Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Hip Replacement 2.0: The Anti-Ass Strikes Back

Long-time readers of this blog will know that nothing in my life is ever simple. If I walk to the gas station to buy a Diet Coke, I am bound to be roped into conversation by some random stranger eager to tell me about the City of Urbana's housing bylaws in regards to porches (true story). If I go for a drive, there's a pretty good chance that I'll take a wrong turn and end up in the next state. If I go on a vacation to Turkey, it's nearly assured that I will end up using the phrase "but it said the massage parlour was non-sexual on the brochure!"

Yes, life in Arley-Ville is rarely straight-forward, though it's never dull. After all, if I'd had a straight-forward hip replacement, this blog would not exist. It's therefore no surprise that even though my second hip replacement is just getting underway, the level of pre-surgical ridiculousness has already reached epic proportions. This time, it wasn't even my hip making things difficult. No, this time, the problem lies in a little phenomenon known as "the anti ass."

I've written a lot (read: too much) about my anti-ass, which is my affectionate term for the fact that my absence of junk in the trunk means that I can't pedal on an exercise bike without wearing all the skin off my tailbone or sit on a hard surface without sustaining a remarkable level of bruising. (Reason #1564 why I'm still single. And, yes, I do realize that the fact that I have a pet name for my ass is probably Reason #1565).

A few days ago, I went for my pre-admission appointment at VGH. In this three-hour appointment, they run a bunch of tests and then you have meetings with the anesthesiologist and some nurses to make sure that everyone's ready for the big day. It's like a wedding rehearsal, but instead of in-depth conversations about what angle the bridesmaids will stand at, it's in-depth conversations about which surgical tape gives you blisters.

At first, I thought that everything was going well. I met the anesthesiologist and he gushed over the fact that my "anatomical structure is so accessible," which I decided to believe was anesthesiologist-speak for "nice ass," even though it really means "your back is so bony that finding the knobs of your spine will not require any educated guessing." Either way, I've decided that "Hey, baby. Did anyone ever tell you that your anatomical structure is really accessible?" is going to be my new go-to pick-up line. It'll replace my old pick-up line, which was "Uh....hi.....So....uh....like.....how're you?" Yup, that's me: making all the gentlemen swoon since 1982.

Anyhow, it looked as if my pre-op appointment was going to go off without a hitch. I met the pre-op nurses and we had a conversation that basically went "So...is there a way we can keep the post-surgical puking, fainting and skin blistering to a bare minimum?" Turns out that, yes, it is apparently possible to recover from surgery without re-enacting that scene from "The Exorcist." Good to know!

I was nearly out of there when the nurse asked the fateful question: "do you have any open wounds on your body at the moment?" Flash back to last weekend. I was in Montreal for work; (I'm a communications coordinator for the 2010 World Wheelchair Rugby Championships and part of my job is traveling to tournaments). The downside of my awesome job (wheelchair rugby is such a cool sport) is that I have to sit on hard bleachers and gym floors for 15 hours a day, which is not exactly anti-ass friendly. Long story short: I wore all the skin over my ass bones. (Do you think that a risk of pressure sores should entitle me to danger pay?)

Because knowing when to keep my mouth shut is never a strong suite of mine, I stupidly told the nurses about the pressure sores. Medical professionals are trained to treat everything as a worse-case scenario, so when you say "yeah, I've just got this small pressure sore because I sat on bleachers for work all weekend, but it will totally be cleared up by July 28th," they hear "Danger! Danger! Antibiotic-Resistant Staff Infection and Possible Blood Infection Causing The Removal of Your Artificial Hip!" I really need to learn to save the rambling for the blog.

The next day, I received a phone call from my surgeon's office. Because of the pressure sore, they can't do the surgery until a) I get a note from a doctor saying that the pressure sore is cleared up and b) my surgeon takes a look at my ass. Yes, that's right. Now, if I want this surgery, I will need to get two different medical professionals to visually inspect my anti-ass and give it the seal of approval. (Is it a bad sign that this is probably one of the only times my ass gets checked out?)

So, today, I took a little trip to the clinic to get my ass approved. (The excitement of my weekend really never ceases). I was worried that the doctor at the clinic would be really attractive, and I'd have to try to explain to him that I need him to get out his magnifying glass and go all Sherlock Holmes on my ass bruising to make sure that there's no broken skin. Luckily, however, I got an older Indo-Canadian woman, who thoroughly inspected the area and pronounced it surgery-ready. Yes, ladies and gentlemen, my ass has been certified as top quality!

I thought I was going to get through the procedure embarrassment-free, (because, really, given the number of crackheads in the waiting room, I'm nearly positive that she had far worse open sores on her agenda that day), when I looked behind me while she was conducting her examination. Scrawled across my underwear in blue glitter were the words "HIGH FLIER." When getting dressed that day, I did not stop to think, "Hey, maybe I should wear a pair of underwear that is not ridiculous." Because, really, WTF does 'high flier' even mean? And who was sitting around a marketing meeting at Victoria Secret thinking up slogans to put on the ass of a pair of women's underwear and came up with "HIGH FLIER" as the pinnacle of sexiness? And why did I not notice this when I bought the underwear? Was there a point in my life when I was out shopping at thought, "Yes, this is exactly what I need to jump start my love life. Once men know that I am, indeed, flying high, they will be unable to resist my charms." (Reason #1567). These are the important life lessons I'm confronting today.

Okay, we're clearly in Too-Much-Information-Land. Long story short (...shorter...) the doctor wrote me the letter and gave me a lecture about how I should be carrying around an inflatable cushion wherever I go. But, see, here's the problem. There are certain decisions that are medically sound, but which will render you dateless for the rest of your natural life. I mean, what's better? To be known as "that chick with the ass cushion" or to have a rear end that looks like you were engaging in activities that require the use of a safety word (watermelon! Watermelon!)? At least the latter can be fixed with a dark bedroom, a little concealer, a whole lot of alcohol and the phrase "no, honey, I'm sure that's not bruising. It's probably just a trick of the light."

Anyhow, my ass has passed stage 1 to rendering it surgery-ready. Next stop: my poor proper British orthopedic surgeon has to inspect the area. I really need to learn when to keep my mouth shut.

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