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Saturday, August 2, 2014

Port (And Not The Wine) Whine

Thank you to my sister and Kim!  If I ever need to storm the beaches of Normandy with spies disguised as The Entertainment, you're the ticket!  A two pronged approach to "git 'er done!"  Margit kept folks on their toes and Kim kept me laughing. I've been thrown out of worse places than Akron City Hospital.

The Grinch went with me into surgery, LOL!

Took forever to get me processed for the surgery. (The Female Sibling Unit was NOT amused).  I did make one of the intake nurses laugh to the point where she dropped her pen.  I guess it was the "squeaking  while walking" reference.

I had a few melt-downs especially after they'd taken me back, given me the Dreaded Gown and left me there for what seemed like an eternity.  I surreptitiously texted my Battle Team and they were back with me in nothing flat.
The nurses who did the intake were very nice, esp. Sandy.  She answered a ton of questions and was patient and kind.  We only had one potential duke-it-up when she wanted to put the IV in my hand or wrist.  Oh, hell no!

My Battle Team escorted me to the pre-surgery area.  This was dismal little room about the size of the stateroom in A NIGHT AT THE OPERA where I half expected to see a bare light bulb dangling from the ceiling and a weasly little guy with glasses, a trenchcoat and a fedora smoking cheap Turkish cigarettes.

"Vee haf vays of making you talk..." he says with a sadistic giggle.

My sister rolls her eyes and looks around this cubicle.  "Oh. (Pause) Cheery."

 Nurse Marcia (yes,  of course, we did the "Marcia, Marcia, Marcia" reference) talked with  me about The Procedure.  Why in the hell do they call it that?  You're cutting me open and sticking plastic shit into my body.  It's surgery.  Dr. Rosenblum came in and we talked about where to put the damn thing.  98% of the time it's on the right hand side.  But, nooooo.  I have to be different. Big Surprise.  Not.

Nurse Marcia comes back into the room with some guy (Jeff the Radiologist) with his protective gear on.

"My God, you look like an extra from Star Trek!"

"They say black makes me look slimmer."  (OK, this guy is going to be all right.)  They explain a few more things and my Battle Team kisses me goodbye.  Into the surgery room I go.  They start to transfer me over to the table.

"You folks know you're putting the port in on the left hand side, right?"   Pause.

"Oh!  That's right!" A somewhat frantic scramble ensues as they switch everything around.  Grinch, mind you, has been with me the whole time.  They put him on a shelf to observe.  The usual fussing begins (mind you, I'm still wide awake and bushy tailed).  I gaze up at the ceiling looking at the ugly tiles (why can't they put stars or something pretty up there?) and say, "Man, this is real. This sucks," and start tearing up.   I think it might have been the oxygen port and the mask (on me). The action stops.  I mean stops. The prep nurse (can't remember her name) puts her gloved hand on mind and just holds it.

"I bet it's really overwhelming. It's OK, we're here for you. Take your time."

"We all have breakdowns. I had one the other day, here at work.  It's fine," say Jeff (the radiologist).

 I finally suck it up, wipe my eyes and she starts the prep.  Cleaning and draping, telling me what she's doing the whole time.  I'm a bit more chatty now; we're talking about different things.  I tell them I'm a singer, photographer, cyclist (always good conversation starters.  "I guess I might not be doing that metric century this year...damn!").

"Would singing help you?"  Interesting question. Fascinating, actually.

"Yeah, it would, I think."  So I sing "As Time Goes By." I would guess that would get my breathing more concentrated and controlled.

"I need a port and a doctor!" says the prep nurse.

For some reason this strikes me as rather amusing, "Yeah, that might be helpful."  Dr. Rosenblum comes in, gloved hands upright.  Now, again, why this suddenly strikes me as eerily akin to Groucho Marx's Dr. Hackenbush is beyond me.  Marcia starts administering the drug cocktail.  I don't doze off.  Oh, no.  We all actually have a surprisingly coherent conversation about singing and exactly what IS a metric century anyway?  I can feel the shots they give me.  I can feel him stitching me up, which is surreal. The doc finishes, says something nice which I can't remember and leaves me with Marcia and Jeff (the radiologist).   I look at them and say, "I'm not exactly a church-going gal or even a Christian but I have a really strong feeling I'd like to ask you to pray for me, Jeff."

"Do you want to do that now?"

"Yeah, I kinda do." So while I'm laying on the bed, the Grinch next to me, Jeff, Marcia and I join hands and he says a simple prayer.  They roll me out and Kim comes down to meet me and take me home.

I feel this lump in my chest. It's all bandaged up and such.  I'm sore.  My arse is still sore.  I had nightmares this morning.  But I'm home and I'm safe and I would like to believe it going to be just fine. And I'll do my damn show and at some point that damn metric century.

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