The rest of the story prior to going into surgery is pretty brief: They wheeled me through the hospital to the surgery waiting room (the glass doors were also decked out with butterfly, hummingbird, and flower stickers). They had to check my hospital bracelet at several different desks to verify my identity and pay the toll. My parents and I waited in the waiting room for another 30 minutes or so…A nurse and two anesthesiologists came in, asking me lots of standard questions. They all joked with me about looking really healthy for someone about to go into surgery.
While wheeling me into surgery, they began asking me some personal questions (I’m assuming to distract me):
What do you do for a living?
I’m a receptionist.
Oh. (super interesting, I know) Where do you work?
—– (I say the company name).
Don’t worry. It doesn’t matter.
Oh. Okay. Wait a second, isn’t that the company with — person?
Yeah. —-. He has that field at the university named after him.
Oh, yeah! That company makes millions and millions of dollars.
(During this dialogue, they had shifted me onto the operating table, put blankets on top of me and under my knees, added chest monitors, and fed me drugs through the IV in my right arm. I heard laughter in response to my last statement and then I was out. It was weird. I was staring at the ceiling, looking at those giant alien-like probe lights, chuckling at the cleverness of me, and then I was dead asleep.)
A couple hours later, I wake up in the recovery room. Drifting in and out and unable to keep my eyes open, I don’t remember anything that I said or what was said. I only know that I said it very sarcastically and the nurses were laughing (or maybe that was an illusion of the drugs). Apparently all the rooms were full on the surgery recovery floor, so I had a room on the pediatric floor. (yes!!) While wheeling me there, I was still pretty out of it so all I remember is the guy saying We’re passing by Scooby-Doo! Still half asleep and unaware that we were on the pediatric floor (they told me this later) I remember thinking What the heck? What is Scooby-Doo doing here? And then I remember worrying that I didn’t have a Scooby Snack to give him and he would be mad at me. Later on, while walking…okay, shuffling very slowly (it hurt to stand up straight so I was bent over a bit, reflexively holding my back. I imagined myself in a nursing home, “racing” through the halls in slow motion with walkers) through the halls I saw that Scooby-Doo and friends were painted on the walls…along with all of the characters from Sesame Street, Winnie the Pooh, Peanuts and also a framed painting of a very creepy clown signed in 1984. I spent most of my time in the hospital in bed trying to sleep with nurses coming in every hour to check my blood pressure and pulse. Thankfully, a Phineas and Ferb marathon was on the Disney Channel (do be do be do ba) which was more than acceptable. I love that show. I got a stuffed animal of Perry the Platypus for Valentine’s Day. And I have some of their songs on my iPod. I am totally Isabelle. I’m just a curious girl cross the way….How envious are you!! (Yes, envious is the correct word. Google “envious versus jealous” for a vocab lesson) And yes, it was definitely fitting/awesome that I was in the pediatric section.
Back to work a week later…(the start of a new number represents the start of a new conversation at a different time)
1: I heard you had a bad reaction to the medicine they gave you?
Me: (Looking down at myself to verify) Uh, no. Not that I know of.
1: Oh, that must have been horrible! (Did you not just hear me?)
2: Did the company send you flowers while you were in the hospital?
2: Well, that’s f—ed up! You’re okay now though, right?
Me: Yeah, except for my belly button, which is still pretty sore. See they had to dig into it and wiggle it around….(at this point, her whole body wiggled and she put up her hands, squealing and running away).
3: I heard you got appendicitis.
3: You know, my grandfather died of appendicitis.
Me: Oh, wow. I’m sorry.
3: It’s no big deal. It was the late 1800s or early 1900s and they didn’t know what they were doing. They stuck him in hot water which is the last thing you’re supposed to do! His appendix burst and he died. My father had it, too. It runs in the family you know. Something you should look out for when you have kids.
Me: Oh, okay.
My Mom had brought the leftover birthday cake she and my sister had made into work (Mom: a one foot tall double chocolate cake with blackberry jam filling and topped with chocolate icing. Kati: a rich flourless chocolate cake topped with powdered sugar with the option of homeade chocolate whipped cream on top. Have you passed out from envy yet?). She had emailed the whole company but me apparently and said the cakes were from my birthday (which prompted a dozen emails and personal visits).
1: You didn’t tell me it was your birthday!!
Me: It was my birthday on Saturday.
1: Well, you should have said something!
Me: I had appendicitis. Telling you about my birthday wasn’t that high on my list.
And more photos of my precious nephew!! In almost all of the photos he is being held by his Dzadzi (grandfather in Polish), my Dad. I hope my sister will let me actually photograph him outside before we leave. 🙂