So guess where I ended up on the Monday morning? If you guessed I was storming caves in Afghanistan looking for Osama/Saddam/WMD’s/Doughnuts then you’d be quite wrong.
No, I am back at the Emergency department of the Geelong hospital where I am quickly transferred to a plastic surgeon who is supposedly going to take some skin from my bottom and put it in the mangina. Luckily I have not had breakfast this morning (all New Year’s resolutions became null and void as soon as I hit the tow-bar) and so I can have surgery that day.
The rest of the day is spent in waiting rooms reading various magazines, most of which contain fascinating articles about Nicole Kidman that vastly contradict each other. I’m eventually moved into a bed where I have to change into one of those gowns that are made from the same material as Chux Superwipes, and a nurse offers to bring me a magazine. I inform her I’ve read all the ones with Nicole Kidman on the cover and upon her return, she mournfully tells me that there aren’t any others. Then she checks my heart rate and tells me I have a low resting pulse which is apparently a really good thing. I want to tell her that since I’ve been sitting doing nothing in a waiting room all day long, anything above 2bpm (that’s “beats per minute” for the lay-folk) should be cause for concern.
Then I am wheeled, yes wheeled, despite my ability to walk normally, to the operating room, although I’m pretty certain it is the corridor outside the operating room. Four people adorned in masks and gowns surround me and one of them injects something into the line that was previously placed into the back of my hand.
The next hour or so is pretty hazy. I was fully conscious, and all my senses were working perfectly, but I was completely unable to retain information given to me at the time. The best way I can think to describe it is the same physical sensation as being absolutely rip-roaring drunk, but without developing that level of reasoning that makes you crave hot dogs at 3am before sitting on the ground and crying unashamedly.
The doctors tell me that they’re not going to take my bottom flesh after all, but I can’t remember what they say they’re actually going to do within 10 seconds of them saying it. I’m lying down and my knee is bent with my foot flat on the bed so they can attack the mangina front on. I can feel scalpels, fingers and needles in and around the mangina, but it doesn’t hurt at all. I desperately want to look at what they’re doing, but they won’t let me.
Next thing I know I’m in another waiting room, mangina stitched up for a third time, and my housemate is on her way to pick me up. The nurse gives me some medication and some very specific instructions about when to take it. She offers to write it down, but I assure her I’ll remember…..