Saturday, November 17, 2012

Surely there's a way to leave a comment in there somewhere

The hospital called again yesterday. I'm headed in for my third surgery of 2012 and this was the usual call telling me what time to be there and reminding me not to eat after midnight.

Bless her heart. The pre-op nurse who called me really should have been given a heads up. I got the distinct impression that most of the people she calls aren't as fond of banter as this girl. There needs to be a place in that hospital file for them to put a warning to people who have to call me. Something like, "This is not a psychiatric patient. Don't be alarmed." or "She thinks she's funny. Just play along."
Or maybe they should just have a drop down option in the intake form. You can specify your religion. Why can't you specify your humor? Methodist. Dry wit.

Nurse: "Can I please speak to Amanda ummm... Biga-"
Me: "This is Amanda."
Nurse: "This is Pre-op Nurse calling from East Alabama Medical. I'm calling to give you the time of your surgery."
Me: "Oh boy! Lay it on me!"
At this point, the nurse seems genuinely pleased that someone on the other end of the phone a) speaks English and 2) sounds happy to hear from her.
Nurse: "OK, are you sitting down? Are you ready?"
Me: "Yes. I'm sitting. Hit me with it."
Nurse: "Your time is... 1 p.m."
Me: "Huh. I'm gonna be hungry."
Nurse: "Well... before six a.m., you can have some clear liquids and dry toast."
Me: "Well, that's something."
Nurse: "Clear liquids include black coffee, plain tea, water, Sprite, or ginger ale."
Me: "So like beer?"
I like to think this was especially funny because she is looking at the intake information I had JUST, minutes before, provided to the hospital that specifies that I don't drink.
Nurse (hesitantly): "No. Not beer."
Me: "Oh. Of course. Light beer."
Nurse: "No. No beer."
Me: "OK, I'm writing this down. French toast..."
Nurse (at this point realizing that I'm hilarious): "No! Dry toast. Dry. No butter. Nothing."
Me: "That sounds pretty gross."
Nurse: "You can dip it in your black coffee."
Me: "That's a terrible suggestion. Thank God you're not a chef."
Nurse: "No bacon, no eggs..."
Now I start to feel bad. I want to let her know that I understand the instructions. This is not my first day at the rodeo. And I'm sure she has better things to do than deal with my nonsense.
Me: "Right, because I could aspirate it during the surgery."
Nurse (relieved): "Yes! And it'd get all in your lungs-"
Me: "Waste of bacon-"
Nurse: "And you'd have to go to the ICU-"
Me: "And then I'd have bacon breath for the rest of my life. And nobody wants that."
Nurse: "No, nobody wants that. You know, no one's ever said that to me before."
Me: "Yeah, I get that a lot."
Nurse: "Are you a nurse or in the medical field?" (I guess because I used the word aspirate?)
Me: "Nope, I'm a teacher."
Nurse: "A teacher?"
Me: "Yup. Really."
Blah blah, more instructions on where to go, what to pack, etc.
Nurse: "OK, do you have any other questions for me? I'll actually be one of your pre-op nurses on Monday."
Me: "Great! What kind of cupcakes do you want?"
Nurse: "What?"
Now, I completely understand her reticence in light of our conversation up to that point.
Me: "I'm a baker. I'll bake y'all something on Sunday to keep my mind off having my neck cut open. What do you want?"
Nurse: "You're a baker?"
Me: "Everybody needs a hobby."
Nurse: "Ummm... chocolate?"
Me: sigh
Nurse: "You don't have to-"
Me: "'Chocolate.' Here's what I'll do. I'll bake some devil's food cupcakes, and I'll bake some chocolate chip cookie dough into them. Then, I'll hit them with peanut butter icing and some chocolate ganache."
Nurse: "Are you serious?"
Me: "Yeah, I think I still have a little of the good chocolate left."
Nurse: "I love you."

I can't wait to meet this person on Monday. She deserves a cupcake.

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