Monday, June 4, 2007

Doc of the Bay

I could only pick out certain words from the hushed, baffled tones of the two male doctors in the next surgery prep and recovery bay at St. Joe’s; gangrenous…necrotic…cannon ball eyes? What? I furrowed my brow. Weird. Just then, Candi, my assigned prep nurse pulled back the blue and pink bay curtain on its bar, producing the metallic “shiiiing” often heard in hospitals, “Doctor drew some marks on you for surgery already, right? Ok, hon, you’ll start to feel the anesthesia in a minute or two, ‘kay?. Do you have any questions?” I smiled and shook my head. From my bed on rollers, my body was warm and my head started to swim slightly with the solution coursing through the tube in my wrist. Candi looked like a truckstop waitress, 80’s poofy blonde hair, almost wiglike, chunky dangling earrings, orangish-pink lipstick on a somewhat wrinkled smoker’s pucker. She patted my leg, “I’ll be right out here at the nurse’s station if you need me, hon. I’ll leave the curtain open for you –it’s not exciting, but it might as well be included in the price of admission.” We both chuckled.” I thanked her with a smile. My vision was slowly experiencing patches of blurriness because of the IV, but I managed to crane my neck and focus past the ugly curtain, seeing two abrupt red socked feet -- the topic of the hushed doctors’ conversation -- jutting beyond the wall of the next bay. They twitched. Man-feet. They were large – a size 12 at least. The two male doctors were still in his bay, speaking softly, then suddenly the volume rose like a crescendo from one of the men “Donald, look at me…. Donald, can you see my flashlight?” The red feet twitched again. A slight moan and a scuffling sound. “We’re gonna need Jansen down here. Martha, please call Jansen.” I could see straight out from my bay and watched as a mousy lady with glasses and a brown bob at the station picked up the phone. Another sound like scuffling. “Donald, look at me…Donald, do you know where you are?” The next sound, a low moan, lasted several seconds. The tone in the doc’s voice sounded increasingly frustrated. I felt a sincere gratitude come over me that I wasn’t here out of necessity. My boob job was out of choice and I wasn’t the least bit in doubt about it. I was ready. More euphoric feelings like tingling fingers brushing up my back. One of frustrated doctors walked out of the bay past me, glanced at me for a moment and kept walking with a look of business-like concern. A minute or two of quiet passed and the clock on the wall showed 2:34pm. The only sounds were the low whispers of the nurses and a ringing phone. Suddenly, an agonizing scream that seemed to stop and start: “Ahhh – get him off me! ….Fuck! Get…. off of meeeee…ahhhh!” I saw an OceanSpray like red cranberry juice fly through the air past man-feet’s red socks and an IV tube and rack smashed to the ground, shattering in a thousand pieces. Remnants scattered and clear liquid rushed on the ground all the way to the nurse’s station as a flurry of bodies and an emergence of activity uprose amongst the nurses. One screamed. Lots of blue suits began moving around – those who were hanging around the nurse’s station. I didn’t even react. Things were slow and getting slower for me. Blurry…floating….the anesthesia was working its magic amid the chaos. How sickly ironic for me. I could barely keep my eyes open. But what timing! Candi appeared into my bay like an apparition out of nowhere, quickly moving her fingers to unhook my plastic tubes. I felt her foot strike the steel roller brake on the caster and the wheels of my bed were put in motion as she began to get me the hell out of there. I was oddly at ease…things were cloudy, dreamlike. My perspective moved deeper into distortion; looking through a giant, clear marble. I turned my head sideways. The last thing I saw as she wheeled me out of that bay was man-feet, still twitching, sitting up in his bed with a brown rotten face buried in the squirming and screaming doctor’s neck, air bubbles gurgled from either the doctor’s neck or Donald’s gnawing mouth. Blood cascaded down onto the cold tile of the hospital floor. I helplessly hovered with the drugs and couldn’t grasp the fullness of the situation. Looking back, everything seemed so nondescript after the drugs. I think I felt a little disappointed in my daze while rolling away that I wasn’t headed to the O.R. for my coveted size Ds, but rather to the nearest exit. Then a random epiphany struck me as Candi, my Angel of Duty, swept me away and out the door: No…not cannon ball eyes… he said cannibalize.


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