So you’ve decided to have surgery!

Congratulations, you’ve decided to go for it. Good for you!

Having surgery is an important step in your life. Actually, it’s sort of like having a kid: although not as potentially cute, your surgery could be just as hobbling, so it’s not a decision you should take lightly.

OK, so here are some recommendations for before, during, and after your surgery:

Before surgery:

  • I recommend living it up. Do all the things you’ve always wanted to do. Some people call this a “Bucket List,” but let’s not get too far ahead of ourselves here. I mean, yes, technically, you could die in surgery. But, realistically, the chances of dying from your simple knee operation, for instance, are incredibly slim—just under 36%. Nevertheless, you should live it up. Just in case. I recommend a weekend of complete debauchery, but in lieu of that, here are some options…
  • Perhaps one night, you could go see your friend, Dustin O’Halloran, play some beautiful piano music with a string quartet in the Hollywood Forever cemetery. Try not to think about the fact that you could be dead in a few days, though, even though you’re listening to music in a cemetery. That’s totally just a coincidence, not foreshadowing.
  • I also recommend talking to cute girls, just in case you never get to talk to another cute girl. Indeed, if you’re in that unfortunate 36%, I’m pretty sure there are no cute girls where you’re going. If you play up the surgery angle, you might even get some cute girl to say she’ll visit you while you’re convalescing. Remind her that there’s a very slight chance that it won’t actually be necessary, though.
  • I also recommend drinking, preferably with some of the painkillers your doctor gave you for after the surgery. Don’t worry, pills are meant to be taken with alcohol, despite what it says in the instructions on the prescription label. Plus, remember that your name is also on the prescription label—that means you’re the boss.
  • Also, you’ll probably want to stock up on all the things you’ll need in the more-than-likely event that you survive surgery. For instance, you should buy a bunch of really healthy food—lots of vegetables and tofu and other disgusting things that you would never eat unless forced to. You should also make sure you get a bunch of books you never got around to reading—Ulysses, Ethan Frome, Infinite Jest, that sort of thing—so you can finally tell people you’ve read them and not be lying, for a change. Don’t worry, you’ll be on painkillers, so reading these snoozefests will be pretty much pain free! Also, I recommend tracking down DVDs of all those foreign films you’ve been meaning to see. And make sure you have all of your schoolwork and your students’ essays handy, too. You’re going to have so much time on your hands that you’ll probably actually really want to grade papers, for once.
  • Furthermore, I recommend getting Trixie and Farrell to send you a surgery care package, complete with homemade cookies, a mix-CD, porno magazines, and an eyepatch. Yes, you read that right—an eyepatch! Made out of construction paper and yarn, by one bad-ass 5-year-old who knows more than you ever will about fire trucks and scary skeletons. (Jealous?)

During surgery:

  • When you get to the hospital on the day of your surgery, resist the urge to blow the whole thing off and go on a week-long bender just because it’s spring break and you’re off work/school and not really looking forward to spending your vacation at home, imprisoned by your own body’s feeble immobility. Suck it up. Your good friend gave you a ride, you’re here—shit, might as well go through with it.
  • During surgery, you actually won’t have much to do. They’ll put you under, so you’ll probably just want to lie there. But you might bring along some sudoku puzzles or your iPhone, just in case you wake up during surgery and get bored and feel like working those brain muscles or sexting someone. Otherwise, yeah, probably best to just lie there.

After surgery:

  • OK, this is where the fun starts.
  • I recommend having one of your best friends (like S. Godfree) pick you up from the hospital, take you to his house, make you yummy comfort food (mac ‘n’ cheese!), and pour you glass after glass of wine while you think to yourself, surgery’s not so bad…
  • When you’re back at your apartment later, alone, you’ll basically be in a huge thigh-to-ankle brace, which will be attached to a cryo-cuff ice-water-pump thingy that will keep your knee nice and cool, but you’ll be in excruciating pain and unable to move or do much. Going to the bathroom and getting food will be really difficult. And just forget about taking a shower for at least the next month or so. Also, you should grow a scary beard.
  • But, the great thing is that you can get all of your friends to stop by to bring you stuff and make you feel better. You should get Tim and Jen to bring you half and half (seriously, you’re going to forget to stock up on half and half, you idiot?), and perhaps Autumn will take you to the video store and to get a burger. And I recommend getting Lisa and John to pick you up and bring you to your favorite Korean tofu place. You might even be able to get Seonna to bring you all the way back to the hospital to get better drugs–you know, the kind you actually would take recreationally? I also generally recommend having great friends like this. Seriously, you’re super fucking lucky.
  • Then, remember all those books you were going to read and those foreign films you were going to watch? Yeah, you can totally get rid of those. Instead, I recommend watching seasons 4 and 5 of Lost; I mean, you’re already doped up on pain meds, so you might as well just revel in completely incomprehensible nonsense. Also, I recommend that you read graphic novels (sigh, OK, comic books) instead of Ulysses (there’s one called Unwritten and another called Y the Last Man–read those instead).
  • Oh, also–all of that healthy food? You can get rid of that, too. Instead, I say you opt for takeout from the local Wockano asian-fusion place. Yes, for each and every meal. I’m sure they make breakfast, too. I suggest the Happy Dragon Roll and the Crispy Tangerine Chicken. Unfortunately, Taco Bell doesn’t deliver.
  • I also recommend that you gather up all of those papers that you’re supposed to grade. You should look at them, maybe even put them in nice, neat stacks, but you shouldn’t grade them. No, no, no.
  • Instead, I recommend taking a nice, long, blissful, Vicodin-induced nap… and maybe when you wake up, this time your knee will be just fine, just like it was before… (please?).

10 responses to “So you’ve decided to have surgery!”

  1. Tim says:

    So many good laughs here! Not at your expense, of course. I wasn’t laughing at your misfortune or the chance you would die. I promise. Glad you’re back on both knees, er, feet now!

  2. Rachel says:

    Enduring surgery in exchange for a Farrell & Trixie care package and Godfree’s mac & cheese? WORTH IT.

    But seriously, glad you’re OK.

    What happens to the student papers? Handy napkins for all that Asian food? Beard scratchers?

  3. Farrell Fawcett says:

    Wow! This post makes me want to have surgery. You make it seem so totally enticing. Except for the pain and hobbling around parts. But still. Happy Dragon rolls every meal. Mmmmm.

    Perchance you’ve considered sharing this with your surgeon? What a welcome thing if he were to exchange his useless office brochers for shiny copies of this.

    So fun to read! And nice to see you posting again at TGW.

  4. sara says:

    everyone should get an eye patch when they’re sick.

  5. swells says:

    Ah, it is such a treat to read your voice here again. I’m sorry that you had to go under the knife to be inspired enough to write here, although honestly I think I was way more upset about your surgery than you were . . . cool as a cuke!

  6. ScottyGee says:

    I like how you threw in “one of” before “your best friend(s)” in order to make your other friends feel better. That kind of sensitivity is what makes you such a special little guy. (Secret ear pinch)

  7. lisa says:

    I still think you should consider watching the John Adams series. After all, you’re still convalescing. Also, don’t forget to have your pals take you to the korean tofu place where they crack an egg in your boiling soup.

  8. Cynthia says:

    Jermy I had no idea about your surgy I am so sorry. I had it too once and it was hard, let me know if I can anything for you. Hand in there!

  9. trixie says:

    Jeremy,
    So glad to read a post from you here. Really miss your voice on TGW!
    I felt especially grateful to get texted a photo of you with the eyepatch on. I think that image should be at the bottom of this post? Maybe?
    Keep that hand in there.
    XO
    Trix

  10. jeremy says:

    Ha! Yes, Trixie, I should’ve included the photo… but then I would’ve outed myself, just like you’ve outed me here…