Surgery? Piece of cake

By Scott Green

A month ago my doctor told me I had a legitimate medical condition, one that is about as appropriate to talk about in polite company as, say, your great-grandmother’s libido. (I know what you are thinking and, no, I was not pregnant.)

It was not exceptionally serious, but it required surgery, and afterward I was basically confined to bed rest for a few days. I was nervous initially, but that was set aside when Wikipedia confirmed the procedure is totally safe and more than 18 billion people undergo it every year.

Because my previous most serious medical issue was the time in third grade when I got a bean stuck in my ear (it was uncooked) (the bean was uncooked, I mean) (also my ear), my mom begged me to let her drive down and take care of me. This was not ideal because I was supposed to minimize stress, and it is hard to minimize stress when your mother is telling you every three minutes that you need to do dishes, at a minimum, once per presidential administration.

So my sister Amy, a senior in mathematics and actuarial science, very graciously agreed to put her life on hold for two days to take care of me. Eventually I relented and told my mother she could visit, provided she a) not come until Amy had taken care of me the first 48 hours, b) not criticize my housekeeping skills and c) bake me a delicious recovery cake.

Next, I had to figure out what steps to take to get student insurance to pay for the procedure. Luckily, the policy is very easy to understand, in the sense that all the words are in English. It is not easy to understand, however, in the sense that those English words are randomly strung together so that, for instance, the words “therewith” and “hereunder” routinely appear together in the same sentence.

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When the big day came, I got a ride to the hospital and was promptly made to dress in an outfit so hideous, it could only have been designed by my father. It was basically an apron with a robe and a puffy hair net, and absolutely nothing underneath. Khalid Sheikh Mohammad would answer every question the U.S. government asked him if our Guantanamo detainees had to wear this getup; however, doing so would violate a number of international fashion treaties.

There were some other pre-operative procedures, and then I was wheeled into the surgery room. I was greeted by a man in operating room scrubs who shook my hand and actually told me (I swear this is true) that, while he was not a doctor, he stayed at a Holiday Inn Express last night.

I will now describe, in all the detail I remember, the actual procedure: First, a doctor hooked anesthesia into my IV while an oxygen mask was placed over my nose and mouth. I was told to count backward on every seventh number from 100, and when I got to two, the magic dancing squirrel shot rainbows out his eyes at Captain Vanilla, an army officer made out of ice cream. They then sang about the value of friendship, named me starting place-kicker for the Denver Broncos and inverted gravity.

The surgery went really well and to assist my recovery, I was given perfectly legal access to the sort of serious-level pain medication for which I would have risked my reputation if I had been, for example, Rush Limbaugh. My family and friends did a great job taking care of me, using my drug-induced haze to con me out of only about 70 percent of my life savings through various pyramid schemes that I was too weak to resist. (If you feel bad about this, please send me $5, then attach your byline to this column and send it to six people.)

So overall, the whole experience wasn’t too bad. I would like to give a very special and heartfelt thank you to Dr. Jones, and to everyone who dedicated time to help me: Amy, my friends Zach, Jason and Katie, my mom (I believe her name is Debra or Bernice or something) and Captain Vanilla. Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to get back to a very important cake.