At ten Friday morning, Beloved and I walked together the block east from the hotel to the clinic, and presented ourselves in the waiting room. Annie, in an O.R. gown and cap, was at the reception desk. She spotted us and picked up the phone. "The patient is here."
She walked us through the cap-and-gown routine, and led me into the familiar operating room.
Anne appeared. "Okay, Risa, we're going to do a dry shave here, as you may remember, then we're going to do a local."
The local was new. This time I would be awake through the whole thing. The numbing began right way.
"Is that a Lidocaine or Prilocaine?"
"It's Novocaine, honey."
Dr. Reed came in. He poked around a bit. "Did you feel any of that?"
"Umm, no. Unless you mean other than as pressure?"
"Some pressure is fine. How about here?"
"Good, I think we're ready to begin."
In the reflection from the huge lampshade overhead, with its hundreds of Fresnel lenses, I could see everything that was happening. In a vague way, I could feel it, too, but relatively painlessly.
Dr. Reed is very much in command when he's working. Sometimes he sounds like he's being sharp with the people around him, but you can tell from their responses that they don't seem to have a problem with it. He wants their best, and they want to give their best.
I felt a cold bump, way down on my fanny.
"That wasn't supposed to go there," he said, in his joking voice.
For about five seconds, I didn't quite have a response to that, but began trying to stifle a giggle.
It wasn't working.
My belly began dancing with the suppressed chuckles, and Anne and Annie became quite alarmed.
"What's happening?" asked Annie, wide-eyed.
"I don't know!" Anne looked at my face. "Oh -- I don't believe it -- she's laughing!"
"S'okay, honey. Quit trying to hold it in or we'll all get seasick."
But then Dr. Reed got into an area that wasn't done yet.
"Woops, we need some more anaesthetic there, Anne."
"Here we go."
Now I was quietly weeping. It wasn't much of an owie, I mean, I've been through worse with electrolysis, but the contrast from only a few minutes earlier was striking.
Too, I think there may have been some disassociative emotion, either way, such as one gets with nitrous oxide, that could be attributed to the sedation. Y'think?
Afterwards, I was helped out to the recovery room, where I thought I spent half an hour watching the BP/pulse monitor, only to find that when Beloved came to collect me, it was after four in the afternoon. I had slept for three hours.