Driving Mr. Daisy
He was told that he was not allowed to drive after his colonoscopy. “Will you be my designated driver?”
“Okay.” I said, and I drove him.
We left Wednesday morning for the hospital. When we got there, they ushered Mr. Daisy into a room in the pre-op ward, and I waited in the surgery lobby with my novel.
During the prep for his colonoscopy, a nurse came out and said that Mr. Daisy was asking for me. I followed her to the pre-op ward. I walked down the aisle of small “rooms” delineated by blue drapes. Along the ceiling large photos of peaceful wooded glens and flowering meadows covered the neon lights. Nice effect.
The nurse showed me into Mr. Daisy’s room. He had just been given a shot to make him drowsy, but he was still just conscious enough to hear me read to him. Another nurse was typing his stats on the computer in his room. I sat down and looked around at the machine readouts of his blood pressure, blood rate and blood gases.
“Look at that, his heart rate is going down. Is he falling asleep?” I said to the nurse.
The nurse looked up, “Yes, that’s normal. His rate will go up and down, right now.” She finished her typing and handed me a sheet of paper. “This is a list of all the things Mr. Daisy needs to do after surgery today. He needs to read it.”
I said to Mr. Daisy, “Carl, honey, you need to read this.” He looked at me groggily, and I asked where his glasses were. The nurse said they were with his clothing under the bed. I started to get them, but she said, “I think it would be better if you read the instructions to him.”
I sat back down and started reading, “For your protection, your doctor recommends that you read and follow the instructions.”
I looked at Mr. Daisy to see if he was listening. His eyes were slightly open. I continued.
“1. You may feel bloated for a few hours and experience some gas pains. We encourage you to pass gas to relieve pressure/or gas pains.” I commented, “Oh, look honey, you have permission to fart just this one time.”
I started to read again, but the nurse had burst out laughing. I looked up again not realizing what was so funny, but her laughter was contagious and I laughed too.
After a bit, I continued reading the list of eight things he had to do, or call, or not take, during the next seven days of recovery. When I finished, I gave Mr. Daisy a kiss and said, “I’ll see you in a little while, honey.”
I waited back in the lobby, reading my novel, and glancing occasionally at the computer readout of patients’ status. Mr. Daisy was just moved to post-op.
Another nurse came to the lobby for me. Surprisingly, we went to the same room where he had pre-op. When I got there, a nurse handed over some photos of Mr. Daisy’s colonoscopy and a copy of the doctor’s post-op report. When the doctor came in he explained how the surgery went, what he found and pointed at various places on the photos of things he had removed.
On the way home, Mr. Daisy told me that he had been listening, and watching me read the post-op recovery instructions. He said, “It was your straight face and deadpan voice that caused the nurse to laugh when you said I had a license to fart.”
“I didn’t say you had a license to fart.”
“Yeah, you did.”
“I said you had permission to fart.”
“Same difference!” he grinned.
When we got home, I read the doctor’s post-op report again. At the bottom of the page were the results of the operation. “Results: Removed today: 4 polyps, 3 rocks, 2 apple seeds, and a monkey wrench. Next visit: three years.”
Winter 2016 Contest Submission #1
Tuesday, January 26, 2016 4:39 AM
By Linda Judd