Missed part 1? Read it here.
He was olive skinned. Possibly of Middle Eastern descent, but what did it matter? What we knew for certain was that he was not happy to be there. Not happy at all.
Surly and sarcastic - two qualities you really don't want in the anesthesiologist who was about to administer your epidural, but that's what we got. We got the mean guy. The guy who looked at us with disdain for pulling him away from his other responsibilities. The guy who seemed to think he had so many other more important patients to administer to; certainly more important than a pregnant woman whining for pain relief drugs.
He asked a few questions and had me position my body on the edge of the bed, which I tried to do as quickly as possible. But since I was in the throes of my worst contractions I guess I didn't move as fast as he wanted.
"Move to the edge of the bed, please," he said with a bite in his voice.
I looked at my husband and tried to tell him with my eyes, since I couldn't speak, Please punch this guy in the face. Pretty please.
With my husband's help I was able to move my body to a place that suited the anesthesiologist and he began to insert the needle into my back. As I faced my husband I felt another strong contraction starting. A very strong contraction. An oh-my-GOD, where-did-this-pain-come-from? contraction. And at that moment the surly man chose to ask me a question. I cannot for the life of me remember what that question was but I do remember this - when I didn't answer because of the amazing pain I was trying to breath through he said in his most sarcastic tone,
"She's not much of a talker, is she? Hello. Did you hear me?"
My husband told me later that the monitor measuring my contractions was peaking at its highest point. And the man wondered why I wasn't talking to him. I wanted to kick him in the nuts.
Just when we considered asking for another, more compassionate, anesthesiologist, my sister walked in and suddenly the man's demeanor changed.
You know those cartoons where the horrible wolf spots a beautiful she-wolf and hearts pop out of his eyes as he shouts "Aaaah-ooooo-gaaaaah!" and he turns into a love sick puppy? That's what happened when the horrible man met my sister. I swear I saw cartoon hearts, but it may have been the pain making me hallucinate.
"Who's this?" The question practically dripped off his tongue.
"My sister," I breathed.
"Your sister? No, you two can't be sisters. You look so different."
Yeah, tell us something we've never heard before, buddy.
My sister is quite dark, with almost black hair and big brown eyes where I'm blonde (thanks to nature and a little help from my hairdresser) with light skin and hazel eyes. Take that away and we don't look so different. But when one of us is sweaty with pain and bloated with pregnancy and the other is slightly tanned from a recent trip and practically radiating with health, I can see how someone could miss the resemblance.
While he finished attaching the needle to my back he tried to strike up a conversation with my sister. What did she do for work? Where did she get that amazing tan? What nationality was she? (The guy still didn't believe we were related) He was of some Middle Eastern descent, but no one was really listening to him and his pitiful attempts to attract my sister. My married sister, I should add, who was wearing a huge rock on her ring finger that I guess he just missed. It was so inappropriate. But at least he wasn't mean anymore. If anything he was slightly bumbling. We had no idea how bumbling, however.
He had to tear himself away but he did leave us eventually - and by "us" I mean my sister - and I lay down on the bed to wait for the drugs to hit me. When they didn't I mentioned this to the nurse and she checked my line.
What's worse than a nasty anesthesiologist? A nurse who says "Uh oh".
Apparently in his haste to get as much information out of my sister for his later sick fantasies he FORGOT TO HOOK UP THE I.V.
Ain't that a bitch?
There I lay with an uncomfortable cathater in my back and no drugs going to it. If I was disgusted by the guy before, I was ready to bite his head off now.
He was called back and, amazingly, showed up quickly and was appropriately embarrassed for his oversight. But I think that was more for my sister's benefit than mine or my husband's. Although, I did catch the nurse giving him some nasty looks.
After he hooked up the I.V. the anesthesiologist practically ran to exit the room, and I again waited for the relief of the drugs. I got some relief pretty quickly. But just some.
There was still pain. Awful, horrible, bite a leather strap kind of pain. This was not right.
What the hell was happening to me?
To be continued... Again...
Tuesday, February 05, 2008
Missed part 1? Read it here.