I guess maybe I should’ve brought Nancy a cup to help things progress. I’m just not thoughtful that way.

He’s at home recuperating now. And by recuperating, I mean yelling for me every 12 minutes with demands for Pop Tarts, medication, iced tea and loudly announcing bodily function bulletins.

It’s only okay when I do that.

And I saw then, clear as day, how our lives will unravel over the next 40 years. But for now, he’s the patient and I’m the mediocre caregiver and …it is what it is.