Yeah, Doctor. I’m Talking to You

Yeah, Doctor. I’m Talking to You
“Don’t eat or drink anything, because you might need a surgical procedure today,” my nurse told me. “You have to fast for at least eight hours, or they can’t do it.”  It was noon, the tail end of her shift, and she snagged the lunch tray someone had just delivered. The smell of french fries lingered in the air as my stomach growled. I regretted having sent back my breakfast untouched, but at the time, I didn’t realize how valuable that oatmeal really was. I know some medical procedures require fasting. No one wants to choke on their own barf while they’re sedated, so I abandoned all thoughts of a cheeseburger and picked up my book instead.  “We’ll get you prepped to go downstairs in an hour or so, and you can have lunch as soon as you’re done.” My nurse was a sweetie, but she wasn’t going to fudge on the rules. No food meant no food. I never thought I’d fantasize about a hospital meal, but hunger does crazy things to people. The hour came and went, and then another ticked by with no word from anyone. “When will you know?” I asked. It was a Saturday. On weekends, surgeons don’t roam hallways looking for unscheduled procedures they can pick up on the fly. Experienced hospital-goers know that the worst time to get sick is on a Friday night, when lots of doctors are off-duty and some procedures aren’t offered until Monday morning. “It could happen any time,” my nurse said. “The doctor is not actually in the building, but I’ll see if I can dial in the schedule before I go home for the day.”  A few hours later, while I enjoyed ice chips, I asked my new nurse if she had any updates. “Not yet,” she said. “The surgeon doesn’t want to come in for just one patient, so he waits until he has enough to
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