I’m having a C-section

My friend Renee is a brilliant physician. She’s the obstetrician-gynecologist who helped my wife, Erica, through a difficult pregnancy, followed by a really difficult pregnancy a few years later. As a doctor, Renee is meticulous, certain and caring. Her demeanor is calm and steady, which puts her patients – and their husbands – at ease. As a friend she’s incredibly thoughtful and interesting. Looks good in scrubs too (no offense to her husband).

So I can’t understand why she tried to do a C-section on me the other night.

They wheel me into the OR for my gastric bypass. I’m doped on the delicious meds they give you, my mind swaying to the Grateful Dead that no one else can hear. They slide me onto the table and suddenly Renee’s masked face drifts into view. She’s holding a scalpel. “Try to relax,” she says. “We’ll get the baby right out.” I freak.

The rest is fuzzy. I’m saved by my internist, Michele – yeah, kind of a friend too – who suggests I might not actually be pregnant. Good doctor, that Michele. I wake up with a start and knock the CPAP machine off my nightstand.

I think this is what they call an anxiety dream.

My first appointments at the weight loss surgery clinic are a little less than two weeks away. I haven’t met the surgeon yet, although he was hand-picked by my wife (also a doc – what’s with all these women doctors in my life?). I’m not normally a nervous guy. I’m pretty good in a crisis, in fact. I’m usually the one that keeps it together and helps everyone else through. I know bariatric surgery is the right thing to do. I’m certain of it, and I feel good about my decision. I’m not too worried, at least not yet, about the required lifestyle changes. I’m excited about slimming down.

It’s hospitals and surgery that scare the bejeezus out of me.

I don’t like people touching me. I don’t like people telling me what to do. I don’t like hospital gowns. I don’t like those stupid hospital name bracelets. I hate the nurses, with their nurse-like attitudes. I don’t like knives that slice me open like a baked potato. I don’t like anesthesia, and I don’t like depending on some anesthesiologist, who prefers his patients stay asleep, to wake me back up right. I don’t like catheters, IVs or phlebotomists (except Remy). I hate those annoying tray-tables that slide over the bed. There’s no TiVo, no WiFi, no MacBook. My iPhone will get lousy reception in the hospital. I don’t like being stuck in bed and I hate the idea of being forced out of bed right after surgery because it’ll hurt. I hate hospital-acquired infections that require more hospitalization. I’ll miss my wife, my kids, my dog and my bed.

Yeah, probably was an anxiety dream.


4 thoughts on “I’m having a C-section

  1. What a freaky dream! I just had my fortieth surgery (and I’ve had even more hospitalizations) and I’m only 25 (I deal with chronic illness)), so I know what you mean about the loss of control in the hospital and during surgery and how it can be dehumanizing, but trust me, a GOOD nurse is a lifesaver when you’re really sick and helpless – so don’t knock them and their attitudes! Some of them are terrible, but I’ve had so many exceptional nurses and I don’t know what I’d do without them. Nurses really go under-appreciated and they do great work.

    Most hospitals have WiFi – where the heck are you going where there’s no WiFi? I just download movies and TV shows from iTunes on my MacBook Air beforehand and I’m all set to go, completely entertained and boredom-free during even long hospitalizations. My hospital (Tufts) has a fast connection and I can download things in no time. I’ve never had a problem with reception on my iPhone, either – I don’t even order the TV/phone service. I don’t think I could survive a hospitalization without my laptop. I bring it with the intention of finishing up homework for grad school, but I usually end up feeling so lousy that all I want to do is surf the internet and watch episodes of Lost.

  2. I am blogging, is that a word? on obesity help and saw your comment about McDonalds. Good for you, although I’ve never been a fan of McDonalds food. But like you I am starting this surgical weight loss journey. I originated from Boston and it’s good to see that you all are just as crazy as ever :-). I am trying to eat protein shakes and one protein and complex carb meal a day until I get my surgical date. Good luck to you and see you on OH

  3. Hi, I know what a truly wonderful, loving person you are. Along time ago, I decided not to harp on your weight problem. Just encourage you. I have been aware of the pain you have suffered trying to lose the weight and not succeeding. I support your decision, knowing your didn’t come by it lightly. I want you to be around to watch your children become adults. To have the same joy I experience as they play with your grandchildren. In whatever way I can, I will help. Just one more I. I will love you forever. Mom

  4. You will do well with WLS. I’m a new reader to your blog, and I’ll be celebrating 3 years post op from WLS surgery next month.

    Oh, and I’m a nurse. We’re not all bad ones 🙂

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