Saturday, December 10, 2016


Recently I accompanied TLW (The Little Woman) to the hospital to have a cyst removed from her cheek, just over her left jaw bone, a procedure that requires a surgeon or do-it-yourself surgery kit. We opted for the surgeon, a very happy and corny man. We’ll call him Dr. Ono, who stands just over 4’6” and is wearing platform shoes.

TLW described her first visit to the good doctor as an almost homecoming. Dr. Ono met with her in his office and explained the procedure and as she departed, he hugged her goodbye. Nice way to have confidence in your surgeon.

The hospital was St. Catherine of Sienna in Smithtown, NY. At one time, it was Saint John’s Episcopal Hospital, but there weren’t enough sick Episcopalians doctoring so they sold it to the Catholics, who it seems are always ailing about something or another.

We arrive at the prescribed time of 6:45 AM, where we were immediately set into motion, that is, she was escorted to a bed while I was told to sit and wait, something I’ve had to do all my life one way or another.

The joy of waiting is not something you take for granted, especially when your doctor is not expected at the hospital until 8:00 AM and you are not the first patient on the schedule. Give a medical schedule maker a little power and they will keep you in their power with waiting and rules. You must have rules: “NO EATING FROM TUESDAY THE WEEK BEFORE THE PROCEDURE, NO MEDICATIONS 5 MONTHS PRIOR TO THE PROCEDURE AND OF COURSE, NO JEWELRY ON THE DAY OF THE PROCEDURE!”

The real fun of the ‘procedure’ of course is the uncertainty, as they call me in to sit with TLW. She is a trooper, a great example of a good patient in her rubber bonnet and funny socks, sitting there waiting for me with a smile on her face. I find her surgical section bed along with a long line of beds with patients. No one under the age of 60 is allowed in this area and even the nurses and aids are all over the minimum age. This is important as one can then complain and they will give you the standard reply: “Are you telling me! Let me tell you…”

By 8:00 AM I’m starting to think about food, lots of it, and I know where there is some, but won’t (out of loyalty) go and eat while TLW has to suffer, but boy, once they take her away for the procedure, off I will go for a cup of coffee.

Someone comes to push TLW to the operating room, and healthy as he is, I almost want to help him push. We arrive in the pre-operative room where we will be interviewed by the total population of Smithtown asking the same questions we already answered ten times since we got here, and of course, the very same questions we answered on countless forms prior to arriving here in pre-operative visits to the doctor’s weeks before. I guess the ink they use is only good for a short while.

Everything was going fine until the esteemed Dr. Ono arrived, who looked at her cheek, marked it, (He hates to make mistakes) and told me there should be no hickeys on that side of her face for a while. I asked about the other side and said: “Why not?”


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