Surgery Day

Just took my codeine medication. I have to take 5 teaspoons every 4 hours. I feel like chugging the bottle. It’s not as strong as I want it to be. It also doesn’t do anything to me mentally. I don’t like being in a normal state of mind during recovery because all I do is focus on the pain. And there is pain. Actually, it’s not so bad if you don’t move, talk, eat, drink, or swallow.

My dad keeps talking to me despite the fact that I told him I can barely speak. So far he talked to me about:

– the raccoon that tipped over the hummingbird feeder
– the Lockport High School teacher who passed away
– his vacation days


My mom and I arrive at Tinley Woods Surgery Center at 7am. I slept horrible the previous night. I can’t imagine how horrible I would sleep if I was having major surgery where there was a possibility of death or paralysis.


After sitting in the waiting area for about 20 minutes, I’m called into the pre-surgery room where I have to strip down to my underwear and put that open-back hospital gown on as well as a pair of green socks. I shove my street clothes in this big clear plastic bag marked Patient’s Clothing.

Wearing that gown makes me feel sick and frail. The nurse comes in. She’s a lady who likes to talk, but she’s not annoying like so many people who enjoy talking. While taking my blood pressure and setting up my IV, the nurse asks about my job which brings us on the topic of special needs children where at that point the nurse tells me how her sister-in-law has a special needs kid and how she feels sorry for her but at the same time feels negativity towards her because this sister-in-law is what the nurse calls, “A real bitch.”


WHY DOES MY DAD KEEP INTERRUPTING ME? He does this a lot. It’s like I tell him I can’t talk because I just had surgery and he doesn’t listen. He needs friends. Seriously. He talks to the neighbor two houses down, but that guy’s kind of weird. I have a whole bunch of notes on him. Here’s a neighbor story:

One day my dad was wearing these work boots. When the neighbor saw him he said, “Sexy boots.”


I enter the surgery room and see a hospital bed in the middle of the white room. I lie down and look up at two giant overhead lights. The nurses attach things to my body, move my arms, wrap a blanket around my legs, and inject something into my IV that burns my entire body. Next they put a clear mask over my face and tell me to breathe in. Ten seconds later I’m gone.


My head is dizzy when I wake up and I’m in a new room.

“How are you?” asks some nurse I haven’t seen yet.

“Ok,” I say.

The nurse leaves to find my mom. Once everyone’s inside, we talk post-op instructions like the importance of drinking fluids, medication amount, bleeding, popsicles, food, etc. I am then given a freeze-pop and cup of ice.

“Would you like the TV on?” asks the nurse.


The first show my mom and I watch is Live with Kelly and Michael. After that it’s Rachael Ray where I learn about women’s bathing-suits and low calorie fried chicken and other not so healthy foods turned into healthy foods.


“Can I keep these socks?” I ask the nurse as I’m about to leave.

“Take’em,” she says. “We throw them out anyway.”

“What about the gown?”

“Sorry, those we reuse.”

The nurse helps me outside where my mom is waiting in her car. We leave and drive to Wal-Mart to pick up my codeine prescription.


“It’s going to be 30 minutes,” says the pharmacist.

My mom and I take a seat on the bench. She asks me if there’s anything I want. We decide on popsicles, macaroni, and gatorade. I stay back. A guy approaches me and hands me a yellow business card.


“When you hear the announcement,” he tells me. “Come claim your free prize.”

I contemplate whether this free prize is worth getting up for. Less than a minute later, I’m up and searching the aisles for my mom. Every healthy person I notice I secretly despise. Whenever I’m sick, I have this horrible, if I’m feeling shitty, you should be feeling shitty mentality.

My dad is snoring now. I don’t feel like getting up to close the door, but the snoring is getting louder and LOUDER!

I find my mom. Show her the yellow prize card. The announcement sounds 5 minutes later.

“Free prize, BLAH BLAH BLAH, meet us in the fruit and vegetable section.”


We all gather around a u-shaped table. Some guy with brown hair shows us the free gift, a potato peeler. He puts it away. In order to get the peeler we have to watch him demonstrate this vegetable chopping product.

“Who likes hash browns?” asks the guy.

People, “Me” and “I do.”

He takes a potato, attaches the safety top (which he points out looks like a cowboy hat), and slides it along the device; thus, making hash browns.


He also cut: a tomato, onion, cabbage chunk, and cucumber.

The amount of “oh-wows” and “yeses” and claps during the presentation is insane. I think about Secret Shoppers and wonder if these people are like Secret Shitty Made-for-TV Product OH-WOWers and YESers and CLAPPers.

He does his sales pitch. Only $39.95. Tosses in some extras. And passes out the product to interested buyers. There are at least 3 people who shout, “Give me 2!” which at that point I think, Give me a gun.


My mom and I get our peelers, pick up my prescription, and drive home.


I’ve been lying on the couch all day watching TV. I haven’t eaten any real food. I am on a codeine and popsicle and water diet. Hopefully I can use this surgery as a way to lose weight, because I can’t seem to find the motivation to exercise lately.


Time for bed. I’m worried that I won’t be able to fall asleep. It’s hard to sleep when your throat is sore. At least the surgery is over with. When I get better I’m going to rub my healthiness into sick people’s faces and eat horrible food and drink lots of alcohol and talk to my dad about the latest book I’m reading or something else he could care less about.


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