Friday, March 2, 2012

Mars, Hares and Madness

It’s March already.  It arrived a little late this year because of Leap Day, although it seems the first two months of 2012 have passed at the speed of light.  And speaking of light, on March 11th, we will all lose an hour of sleep to pick up extra sun at the end of the day.  I guess the exchange is worth it.

March is actually named after a rather angry fellow, Mars, the Roman god of war, and it is known for madness, hatters, hares and ides. 

It is also the month Dennis and I chose to get married.  In fact, our anniversary falls exactly on the Ides of March, the date when Brutus murdered his friend, Julius Caesar.  Brutus must have been madder than a March hare.  Is this a bad omen?  Not necessarily, although we tend to avoid asylums, haberdashers, the Senate, and senators, especially on an election year.

It was nice to have leap day, a bonus 24-hour respite to catch our breath.  We invested that extra time NOT going to the Huntsman.  Not going certain places is nice, especially when we had been there so many times this past week.  I admit I began to understand the probable cause of Mars’ anger.

Last Friday, Dr. Sharma arranged to have Dennis’ portacathe removed, suspecting it could be the source of the abscess on his liver.  Having an adversarial relationship with abscesses on livers, we ratified that recommendation and showed up on the doorstep of HCH early in the morning…fasting. 

A very competent doctor entered the exam room as the designated predatory surgeon.   By virtue of its simplicity, I was invited to remain in the room for the procedure.  The nurse asked me if I would be all right, since they were just going to inject some xylacaine to deaden the surrounding area. No big deal.

Oh puhhhleeeeze!  After everything we’ve been through, nothing bothers me.  Besides, I wanted Dennis to have the benefit of the potent power of my presence to give an aura of strength and stability.  The doc had me at, “Now this is a pretty simple procedure.”  I opted to stay. 

I mean, how bad could it be?  I would simply avert my eyes by reading an out-of-date smut mag (in this particular issue, Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston were still together) and go to an alternate universe for the duration.

There were just two teeny weeny problems I had not factored in to my decision. 
  1. I  had not eaten.
  2. Because Dennis is a physician, the doctor felt compelled to deliver a play-by-play account of what he was doing in maniacally graphic detail.
So, while I could avert my eyes, I could not avert my ears.
The first thing I heard was, “Now Dennis, you’ll feel a little poke and then a slight burning sensation.”  I realized at that point I had made a very bad decision.  I wanted to adopt my daughter Erin’s technique of cupping her hands over her ears and shrieking “LA LA LA LA LA!  I’m not LISTening!” when I tried to tell her the facts of life.

“A little poke??!!!”  I heard a puncture and the nauseating sucking sound of a plumber’s friend being plunged into a backed-up sewer pipe.  He must have been using the trident of Beelzebub! 

“A slight burning sensation??!!!”  The flames of the underworld flared up from the depths of Hades licking at my pant legs and threatened to engulf the entire third floor.  What a backdraft!

This good surgeon, who no doubt was valedictorian of his graduating medical school class because of his gymnastically acute verbal descriptive prowess, then announced he was going to make a slight incision at the port site. 

What I heard was, “And now I will open a gaping cavernous wound which will hereafter be known as The Yawning and Cavernous Black Hole with the gravitational sucking power capable of engulfing the entire universe into everlasting darkness.”
Even his ornate medical terms could not obscure the facts of this “simple little procedure.”  Dennis uttered not a word.  No doubt his hearing was impaired.

The doctor then referred to a “scalpel,” but I testify I heard a Samarai sword slash through the air with predatory force cleaving the atmosphere in two as his voice went all “Miss Piggy” screaming “HYYYYYYY-YAH!”  Never allowing my eyes to wander from the magazine, I had no doubt he was conducting a total evisceration.

The metal tray was heavy with scalpels and adhesives, giving a whole new meaning to “cut and paste.”  And he described shades of pulsating pink, evoking images reminiscent of internal organs at work.  I was sure the incision would have the bite radius of a Great White. The room was suffused with the fusty aroma of alcohol and something orange and pungent. 

In the wild excess of self-indulgent narcissism, I noticed the room getting smaller and swaying slightly, as if it had been chloroformed.  The nurse thought I looked pale.  I explained I was just extremely blond.

I tried channeling my inner Whitney by belting out “They can’t take away my dignity!”  Apparently, they can.

I exited the room clinging tightly to Dennis’ arm…so he wouldn’t fall.  He endured the ordeal well, which restored our credibility. 
But the next time I’m invited to listen to a procedure, I’m going to eat breakfast, get REALLY angry, and then go to a universe far, far away, where there are no ides, hares, madness or senators.   

1 comment:

LeAnn said...

Dear Joan; you are so delightful. I am happy the procedure went well. At least you walked out together. You would think that being a nurse I can handle anything but when it comes to husbands and children I don't do well. I go pale and it isn't because I am blond. I have almost fainted a couple of times through the years. Hugs and love to you both and let me know when we can meet for lunch.
You are always in our prayers.