Cutting it Close

Two months ago I had a cyst removed from my back (which was later deemed “benign” meaning “ugly and worthless”). Unbeknownst to me, the surgeon used dissolvable stitches under the skin. Had he told me that’s what he was using I would have shouted, “STOP EVERYTHING YOU’RE DOING,” because my body rejects those stitches and attempts to kick them out like the deadbeat boyfriends that they are. Well, my body did that and it was disgusting. I called yesterday and when the nurse told me she could get me in this morning to have the incision re-examined, I said, “Ok,” without thinking.
Abe does not have school on Tuesdays (today) so I whisked him into the car early to take him to my appointment. I assumed that since we were just re-examining I would be there for 10 minutes. Never assume.
When I got Abe out of the car the first thing I noticed was that I am the mom who forgets to put shoes on her baby. Yep. Barefoot in Florida. Super classy.
I casually carried Abe inside as if I HAD his shoes but was just CHOOSING not to put them on him because “I love holding him so much.” After about 5 minutes I finally had to put him down. Cover blown.
We were immediately called back to an exam room and the surgeon took a look. No, more than a look. He started jabbing at my skin with a saw and a hammer. I’m pretty sure. “Oh. Wow. Yeah, we’re going to have to open this up and re-stitch. It’s not going to heal this way.”
“Oh wow, ok,” I said, “Well, I can make an appointment to come back.”
“No need,” the surgeon replied. “We can do it right now.”
“No, I have my son with me.” And he’s barefoot. In a surgeon’s office.
“That’s ok. The nurses will entertain him.”
He left the room and the nurse asked me to take my shirt off and lie down. Ordinarily I would make a joke about her moving too quickly for my taste but I had to get this over with. I set up a Mickey Mouse for Abe on the iPad and got him a snack. I got up on the table and the nurse began to numb my back. Then I heard that sound that cereal makes when you pour it out of the box directly onto the floor. In the surgeon’s office. While my kid has no shoes on. I’M AN AMAZING MOM.
I did my best to get the cereal away from him with my one arm hanging off the table. Then he turned off his movie. So I turned it back on with one hand, repeating, “Bring it here. Let mommy fix it. Now don’t touch it again. Let mommy see it. Right here.” I was then forced to hold the iPad with one hand while gripping the table with the other hand, trying not to cry while the nurse administered the lidocaine. It took 2 full syringes because of the scar tissue that already started forming. That’s about 10 minutes of numbing and, if you’ve ever been numbed, you can feel the entire process contrary to its purpose.
I amazed even myself with the amount of fun things my left hand is capable of doing to entertain Abe. One of the nurses blew up a surgical glove which was both incredibly creepy and very sweet. Abe actually hated it and started to cry. I made faces and tickled his tummy and talked to him. He stopped freaking out and started watching Mickey. And then it happened.
Ding. Ding.
That’s the sound the iPad makes when it’s running out of battery life. We had 20 minutes before Mickey Mouse left and Tantrum 2012 entered. WHERE IS THE SURGEON?
The surgeon finally came in to do his thing while I tried to pretend like I wasn’t scarring my child by letting him hang out in the room while I had my back cut open. I ended up getting 10 more stitches before the ordeal was over. All while I held an iPad off the table with one hand.
Before he left, the surgeon casually said, “Ok. No heavy lifting or aggressive movements with your torso.” I looked at Abe. Then I looked back at the surgeon.
“Ok.”
Mickey miraculously lasted through the entire little surgery which could only remind me of the Hanukkah and the oil burning for 8 whole days. Tonight my back feels like someone cut it open and then stitched it back together with a needle and thread. And Abe still doesn’t have shoes. Tomorrow HAS to be a better day, right?

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