This was written for Write On Edge using the prompt:
For this week, write about a face to face meeting which, for better or for worse, doesn’t go as planned. Fiction or memoir, 450 words.
I’m choosing to do a memoir and if you are at all squeamish about medical looking stuff, blow past the picture because, unfortunately, it’s real.
I was pissy. Who am I kidding? I was much more than that at 9:00 a.m. when my assigned, “a-hole” of a neurosurgeon walked into the Intensive Care Unit of a rural-ish Indiana hospital.
A lot had happened to me in the 48 hours leading up to that Friday morning in late June.
I had an accident. A pretty big one.
I was extremely mad at myself for being so stupid and at what my foreseeable future likely held.
I was transported to “erehwon” (remember that store...Nowhere spelled backwards?) by a brand new high school diploma holding, 18 year old, whose father coincidentally owned the ambulance company. All I could think was, “Why the hell wasn’t I transported to Chicago?” A rhetorical question but my mind wasn’t operating on full cylinders.
I wasn’t allowed ANY food or beverage including ice chips (remember 48 hours!!!) because I likely had another surgery in my near future. So what if I vomit? (I actually did later missing the barf bowl and projectiling chunks of curdled chocolate malt across the room hitting a wall 10 feet away. Impressive!)
Seventeen hours earlier, Dr. A-hole shaved a quarter of my hair off, drilled four holes into my skull to affix four pins in order to stabilize my neck with a contraption called a “Halo”. It was to buy him time so he could figure out what to do with me. The halo would stay on for 12 weeks he informed me.
(Me, post first surgery after the Halo was "installed")
I had a shitty night nurse who left the door open on my automatic pain medicine machine. So no matter how many times I pushed the little button on which I had a death grip and was supposed to dispensed narcotics every 8 minutes, nothing happened. I pushed it every 2 minutes hoping for a miracle knowing I only got a bump when it beeped. Sigh……And when the day nurse discovered “Mindy’s” mistake at shift change, all she said was “Oops!”
Granted, this doctor walked into a whole world of trouble but his attitude sucked and everyone in the room agreed (including the nurse). No questions were tolerated as he announced his vacation time through Monday. His partners would look in on me over the weekend and they'd determine my status on Monday.
I asked, temples throbbing with pain, “Is it going to hurt this much for the next 12 weeks?”
“Are you planning for pain management ‘cause it really hurts?”
“I don’t think that should be your worry right now!”
“So basically, you’re telling me to just suck it up?”
“Yes. That's right.”
I looked right at him without blinking and simply said, “You’re fired. Scott hire Dr. McGee.”
He turned on his heels and walked out of my room never to be seen again.
Blogger’s Note: My new surgeon operated within 24 hours and on a Saturday assuring me my neck would be like new.