I had a nerve biopsy on Wednesday convinced the doctor who orders the most tests wins a car. Remember when I said, Mount Sinai Hospital was a noble institution? I’m taking it back. One would be safer at Sing Sing.
My procedure is initially scheduled for 10 am…then noon pushed till 2…at 4:10 I’m finally crawling into the OR. Why crawling? I’m starving not to mention dehydrated as an eel. You can’t eat if you’re having anesthesia and do these people care, as they’re all munching lunch at their desks? NO, THEY DON’T. It’s like a fucking assembly line, the insurance companies getting richer, while you’re ready to faint scared out of your wits.
After filling out my…in case you die on the table…forms, what looks like a watch is attached to my wrist to know my whereabouts at all times. Last time I saw one of these was on Sopranos when Uncle Junior was under house arrest. Before that, you’re given a beeper because the waiting room is the size of Shea Stadium so even with perfect hearing, you’ll never hear your name. I love the little note etched across the front…
FAILURE TO RETURN THIS DEVICE RESULTS IN ONE HUNDRED DOLLARS BILLED TO YOUR ACCOUNT. I have two words for whoever wrote that….
I’m then ushered into a little cell told to take everything off including my undies which I really only wore to be polite, donning a pastel johnny coat even too bright for Liberace.
A little Asian man comes in to ask me the same questions as the woman who relinquished all responsibility in case I expire during surgery.
Were they trick questions? No, I’ve never had any organs removed, not even an EMENEE from my den thank you very much.
Then, being over 60, a little guy named Juan comes to give me an EKG. I show him my Hindenburg underwear asking him if he knows a hippo who could use them. He tries not to laugh, but happily can’t help himself.
My pal Ed, who’s picking me up, comes flying into the room escorted by a lady who looks like Dinah Shore. Was I happy to see him. Him and his iPad then head to Shea, I mean reception, to patiently wait and read.
I’m then told I can bring nothing onto the operating floor given a huge plastic bag to store my things. Why I don’t give Ed my purse will remain a mystery blaming it on hunger and overall fear. The little Indian girl who comes to get me makes it a point of showing me she’s sealing it. Think Vanna White in plastic not a wheel. As we leave, she tosses it on the floor in the corridor. Now, even in my weakened state, I know, this just isn’t right, but anxiety trumps suspicion and off we go.
The surgeon is there smiling with her cell twitching in her hand. Tweeting are you Doctor, I’d like to give you a good smack?
I meet my nurse who is so nasty to me…an old Irish woman who’s clearly taken one too many temperatures, finally making me say, “I truly do not appreciate how you’re speaking to me.”
The anesthesiologist pats my hand and says, “Don’t worry, I’ll take care of you.”
You mean like an old cat who’s about to meow her last?
Let’s just cut to the chase, shall we?
While they slice open my ankle like a kumquat, someone goes into my SEALED bag stealing my phone and Bluetooth device I need in order to speak on it, a very expensive gadget I might add. Had just finished paying for it two weeks ago.
I thought just the phone was missing blaming myself of course. Hearing loss sadly comes with loss of belongings since if something drops, you don’t always hear it. Just the day before I lost sunglasses at the main library.
Ed, who comes into recovery with Starbucks, equal to a Saint Bernard on a sled with brandy, conducts a massive search.
In a post drugged haze me on crutches accompanied by tears, we go to AT&T to get another phone. Let me just say, this is when you know who your friends are because Ed never leaves my side even when I tell him to.
I go to their security department who’s aloof at best determined to get some kind of compensation. May have to take the fuckers to Small Claims Court, and I will too.
As the day from hell FINALLY concludes, Ed says…let’s go to Farinelli, my favorite pizza place, and have a slice.
Like I said, you always know who your true friends are especially when they come with basil and cheese.
Would like to thank my pal Amy who through the whole ordeal kept emailing…take notes.