Friday, November 21, 2008

Septoplasty - 1

There were morbid moments that had the air of ceremony. On the form: List your next of kin. And the small, mustachioed man at the intake desk asking, Any particular religious preference? Funny way to ask that question. Like he was asking what vodka I wanted in a bloody mary. Whatever's fine, I should've said. But I said, emphatically, None at all, and his reaction was like that was precisely what he wanted and expected me to say. And when the surgeon handed me a form and said with a forced chuckle, This makes people nervous when we ask them; it really shouldn't, but we have to ask anyway. It was consent to receive a blood transfusion, should the need arise. Initial here. It didn't make me nervous. Once, the litany of questions asked again and again by various parties - Do you smoke? Do you drink? How much? Do you take drugs? Any allergies? - took an abrupt turn when recited by a clipboard-carrying nurse: Are you a Jehovah's Witness... at all? She stumbled a bit at the absurdity of it. I think that's why she added "at all," as though I might be one just a little and that may still pose some sort of problem. I'm thinking about it... I'm almost one, frankly. But I reassure her no. OK, because they don't take blood transfusions, she said quickly, and hurried to the next question.