Dispatches from surgery central

I told almost no one this was on the schedule, but I had outpatient laproscopic surgery this morning to repair a hernia I finally had to admit wasn’t a pulled muscle. I mean, pulled muscles don’t last ten months, know what I mean?

Everything went swimmingly, I’m home now, a little sore (but less than I expected) and a little spacey (but more than I expected this late in the day).

A few remarks: I was at Roosevelt Hospital (which used to be St. Luke’s Roosevelt and is now Mt. Sinai Roosevelt, what’s up with that?) and I want to tell you, no one there was less than polite and respectful and almost everyone seemed to go out of their way to be kind and cheerful. Nurses walking by in the holding area, who weren’t coming to see me at all, looked in and smiled as they passed. My surgeon, the anesthesiologists, all the nurses — I truly liked their bedside manners. Since I thanked the doctors but I didn’t get a chance to thank all the nurses, I’d like to thank all nurses here and now, categorically.

I also want to thank Suzanne Solomon for fetching me and escorting me home. Couldn’t have been in better hands.

I do not want to thank Bella the Cat for her reaction to my climbing back in bed at 1:30. She had not been happy with the idea that I got up at 4:00 a.m. to leave at 4:45 to present myself at the hospital at 5:45 for a 7:30 surgery. Neither, for that matter, was I; though later, when I saw how the ambulatory unit filled up, I was glad I’d told the surgeon to schedule me as early as possible (admittedly I didn’t know what that meant). Bella was delighted when I came back in the middle of the day and took myself immediately to bed. She was so happy that she tried to exercise her feline right to stroll across the torso of any human on the mattress. We had a short loud conversation about it.

S: OW!


S: No, just OW!

In order to do this kind of laproscopic surgery they inject gas under your skin. Normally internal gas is in your digestive system and works its way out in the normal way either up or down. This stuff, though, just wanders around your body until it breaks down and gets absorbed, a process that takes 24 hours or so. Meanhwile you have little gas pains in your chest, your neck, your back, your shoulder. I feel carbonated.

Tomorrow I intend to go out to the Rancho, where my plan is to swan about and malinger all weekend, getting myself waited upon hand and foot by the other denizens. We’ll see how that works out… Meanwhile, right now, having slept for much of the afternoon, I’m going to settle in and watch the Spurs try to wallop the Heat. Go San Antonio!

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