Yes, my butt.
I had a birthmark - a circular, brown birthmark about the size of a silver dollar - on my left butt cheek. It started to become discolored, and my doctor was concerned it may becoming cancerous. That's right ... I was in danger of having butt cancer.
So I needed to get it removed, which meant butt surgery. Imagine my embarrassment when I had to go into my boss at the newspaper, a rather fatherly man, and tell him I had to have surgery to get a mark removed from my ass. But I figured if I wasn't honest, the people at the newspaper would come up with much worse stories, as I would have to sit on an inflatable ring for at least a week - something they were bound to notice considering they were TRAINED observers. I could just imagine the jokes about hemorrhoids, anal sex, and tattoo removal that would follow. So I thought if I was at least up-front about my behind, I could at least milk the sympathy vote and put some of the speculation to rest.
So I went in to get my ass fixed, which required cutting out the chunk with the birthmark on it. I was actually feeling pretty good about it - for the first time I would have a nice pristine butt, instead of one with a big brown mark on it resembling a shit stain. I would at last be able to pursue my life long dream of being a butt model!
But as soon as I got to the hospital for the surgery, I was no longer feeling as happy or secure. In fact, what happened there made my ass pucker with worry that I may be butchered for life.
First, they needed to give me an IV of fluids to prepare me for surgery. The nurse told me she was going to inject numbing fluid into the vein for the IV. "It may burn a little at first," she said.
Well the bitch missed my vein all together, spreading this "numbing fluid" - which really felt like hydrochloric acid - everywhere into my arm and causing me to cry out something in pain ... I think it was ... "WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING?"
She stammered and told me she had only done this once or twice before, and I was making her nervous.
I was making HER nervous?
She then tried to insert the needle, which was roughly the size of the SPACE NEEDLE, and missed the vein again ... not just once, but FOUR TIMES. My arm looked like hamburger, and I was getting nauseous from having my arm impaled by a World's Fair icon. My husband, who was witnessing Nurse Ratched's handiwork, was also getting pissed.
"I think I'm going to get sick," I said to the nurse, asking for something I could throw up into. She ignored me.
"Really, I think I'm going to throw up," I said again ....
"For god-sakes woman, she's gonna puke!" my husband roared, pushing the nurse aside and bringing me the trash can from across the room. He was just in time.
"I, I ... I didn't know ..." the nurse stammered, and ran from the room.
My husband went and got another nurse, and after making her promise she had given hundreds of IVs and had not joined nursing because she had flunked out of beauty school, he allowed her to put the needle in my OTHER arm, since the other one was pretty much toast. This time, it worked. I almost hugged her in relief.
Then another nurse came in with a giant permanent marker and a bunch of stickers. After questioning me about which body part I was having surgery on, she made me turn over so my butt was exposed through the slit of my hospital gown.
"So which side of your bottom are you having surgery on?" she asked.
"The side with the birthmark on it," I said. I mean, DUH.
"So the left side?" she asked.
"Yes ..." I replied. I mean, was this really rocket science?
"I saw her write the words "remove birthmark" on a sticker with an arrow, and then she peeled it off and stuck it on my left butt cheek.
"And you aren't getting anything done on the right side?" she asked again, as if she didn't see how perfect my right butt cheek was already, or appreciate its beauty.
"No ... I would like that side to stay intact please," I said. She obviously had a vision problem, I thought.
I couldn't help but ask ... shouldn't the doctor already know what he is doing without having stickers and markers to guide him? Was he going to use a connect the dots book to help him finish the job?
"We just like to make sure everyone is very clear about what needs to be done. We've had some problems in the past ... you know ... MISTAKES," she whispered. "So we're really careful now."
Wow ...that was comforting. I was going in for ass surgery, but may come out missing a kidney, or maybe an arm. All of a sudden I was loving those stickers.
"Maybe you should put more on ..." I told the nurse. "I mean, let's be really REALLY careful, shall we?"
"You'll be fine," she said, as she picked up her remaining stickers and left the room. Why didn't I quite believe her?
A short time later, my husband said goodbye, as they told him I would be going into surgery soon. I didn't want him to go given the anxiety I had over the whole sticker situation, but I didn't want to be a baby either. So I kissed him and told him I'd see him soon. "I'll be the one with the pristine ass," I told him. Or the one arm. At this point, who knew?
As I waited for them to come get me for surgery, I lay in my room watching television. After one full episode of Rozanne, I started to worry. Where had everyone gone? Why hadn't anyone come in to check on me?
About 10 minutes later, a harried nurse I hadn't seen before burst into my room.
"Hi," she said, breathlessly.
"Hi," I replied.
"Um, have you happened to have surgery yet?" she said, looking me up and down, seemingly for scalpel marks.
"No, I'm waiting to go in," I said.
"Oh ... well then you aren't the one I'm looking for," she said. "We just lost someone coming out of surgery. You haven't seen anyone have you?"
"LOST?" I said, panic building in my voice. "What do you mean LOST?"
"Oh, I'm sure we'll find her ... this just happens now and then," she let out an uneasy giggle. "You know, big hospital ... well, have a good surgery." And she left as quickly as she came in.
HOLY SHIT. I was so out of here. They had to use stickers to remind them about what to operate on, and then lost patients coming out of surgery. What the fuck was I doing here???
But then another nurse came in, and before I could argue, run, or scream, she slipped something in my IV. Suddenly, the world got thick - like soup, and while the panic still lurked underneath, for the life of me I could not seem to act on it.
A male nurse came in to help the nurse who spiked my IV wheel me into surgery.
"Hey ..." I said very meekly, as I was trying to get my tongue to move around the blanket someone wrapped around it. "Hey buddy ..."
He leaned in close to try to hear me, and I used every single bit of the last of my energy to bring my hand up and grab him by the collar.
"My asssssss ... " I hissed. "Just my ass and nothing else ... and don't lose me or I'll fucking find YOU."
He just smiled and kind of patted me on the head. "No worries," he said. But his eyes said something different ... his eyes said "You are ours now, and we'll use you for any sick medical experiment that we damned well please, bitch."
I woke up about an hour later in the recovery room, a giant ice pack on my left butt-cheek and my husband at my side. It all went well, thanks to those stickers, no doubt. I'd be ready to shoot that butt calendar in a few months.
But ever since my experience, I don't trust hospitals anymore. Yesterday, as I saw my husband's surgeon sign his shoulder with a giant Magic Marker before operating, the whole episode of my butt came rushing back, and I made doubly sure that my husband was labeled properly and that I knew where he was at all times. Just in case.
Because, let's face it. When it comes to your health, you can't do enough to cover your ass. Even when it's not as fabulous as mine.