I hadn't thought much about it because I didn't want to think about it; but today the outpatient surgery center called to take all of that information that you think they could keep in a damn database somewhere so you don't have to repeat it every time you go into a doctor's office. I know, privacy issues trump inconvenience; but, still, I sometimes think I should just have a printout that I can hand to any physician who needs the information.
Let me back up a minute to explain some of the scheduling issues here. First, they scheduled me for just after Christmas. It turned out Gentleman Caller, who was going to help me out, couldn't get down here then. So, I called to change the appointment. I called again. I called again. I called again. I called for a whole damn month before the person who answered the phone was, by pure chance, the person whom I needed to talk to. The person who hadn't returned my 5 gazillion messages.
"Oh, Ms. Bluestocking," she said. "We already changed your appointment." And did not call me. Of course, by this time, the window in which Gentleman Caller could come down to help me no longer had any appointments, which is why I am going in on Friday.
When the person from the surgery called, she said, "Oh, they changed your appointment." And did not call me. Fortunately, this change worked in my favor. Originally, they had me scheduled for a 6:30 AM procedure, which meant I had to arrive at 5:30 AM.
Yeah. I don't do that time of morning. In fact, I had planned to stay up all night to make sure I arrived on time because the odds of me arriving at all were better that way. Now, I'm scheduled at noon.
In the interest of maintaining my reputation as a gloom-and-doom, bitching-and-moaning pessimist, let me point out that I'm not supposed to drink or eat anything after midnight the night before. Not even gum! I also can't wear make-up, lotion, perfume, or jewelry. I probably would have worn all four.
Why? Because I'm going to have to find someone to pick me up, and it will probably be someone from work, and I will just DIE -- DIE, I tell you! -- if I'm seen out of uniform by someone at work.
I'm now also going to always be THAT woman, the one with the bladder problem, which I suppose beats being THAT woman, the one who is "angry," "destructive," and "creates a hostile environment." Or doesn't.
Anyway, the woman from the surgery took my information -- and I'm pretty freakin' healthy by the standards of that questionnaire, if you don't count the excessive use of happy pills and alcohol -- then asked if I have a living will or if I have given anyone power of attorney.
Oh, yeah. General anesthetic. Not exactly a natural state, and one in which nasty things could go wrong. I watch House. Metal pins could come shooting out of my brain or my heart could flip inside or something.
This did not worry me. I figure that I will be out of it and won't notice dying at all. Not a bad way to go, if you must (and, at some point, you must, just most of us hope it will be later). I'll be sad that I never finished my Douglass book. I'll be sad to leave Gentleman Caller, too; but, then, I'll be dead and won't care. In any case, the prospect of dying on the table doesn't worry me. In fact, it became a great prompt for planning my own funeral.*
I'm not afraid of dying on the table because the chances of that are insignificant. Instead, I found out what I am really afraid of when I did a Google search on "cystoscopy."
You see, I am rather curious as to what they are going to put up there. I mean this is a private part that was decidedly NOT meant for pushing out babies (not that I've ever seen a woman who thought labor was all fun and laughs). Since the urologist used words like "fiber optics," I decided to think of the machine as being a mere wire. Unpleasant, but bearable. Denial is such a wonderful thing!
This is what they will be shoving up my urethra:
Holy SHIT!! What sort of S&M, sci-fi porn prop is that? My parts will be damaged beyond repair or use! I'm hemorrhaging at the mere sight!
Sure, I'll be out cold; but the drugs wear off. I'll have to rely on the Vicodin from the wisdom teeth. I will then actually become House.
Now, I need to go assume the fetal position and whimper.
*I want someone to read a list of people to whom I say "fuck you! I'd haunt you if I thought there was an afterlife!" There will be instructions for how many birds to flip at the mention of their name, too. I also would like the Stones' "You Can't Always Get What You Want" played -- like in The Big Chill, only not on an organ."**
**But, I don't have hostility issues. I also don't watch too much Six Feet Under.