Yesterday morning I woke up and got ready for work. I put a lot of effort into getting my hair into a sock bun (or bitch bun as I sometimes call them) and it actually worked out pretty well. I don’t even think you could see the grey wool sock beneath my hair this time! Then I put on a pretty dress that I’ve never worn before, and I put real effort into my makeup for a change. I gobbled down my breakfast and then went back to stare at myself in the mirror to make sure I actually did an okay job at dressing myself. “Girl, you look like a celebrity on her day off!” I told my reflection. And then I excitedly ran down the stairs to go to work so I could show off my efforts to my coworkers. But first I had to make a quick little pit stop at the hospital for an early morning appointment with a surgeon – I was getting a consultation about an upcoming surgery I would need someday down the road in order to remove a cumbersome lump on my rib cage.
Boyfriend dropped me off at the hospital and then continued on to work. I registered and went down into Clinic Waiting Area #2. I wasn’t waiting long before a nurse in white scrubs came down to fetch me and bring me into a sterile room with a bed, two surgeons, two nurses and lots of surgical tools. I didn’t think much of that at the time, because this was just an appointment after all. The nurse gave me a gown to put on and I asked if I could keep my bra on. “No, best not to wear your bra,” she said. “Don’t want to get it soiled.” I still didn’t think much of that. Maybe they were planning on doing an ultrasound on me to get a better look at the lump, I figured. Maybe she means it would get soiled by ultrasound gel.
And then the main surgeon walked behind the curtains, shook my hand, and told me that I didn’t seem very nervous for someone about to be cut open. Ummmm….what? News to me! So I got up on the bed, fully exposed for everyone in the room to see, and told the surgeon I had no clue this was happening today. “Me either,” he said. “Usually I meet with someone for a consultation first. But no time like the present!” Wanting very much to have the lump removed as soon as possible, I agreed and let them do their thing. He started by taking a needle and poking me a hundred times in the abdomen with it to freeze the area. Then he looked down at me and asked how I was doing. “Oh, I’m fine,” I said. “I’m just pretending I’m in an episode of Grey’s Anatomy to make it more bearable.” He laughed at this and then told me he will pretend that too. He decided he would play the part of McDreamy (even though he feared he would barely be an extra on the show because he doesn’t have Grey’s Anatomy hair). Everyone in the room went along with this, talking about the hospital as if they were Grey’s characters. I was jokingly told not to check the janitors closets, because people might be doin’ it in there. Then the surgeon told me about a doctor he used to work with who actually looked like McDreamy. He said he always struggled internally about whether or not to tell the doctor that he looked like McDreamy, or when it would be an appropriate time to bring that up with someone. We had a great laugh, which is a sentence I never thought I would say in relation to being awake while someone cut me open and stuck scissors inside of me. He had trouble getting the lump out, it was tangled up in things, so he started yanking and cutting and the more he yanked and cut the more jokes I made because apparently that’s my defence mechanism. So he cut, we laughed, he cut some more, and the nice nurse lady rubbed my hair to make me feel relaxed. I asked him while he was in there to take out a few pieces of fat, as long as my left side wasn’t disproportionate with my right. He took a couple tiny pieces and I’m telling you I feel much lighter today. Then the surgical resident learned how to do horizontal stitches on me for the first time. I really wanted to ask her if she practices cross-stitching in her spare time because that’s how Mindy Kaling’s character learned such precise stitching in The Mindy Project, but I figured maybe it wasn’t the right time for a Grey’s Anatomy/Mindy Project crossover episode. She tried her best, but I would probably feel more confident about being able to wear a bikini this summer if she had mentioned that she prefers to stay home on a Friday night to cross-stitch flower vase patterns (and if the surgeon had managed to take out a few more pieces of fat before he closed me up).
As far as a surprise surgery goes, it was great. After all the blood was wiped down (my bra certainly would have been destroyed) I got up off the bed, put my nice work dress back on, fluffed up my sock bun, and went to work because you can’t waste a good fashion and hair day like that. As I strolled into the office my coworker asked me how my morning was going and I just laughed. “Unexpectedly,” I responded. “Very unexpectedly.” I felt like such a bad ass going to work right after having minor surgery, and I thought maybe I had become Wolverine because it didn’t even hurt, but around lunchtime the numbing agent wore off and I went home to cry in my bed. But I did get a few compliments on my outfit at the office. So at least there’s that. And then my roommate bought me a surprise surgery cake. So really, a lot of good came from this.