First Posted: 9/18/2013
Raise your hand if you’re sick and tired of reading about my boobs! The only hand I see raised is that of my husband, and he doesn’t count, so here I go.
In and out these boobies go … this time, in again. I think they should probably just stay in inventory, within the cozy recess of Dr. Bruno’s Magic Boob Room and I should just carry a pair of shoulder pads in my purse and Velcro them to my chest whenever I need a little “projection.”
Well , like Groundhog Day, I was again atop the OR table and again Dr. Bruno performed the ritual I’m certain he can do both in his sleep and while golfing. (He knows what I mean). I feel like the Geisinger pre-op and post-op peeps are now related to me and I’m comfortable enough to walk around bare-butted and filter-free at leisure when I visit their ‘hood every third month.
We don’t even pretend to be professional any longer. We exchange recipes, chat about ungrateful children and the fact everyone involved both in my surgery and in the waiting room chairs will be golfing the next day, with no care for my health, wellness and puke-to-pill ratio. We’ve all become buds.
(Even Rosie, the post-op volunteer, came over to give me love and tell me she reads this column consistently. Hi, Rosie! And thank you for proving to my husband that more people read this than the 12 members of my extended family. I owe you one. See you in three months).
My kids have become completely immune and unemotional to these gala affairs. Everyone used to care. Now my 15-year-old was more concerned about scraping 59 bucks together in time for the stupid midnight release of “Grand Theft Auto” and my husband was more concerned they didn’t have the ESPN station in the waiting room. I would even say irate.
According to my phone, though, there was hope.
Post-surgery, I noticed three missed calls from my recently college-bound son, Nicholas. Once awake, yet not quite myself, I called back.
“Yes, Nick?” He must be so worried! Three calls!
“Yeah, hey Mom. Put Dad on the phone. It’s important.”
“Um…Nick…didn’t you want to ask me how I’m feeling?”
“Why? What did you do now? Did you sideswipe someone in Gerrrity’s parking lot and blame it on Grampa again?”
“Noooo…I had surgery today…”
“OH! YES! I KNEW that! I did. I really did. You’re okay, right? I thought so. I mean, it’s like tire rotation…every few months whether you need it or not, right? Heh-heh-heh. Good job, Maria. Now give the phone to dad. It’s urgent. It’s about wrestling.”
Thank God. I thought it may have been about, you know, classes and grades and tests and crap like that. Like father, like son.
My daughter, now a nursing student, came home to visit. I thought this would be an ideal on-the-job exercise for her. Help me to the bathroom. Help change my bandages. Help empty my drain. (It’s not hyperbole. It’s an actual drain attached to my breast).
She came into my room, plopped down on the bed and stared at me. “Man, Mom, you need a makeover.”
“I have two boobs now. That’s not enough of a makeover for you?”
“You have really enormous bags under your eyes and you look so pasty. And there is a Band Aid stuck in your hair. I need to help you.”
“I’m glad to hear you say that, honey. Can you get me some ice cream?”
“You don’t need that. Too much sugar. Empty calories. Bad. I’ll make you a nice plate of brown rice and then I’m giving you a makeover.”
She will make a spectacular nurse. Very compassionate.
My anesthesiologist (in my mind) was in cahoots with my husband and gave me enough sedation to make a horse sleep for three days. And I’m the horse.
So while I lie, inert, gumming my pain pills and brown rice, my daughter sets out her wares: false eyelashes, foundation, mascara, eyeliner, blush, eye shadow and some stupid thing called primer. PRIMER!
She got to work. And it was work. She honest-to-God gave me a makeover, post-surgery. All I wanted was some lousy ice cream.
We had trouble from the get-go when I passed-out during the false eyelash application. The glue got stuck to my cornea. We pried it apart using a hot washcloth and a letter opener. I was good to go.
By the time she was complete, I looked like Cher, off-off-off Broadway. And not the real Cher, either; the male impersonation of Cher. And I am not judging, people. Not the way I looked. Call me Bob in Drag…with a drain.
I suppose after it was all said and done, the makeover took my mind off my pain and my daughter gave me a useful pep talk about how I needed to combat my crêpe paper-like eyelids. It also involved surgery.
I asked: “Girl, what possesses you? I’m good enough the way I am. Good enough. Sure I’m as bruised and battered as last season’s honeydew melon, but I thought I was kind-of okay. Why am I not okay?”
She paused, looked sadly at me, took my bandaged, limp hand in hers and said: “Oh, honey. Okay isn’t good enough. You want to be spectacular. Do you want people to keep asking if you’re Anne’s mother? Heck. No. Sure, it’s what inside that makes the person, but your outside is a tad beat-up. So tomorrow…we’ll try waxing those George Bush eyebrows and your Jiunta family mustache. Fun!”
All I wanted was some lousy ice cream.