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07 September 2010

All's well that ends well

"Give me a call when I've to pick you up, okay? And good luck!" says Alfie, warming his car engine with a couple of wrom wrom. 

"Sure honey, now go and watch Alice," I whisper, making my way through the hospital at 7am. I feel vaguely weak. I'm always this non functional when I have to wake up early. Fortunately I don't need action today, so I don't have to wish I were an early bird for once.

Breakfast smells follow me all around while I walk fast to reach the main elevator. I followed the procedures to the letter, I certainly won't ruin them for a cappuccino.

The Gynecology Department is quiet at this hour, you can only hear crying babies from the distance. That strangely calms me. I take a sit and open the book I took with me where my bookmark is. You always prepare for the worse in Italian hospitals. Even a fixed appointment can end up in an endless queue. 

This time, though, the nurse makes her grand way surprisingly on time and gives me and the other 2 waiting ladies some papers for admittance. Wow, that's what I call ambitious efficiency! Even the employers at the reception downstairs don't look like bored to death. We're surely making progress here. I nod, smiling.

And then I take my sit again, at the same place, because that's what I was told to do, full of hopes for a quick recovery. I'm booked in for a routine day surgery, it shouldn't be awful. But, hey, remember? We're in Italy, the land of anarchy. You better be alert and be prepared for some last minute incombence. 

Which doesn't seem to be the case today. We're matter-of-factly assigned to our rooms and told to wear the sterile gowns. Good. Before I finish with mine (complicated), the porter arrives and picks up the first patient. Within minutes another one shows and says it's my turn. I've to close my book once again. I usually don't like being disturbed when I read, but I can make an exception and be glad this time. I want to get out of this stressful situation soon.

So, I'm being transported now. The world is a bit scary from the trolley, maybe that's why I try to get comfort from this poor guy here. Just me and him on the elevator, minutes before the smooth flow of operations. He must be used to deal with patients of all types and I wonder what he thinks of me. Of this lady trying to look confident and whom he had to persuade not to take her book with her, because books are not admitted in the operating room.

"What risk can I cause if I read on my own in the waiting room?" He didn't answer to me on that, but I'm sure I had a point. 

'It's just a minor surgery!' is my mantra. Still important enough to need sedation, though. I don't like to get to sleep through it, I prefer being alert. But then I won't prevent the pain. Bah! These are a few questions for the anesthesiologist. I make mental notes to remind him.

The room is busy but organized. I wonder who's the surgeon who'll fix my uterine cavity. Maybe the funny guy who laughs and jokes on the phone. The lady next to me starts claiming she wasn't given the 40 Valium drops she was promised. Her turn is about to come and she's not relaxed yet. A few masked people try to calm her down. My ideal surgeon interrupts his chat and comes to pick her up. Way to go, maybe he'll go on a break afterwards and I'll be operated by someone else. C'est la vie!

So what am I supposed to do now that I'm waiting? I wasn't allowed to take my book here, and watching masked people or listening to detailed surgeon phone conversations start being boring for the most avid writers too. I lost track of hours, the world outside goes on without me. Alice will be watching her morning cartoons by  now, with Al probably persuading her to drink her daily glass of milk. Milk annoys her during summer. I forgot to tell Al not to insist on it. Argh!

I better stop worrying, if another baby arrives I'll have to be more flexible. IF, because babies don't come easy to me. It took me a miscarriage and 3 months in bed to have Alice, and it's already taking me 2 day surgeries to hope for the second. There're many obstacles on my way. It still may be a divine plan for conversion. Mmmh! 

My mom used to say that, had she waited her 30's to have babies, like women tend to do nowadays, she probably wouldn't have been a mother at all, because by 35 she had her first myomas removed and  later had all reproductive organs removed. And each time it was a drama. Each time she lived this common problem as something extremely hideous, an attack to her femininity, with the consequent destabilization of her already weak self. 

Same with her mother. My grandmother had hysterectomy at 40, just a few months before I was born. Both my mother and grandmother  found it  mean to talk about this ... genetic factor. The fact they had babies very young was the only concession they made to me. Thus they could be outraged to read this post if 1. they spoke English 2. they knew what a blog is in the first place and, least but not last, if they were told about this. Well, sorry, madams, but I had to open up. Your dramas don't mean a thing to me.

"Are you all right?". A firm voice coming from a masked nurse interrupts my disturbing thoughts.

What the hell, no, I'm not all right at all! I'd like to have a normal upbringing family, someone I could rely on  in times of trouble. Because, you probably don't know, young nurse, but each time there was a problem in my family, I had to be the strong one. Damn, I wish we all were in a good place right now, but we aren't. And they don't care, otherwise they'd know I'm queing in an operating room and if things were normal I could even accept their weak points and laugh about them. You know?

"Your turn will be in a minute, we're restocking, okay?," she continues in a reassuring tone. No, she doesn't know. Yuck!

I'd like to be helped emotionally at times, while today the only help I get is to be positioned on the operating table. Okay, let's get things done. Let's play Warrior Elda once again. I can handle that. The anesthesiologist arrives and asks me if I'm all right. So the funny, talkative guy wasn't the surgeon. And where's the surgeon anyway? Wow, this room looks like the one in the ER show. Now what was it ... that I wanted ... to ask to the ane ...esthesiol ...ogist ... yawn, i feel sleepy. What's ... that ... I ... wanted to ask to ...

Bip - Bip - Bip - Bip. Patient's heart being monitored. 
All's regular. 
Nasty polyps are being removed now.


  1. You were there all by yourslef? Oh Elda........

  2. well, yes roula, i'm like this all the time :(


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