You want to trust the doctors
Their procedure is the best
But the last try was a failure
And the intern was a mess *


I don’t like the term surgery, so for the purpose of this post, it’s a procedure. Got it? Good.

And don’t worry—everything went fine, except for one aspect that is almost too horrifying to relate. Due to ridiculously stringent anesthesia rules, I had to go without food or liquid for what ended up being 19 hours.

I’ll let this sink in for a minute.

JD: foodless and liquidless. For 19 hours.

OK, let’s move on.

I was supposed to have this procedure at my doctor’s office. That sounds so much better than surgery at the hospital, right? Well, my insurance company didn’t agree. Apparently they translate “procedure at a doctor’s office” to mean “patient dies on the table,” because they wouldn’t cover it.

Have I told you how much I hate hospitals? It doesn’t help that I’m something of a germophobe—which is NOT a bad thing, by the way. I hate hospitals for all the reasons everyone hates hospitals: they smell funny, sick people hang out there, fashion choices are limited, and germs can kill you. Still, I wanted to get this thing done, so off to the hospital I went.

My mom went with me, which was only fair, as I’ve accompanied her on numerous recent hospital visits. She’s quite an expert on how it all goes down.

“Now, you’ll go into a room and they’ll give you a gown and you have to take off ALL your clothes, even your underpants . . .”

“Mom, I know—I’ve been there with you and I’ve heard all about the underpants.” (I’ve witnessed some minor skirmishes between hospital personnel and my weakened but stubborn mom over her demand to keep her underwear.)

“. . . and then when you’re all done, they’ll bring you back to the room and I’ll be waiting here and they’ll bring you an Otis Spunkmeyer muffin and your choice of juice.”

I can’t believe she remembers all these details better than I do, considering she was the one coming out of anesthesia.

As promised by my mom, the nurse came in to take some blood, but apparently there was no blood to be had, as my veins had collapsed from dehydration. Damn, that sounds kind of serious! But she tried another vein, and was able to squeeze out a few drops. I suddenly felt very pale and weak, even tho I’d felt fine before the bloodletting had begun.

The nurse held aloft a plastic cup and announced that she’d need a urine sample.

Lady, didn’t you just tell me I’m dehydrated? If I don’t have any blood, how am I supposed to come up with urine? But the Bladder Gods were on my side, and I was able to produce enough for a sample.

After I handed over the cup, the nurse filled me in on the plan.

“So your surgery is scheduled for 1:00 . . .”


“You’ll need to put on these surgical socks . . .”

“Procedural socks!”

“And the surgeon . . .”


“. . . needs you to have all your undergarments removed.”

My mom smiled triumphantly.

If you have to sit in a hospital room wearing procedural socks and no underpants, watching “Maury” on TV with your mom isn’t a bad way to do it. I forgot all about my procedure as we learned that Clayton was back on the show a second time to share a devastating secret with his wife.

“He’s gay!” I shouted, but, no, it was the other secret: he had slept with the babysitter. The wife and babysitter proceeded to kill each other.

“Do you have to be obese to be on this show?” my mom asked.

We were just about to find out if the babysitter was pregnant when my transport arrived. I let him know in no uncertain terms that I wasn’t going anywhere until I heard the pregnancy test results. He was more than happy to stick around and watch for a few minutes, but damn that Maury, he introduced a new guest with a new devastating secret. Fine. Let’s go.

“Bye, Mom!” As I’m wheeled away, she tells me to be good, a sure sign she’s emotional, because she would never say that otherwise. Aw. Moms rule! But I hate, hate, hate this part. Why don’t they let you walk? When you’re done, you’re doped up and feeling vulnerable and you’re GLAD someone is wheeling you, all bundled up and goofy, to your room. But when you’re completely lucid it seems a shame to take a perfectly good gurney from someone who may really need it.

I sit in the holding area for about 15 minutes, where I overhear a woman explain that she’d suffered a stroke after a chiropractic adjustment. Yikes. So that isn’t an urban legend.

I meet my anesthetist, who is maybe 12. In fact, looking around at all the nurses and assistants, I notice they’re all really young. Except, uh-oh. There’s a REALLY old lady over there. What’s she doing here? She’s about 80. She’s in scrubs and a hairnet thing. Don’t let her near me! Much to my relief, a nice teenager comes over to stick a needle in my hand.

“OK, we’re going to take you into the operating room . . .”

“Procedure room!”

The room is very bright and cold. I do love a cold room. I get shifted onto a heated bed and immediately begin to sweat. That needle in my hand really hurts, and I mention it to the nice young girl who may or may not have any medical training. She promises me I won’t feel it in a minute. I want to argue with her, but suddenly I’m unconscious.

Aaaand . . . blam! I’m conscious again. We’re all done! The procedure was a howling success. I’m returned to my room and my mom, who looks all goopy and momlike.

The nurse came in shortly after. People, let me give you some advice. If you ever have any kind of medical procedure, no matter how minor, when the nurse asks you a question, the answer is always “Vicodin.” Here are some sample Q&A’s:

“How are you feeling?”


“Can I get you anything?”


“Do you feel like you could eat something?”


“Did you put your underpants back on?”


See how “Vicodin” works for all of those questions? I had a crazy nurse who asked if I wanted Motrin or “something stronger.” Why is there even a need for that question? Who would ever pick Motrin when you can have “something stronger”?

“Vicodin,” I said firmly.

I waited eagerly for my Vicodin and my Otis Spunkmeyer muffin and choice of juice, but when the nurse returned, the tray held only a pile of crackers and water. And one measly Vicodin.

Seriously, who takes just one Vicodin? The last time I took only one pill was probably when I was a baby. Mind you, I was hardly in any pain, but I wanted what was coming to me: drugs, and lots of them. Still, the Vicodin did the job, which was to make me feel rewarded for my ordeal. I wish I could say the same for the crackers and water.

After our traditional post-hospital trip to Starbuck’s, my mom brought me home, where, under my doctor’s orders, I began my 2-day stint as a couch potato. This is one thing I’m happy to do so you don’t have to.

Hey, what time is “Maury” on?

* Today’s lyrics are courtesy of REM

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21 Responses to “I Had Surger . . . a Procedure”

  1. 1 Jeff

    Bravo! That was the funniest romp through an underpantless surgery – I mean procedure – I’ve read so far. I’m glad your surgery – I mean procedure – went well.

    Are you off the crackers yet?

  2. 2 piper

    That was hilarious! Glad things went well.

    Off the top of my head, btw, the babysitter was probably pregnant, but in a twist and a breathless open-the-manila-envelope-already-pause later – Clayton would find out he is NOT the father. He would then jump up and down and wreck a couple chairs in joy while she would run sobbing into the back room – allowing Maury to once more indulge his patented paternalistic approach.

    piper’s last blog post..NORAD tracks Santa…

  3. 3 pawhealer

    Tell me the surg…oops I mean “procedure” was something interesting…like lets say;’ A Facelift, or how about a little nip and tuck around the ole eyes?

  4. 4 Tim

    I was in for a procedure once. That knocked out, then instantly awake afterward thing is pretty weird! Hopefully the results are what you were looking for. Of course, most of us have no idea what was accomplished, so we just have to speculate….. object removal? No, that doesn’t sound like JD….. Sex change?.. Probably wrong again….. and an object removal is sometimes a sex change…. I think I’m on the wrong track here!

    Tim’s last blog post..What’s on The Menu

  5. 5 Kathy

    Hilarious!!! I just love a good underpants-removing, Maury-watching, Vicodin-taking story! I’m thinking if you could go without eating for 19 hours, you could be a contestant on Survivor. The only way I could go without eating that long is if I was already anesthetized!

    Kathy’s last blog post..I’m Forgetful, I’m Stupid, and I’m Old

  6. 6 JD

    Jeff: Thanks! Glad you liked it. I don’t think you can miss if you’re writing about underpants. I was “off the crackers” within an hour, since my mom and I stopped at Starbuck’s and I loaded up on hot chocolate and a pumpkin scone. But I sure missed that stupid muffin.

    Piper!: Well, the cat is out of the bag. You are addicted to “Maury.” No one else could predict the ending to Clayton and The Babysitter’s Saga more accurately. HA! I love “patented paternalistic approach”!

    Pawhealer: (I haven’t forgotten about your meme, by the way.)

    Oh, no! I don’t want anyone to think I had cosmetic surgery. I was going to say, I don’t think you have to remove your underpants for anything cosmetic, but…yeah, you could, of course. No, this was strictly for my health and affected only my innards.

    Tim: Yes, it is weird to be out then in, or up, or whatever. I like the speculation game. I did have an object removed, but if you’re a typically squeamish male like my husband, you may not want to know any more about it.

    Kathy!: Thanks! High praise coming from the keeper of The Junk Drawer. Of course for part of that 19 hours I was anesthetized, and then when you wake up, the hunger isn’t as intense, thanks to painkillers. In fact, Vicodin is an amazing appetite suppressant, which makes it even easier to understand how people get addicted.

    JD’s last blog post..I Had Surger . . . a Procedure so you don’t have to

  7. 7 Canucklehead

    Stupid Maury! Always with his “Yes Canucklehead — you ARE the father!” ways.
    On an unrelated note, I don’t know if you are down with the whole meme thing – but I’ve tagged you with one on my site – participation is completely optional.

  8. 8 JD

    CanuckleheadWow, everyone hates Christmas music but LOVES Maury! What wouldn’t I give to hear Maury say, “Yes, Canucklehead, you ARE the father!

    I got your meme! I might just do this one!

    JD’s last blog post..I Had Surger . . . a Procedure so you don’t have to

  9. 9 Elle

    It must be surg — uh procedure week! Although my show was the new Price is Right with Drew “sweat my back hair off” Carey. And I got to keep the underpants on. The dentist could have never gotten away with that one.

    Elle’s last blog post..Spoiled Passive Aggressive Male People, and I Mean That in the Nicest Possible Way.

  10. 10 Lord Likely

    I dislike hospitals as well.

    If people want to prod and probe me, then all they need to do is take me out for a nice meal first.

  11. 11 Ernie

    Yeah, I don’t really care much for proceduralists or proceduritals either.

    Ernie’s last blog post..Not Your Typical Philologist

  12. 12 JD

    Elle: Ugh, I don’t know which is worse: the dentist or that squinty, sweaty Drew Carey. Hope everything came out OK (lucky you, getting to keep your underpants on!)

    Lord Likely: Something tells me you’ve been treated to a lot of nice meals.

    Ernie: I guess no one likes these types of things, whatever you call them. May your New Year be free of all things procedure.

    JD’s last blog post..I Had Surger . . . a Procedure so you don’t have to

  13. 13 cyberpunk

    wow a “procedure” :D

    i don’t get why hospitals insist on patients removing their underpants though. my aunt had eye surgery and she had to remove her underpants as well.

    cyberpunk’s last blog post..Runaway Things and Freaky Gadgets

  14. 14 JD

    cyberpunk: YES! My mom had cataract surgery, and off came her underpants! What’re they doing down there? Maybe it has to do with catheters–something I don’t really care to think about anyway.

    Underpants Forever!

    JD’s last blog post..I Had Surger . . . a Procedure so you don’t have to

  15. 15 fracas


    Sorry, it does not work for everything. How about, “Glad your procedure went well.”

    But you know… if you go without underpants all the time…

    nevermind. Vicodin.

    fracas’s last blog post..Medical Myths Even Doctors Believe.

  16. 16 JD

    Fracas: I dunno. If it’s between getting your good wishes about my procedure or getting Vicodin, I gotta think about it.

    Don’t you just love saying, “underpants”?


    JD’s last blog post..I Love Christmas so you HAVE to!

  17. 17 fracas

    LOL, no.. I meant it didn’t work as a greeting.

    But sure.. not only do I love saying underpants, I obviously love posting pictures of them at fracas too!

    fracas’s last blog post..Medical Myths Even Doctors Believe.

  18. 18 JD

    Fracas: Well, we’ll just have to MAKE it work as a greeting:



    Where are these pictures of underpants on your site?

    Mike + Rowe + underpants?

    JD’s last blog post..I Love Christmas so you HAVE to!

  19. 19 fracas

    Dang it JD… I thought you had surgery so I wouldn’t have to. I’ve gone and had to.

    Does that mean I get to choose another thing for you to do for me so I don’t have to?

    I hope so.


    fracas’s last blog post..By: fracas

  20. 20 Dehydration

    Hilarious!!! I just love a good underpants-removing, Maury-watching, Vicodin-taking story! I’m thinking if you could go without eating for 19 hours, you could be a contestant on Survivor. The only way I could go without eating that long is if I was already anesthetized!

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