Waiting for my slot to get my knee surgery, the surgeon was killing time and hung out at my bedside for a while.
“The people here are great,” he said. “The managment sucks.”
The doc was waiting to use a piece of equipment on the victim before me. But some other surgeon grabbed it first, so we were all waiting.
Wait didn’t matter to me. I was just lying naked under a sheet reading a book. The Bear had to sit next to me in the most uncomfortable chair on earth.
The surgeon could see her discomfort.
“I used to do 25 surgeries like this every day in Oregon,” he said. “Just had a space around the corner from my office. I’d shoot up their knees with novocaine, and fix the meniscus.”
“No anesthetic,” the Bear said.
“No, just the same stuff the dentist uses…”
I’m thinking why can’t we just do that here.
“But they don’t let you do that anymore,” the doc said. “You need general anesthetia, and a anesthesiologist or they won’t let you do it.”
“Can’t we just roll me out to the parking lot, shoot in the novocaine, and get this over with?” I asked.
“Not today,” he said. “Maybe next time.”
We waited some more. The shift changed for nurses.
Every 20 minutes or so, the loud speaker called out “Lift and roll in room X”
Looking around the pre-surgery beds, there were a bunch of thin, old people waiting their turns. The biggest one weighed about as much as my left leg.
“I feel sorry for the poor bastards who have to lift me on the table,” I said.
“You can get yourself on the table,” the Bear said with the kind of empathy a teacher shows toward a dog that eats homework.
“True, but they are going to have to lift my fat ass off it,” I said.
Finally, it was my turn. No parking lot surgery today. I’ll bet they had call twice to get a “full” lift and roll team for my surgery.
After surgery, my throat feels worse than my knee.
The novocaine doc prescribed 15 pain pills. Took one but didn’t even need it.
I think I’ll follow my doc around and sell the rest of my oxycotin out in the parking lot. Because dollars to donuts the next time that doc has to wait 3 hours to finish his surgeries, somebody is getting their knee done in the handicap spot.