I had a D&C last Wednesday. This is “a procedure to remove tissue from inside your uterus" ("your" uterus) says the Mayo Clinic, and is sometimes done to perform abortions or after a miscarriage, or in my case to address abnormal bleeding caused by a polyp. That stupid polyp! What a pain in the ass it's been! What a fly in the ointment. What a cog in the machine. "Get him outta there!" as my father would say in reference to ball players he feels should be taken out of the game. (Of course my polyp was an unwelcome male interloper. I never even met this polyp, whom I named Harry Crane right before I had him evicted.)
I got to the hospital way too early, thanks to a friendly cabbie and the empty streets of Manhattan at 6:00 a.m., so I reclined in a cozy chair for a while in a pair of overlarge paper pants and a hospital gown and sock slippers and watched some religious hucksters on TV, and then a few Disney® cartoons with a six-year-old and her mother. I didn't ask them any questions. I don't want to know too much about why a six-year-old is going into surgery on a Wednesday morning at the end of August. There are certain things I can't handle anymore for a variety of reasons and that one's at the top of the list. There was also a lady in her seventies getting prepped for knee surgery, who was accompanied by her son. He took good care of her, held her glasses and helped her out of her chair. People were very solicitous and gentle with each other in this surgical way station. It was a calming atmosphere.
At 8:30 they wheeled me into the operating room where they knocked me out cold so they could dilate my cervix and insert a long rod into my uterus to do the scraping (that's it, that's what it is, "scraping"). I was awake by 10:30 and then SarahB arrived to pick me up and buy me iced coffee in the hospital Starbucks® cafe and see me safely home. It was a sunny day with low humidity, which was nice. A nice day for a procedure. For me the most memorable part was being hooked up to an IV for the first time in my life. That was new and exciting and a real step forward. I've had things inserted in my uterus before, FYI. Haven't we all.
The actual "procedure" part of it took less than 20 minutes and involves very minimal recovery time and left zero psychic scars, although obviously even with insurance it will somehow end up costing me $$$, and by the next day it was very easy to let life go back to normal. What’s normal, though? There are time bombs ticking everywhere inside your body—whether it’s hormones or brain cells or blood cells or growing taller or growing teeth or losing hair or getting shorter—and they’re going off in big or small ways every single second of every single day of your life. My life. Our lives. You can call it God or you can call it grace or you can call it fucked up and try to rage (rage!) against the dying of the light, but that’s just the way the game is played. So of course you should take naps. Of course you should eat hot dogs.