Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Today was the big day. We got to the clinic, and I signed in. I happened to catch a glimpse behind the receptionist's area, and saw it looked very hospital-like. That scared me. Hey! I thought this was an outpatient clinic! I was expecting a heimishe, birth-center kinda place.
The prep nurse called my name and we got up. Yaakov said, "Can we come, too?" She smiled and said, "Sorry, you and the baby have to stay here." I kept casting wistful glances at them as I walked toward my impending doom. Now that the whole thing is done with, I can finally admit my deepest fear: That I'd never wake up from the anesthesia. But the Rebbe gave me his brocha, so I soldiered on. I kept a little tehillim with me that I got from one of the crazy 770 ladies. I silently thanked her.
The prep nurses were awesome, they were so nice. They were probably thrilled to be around a person younger than they were - the average patient age had to be at least 60. The one who admitted me I thought was Jewish. Andrea. We filled out our respective forms. One line on hers read; "check off the psychological status of patient: cheerful, co-operative, anxious." She checked off cheerful and co-operative. That was true, but I was ragingly anxious (and she knew it). "How come you didn't check off anxious?" I asked. "Because sometimes when I check off anxious, the patient gets more anxious!" I liked her.
I had to get completely undressed and they put me under a warm blanket. They even had warm socks! The whole thing was kind of cozy. Then they stuck chest sensors on me and inserted the I.V. prep. She asked me if there were any modesty issues I wanted to address before they took me into the procedure room. At that moment I felt sure she was a Jew. I told her I wanted to be covered as much as possible. She said they'd make sure of it. Then I asked, "They're not going to be doing anything around my head, are they?" I thought of my wig, which I insisted on wearing. The Rebbe said, "it brings brocha to you, your children, and grandchildren." I wasn't about to leave my brocha behind! She said they wouldn't touch my "head covering." "By the way," she added, "it's cute!" I really loved her then.
They wheeled me into the procedure room, and there was Dr. Brown. He started making cheerful small talk. "Hey," he tells the nurses, "Her husband plays guitar with Crazyfingers." (Dr. Brown is also a deadhead). The nurses were impressed. "He plays bass," I corrected, "and he only fills in when Bubba isn't around." I felt sure he was trying to make me feel at ease, yet the whole thing seemed a little surreal. I'm about to have a colonoscopy, and we're talking about the local Grateful Dead band. Then the anesthesiologist started the drip. (ohhh...no wonder we're talking about this...) My brain started to feel furry. She tucked the tehillim under my pillow.
Then I'm being wheeled somewhere. I said, "Oh, you're doing the procedure in another room?" Nobody heard me. They wheeled me back to the prep room. It was done already. The nurse told me everything was fine, it was just a hemorrhoid problem. She said, "I still have them from my pregnancy, and that kid is 18 now." Great, I thought. I'm stuck with them forever.
The drive home was okay, I was tired but I felt just fine. I got into bed as soon as I could, and slept the afternoon away.
You see what I have to go through to get a nap around here?