College Ruled, Eyeball Drooled, and Car Salesman Schooled

This post is beyond-asking-for-an-extension-on-an-extension late, but I am very busy right now so froggy readers on your lily iPads, please stop flicking your tongues at me and jumpin’ around. Speaking of which, this epic’s gonna be all over the place. BECAUSE THAT’S HOW LIFE WORKS.

Item Uno: Hallowed Halls Make for Historical Heckles

Two weekends ago, Hampton and I did a show at an eating club at Princeton University.

The main point I wanted to share from this experience is that, in the middle of my set, I was heckled in the form of a Ronald Reagan chant that went on for about 20 seconds. Can check that off my list of Never Have I Ever, but seriously, the audience was very jovial, obviously smart, and fun. I swear I even saw Blair Waldorf in the crowd.

Also here were some photos I captured in the ornate mansion where we performed. One is of graceful alum Jimmy Stewart in theater garb and the other is an old class photo. We were performing somewhere that clearly had a past! I felt accomplished simply by association.

Item Dos: Bloody Tears and Sweat

Nextly, I got a minor procedure on my eyelid at the hospital on Friday, which deserves another surgery saga recap, because I’ve set an arbitrary standard. Since JAWS was aptly named after a terrifying movie, I’ll call this one SAW.

Yes, I know what you’re judgmentally thinking. 2010 is the Year of the Scalpel! Or scal-pal rather, as it’s proven to be my friend. An even truer friend stabs you in the face.

This was in a different hospital than my other surgery and what a difference location, location, location can makka-makka-make. DJ Realtor in the house! Reeeeeeeeeeeeeeee/max!

The place was so busy, my mother appropriately remarked that it looked like a train station. The waiting rooms were stacked and packed with wheelchairs, family members, and old people wearing groovy cataract sunglasses and being adorable. Plus we showed up late and it felt like when you roll into the airport pushing the clock and the security line is far, far too long and you’re sure you’ll miss your flight.

Luckily, there was order within the chaos, and eventually, I found myself sitting in what looked like an old-fashioned armchair in the corner of a busy pre-op eye surgery prep room with a blanket to insulate my boots and flannel shirt. I was told the surgeon would sally on through any moment now.

They said I could keep all my regular clothes on for eye surgery and the only gear I got was a cloud hat, which felt very surreal. I felt like I was in a dream where nothing is quite up to code on the reality meter. A nurse did start an IV for me, after which I was convinced I wouldn’t be sent home. Not with the well-attended party underway!

I was finally wheeled into the O.R. where I got some conscious sedation and local anesthesia so I conked out for a bit (when you’re still in your street clothes, it kinda feels like a crime), but then I woke up for some of the surgery and heard various instructions on how and where to pull my eye flap. It was like a personalized interactive radio show.

Back in the recovery room, the nurse was regaling my mom with some aftercare instructions, and then I said, “I feel dizzy” and then they both go “Oh, that’s normal” and then I passed out LIKE A REAL DRAMA QUEEN. And then I revived slightly to hear everyone running around saying my lips looked gray and I was suddenly sweaty despite the cold temperatures. That’s a cozy feeling.

All’s well that ends well. After a car ride home in which I almost yarfed all over everything, I arrived home sweet home where I could document my tears of blood in peace. You see, that’s where the real fun starts.

My eye was super uncomfy and stingy the rest of the day because there were some stitches on the inside of my eyelid. Plus my eye was bloodshot (probably had been drinking while I was under) and was belligerent at what I had put it through. Sleep it off, Grampa!

But the next morning, I woke up to a oozy, weepy, apocalyptic eye, which needs to be documented. Don’t look if you don’t like the wonders of medicine, or are easily disgusted with gratuitous cellphone pics. Look out, webcam hotties!

Someone took the red eye home!

Oh, don’t cry! It’s only your face period.

Anyway, don’t worry. I’ve been wearing an eye patch around lately, mostly to keep the antibiotic ointment in, but also to keep the villagers with the pitchforks out.


Reporting for spells duty!

What? Take off my glasses? Oh, sure. I got time.

Feeling shy, eye do declare.

Oh, ok. If you must see the eyePad.

Finally seeing my true colors…

…but starting to like what I see!

Thanks for seeing (and staying) eye-to-eye on this with me!

This is the part where I do the big REVEAL…

…which leads to the big REVILE.

Time for a close-up!

Oh, the tales Grampa Eye could tell you! The things he’s seen!

Item Tres: Car Shop Til’ Your Eye Drops

This afternoon, my Dad and I went car shopping. It was fun to gauge the reactions of car salespeople to my eyePad. I think some of them feared it was driving-related, and here I was, trying to pull another fast one by attempting to buy a vehicle from right under their noses. The optic nerve of it all!

This one salesman wouldn’t stop talking from the moment he met us to when we said goodbye. He was talking up this car a mile a minute (his selling floor nickname is Motormouth), and the best part was that if you listened closely to him, nothing he said was a complete thought. He would just start ideas and then segue into other ideas but never finish a sentence. But nonstop! He was a machine! Also one of his eyes had a glassier shine to it than the other one so I felt an irrational partnership with him.

Also we looked at a car that has a small lever on the inside of the trunk so that if someone throws you in the trunk, you can pop the latch and run to safety. My favorite was the little diagram that explained this USING NO WORDS.

In conclusion, this entry has brought to you by the concept of whimsy.

JAWS: The Liquid Fallout

So, what do you know, JAW surgery went ahead and happened!!! I am severely behind in my updating because I didn’t realize that blogging might not be my highest priority after going UNDER THE KNIFE. But here is an attempt to quickly chronicle JAWS and the few days afterward.

I had to give myself two antibacterial sponge wipe baths the night before the surge and the morning of it to scrub off any excess partycrashing dirt that happened to be on my person. It was weird because it resulted in me becoming a slightly sticky pod person. I guess hospitals enjoy admitting you in an about-to-be-birthed fetus state.

Here is a quick as a lick (blatant lie) rundown of my time in the hospital. I got there on Wednesday at 5:55 a.m. to register, and they gave me a wristband so I was immediately part of the billable family. Seriously, they just scan you like you’re a grocery item in order to add meds and tests to your tally. Pretty sexy stuff.

Then they sent my mom and me to another waiting area, where a nurse promptly fetched me and assigned me to a pre-op area. I got to change into these trendy hawt matron-white legwarmers, some practical peuce sock slippers (with chic non-slip treading), and this huge purple gown with a Bair Paws logo. If you attached tubing through it, it continually pumps warm air into it so that you look like a happy, purple pillow person. I also had to sign some consent forms including one where the hospital is not liable for me falling on my face if I tried to get out of bed without asking for assistance. Charming!

The belle of the surgery ball in my purple gown with my plus one (Mother dearest)!

My mom was really all about documenting this life event.

Then they set up my IV, and the anesthesiologist came by to brief me on his role and how the whole dealio would go down. He was super friendly, and my mom was impressed by his happy-go-lucky nature. It is a hospital, for the love of pete’s sakes! Why hasn’t it broken his spirit yet?

My dad actually works at the hospital where I had my procedure so he changed into his scrubs and was just lingering around the edges watching to make sure everything was going smoothly. All his co-workers were ribbing his anxious pacing. As if it was a really hands-on version of Take Your Daughter to Work Day!

They told me after they put the first round of anesthesia in my system, that it would feel like I just had three martinis. Which was sad because instead of feeling pleasantly woozy, I just about immediately passed out (Lightweight Linda ovah heah!). But I do remember being wheeled into the OR, but then tuning out once the exciting part started. My dad watched some of the surgery though. Lucky duck. Who falls asleep with her mouth open at a party starring me?! I do.

Next thing I know, I’m awake and looking at my parents. And I’m like “OK! When is the show is going to start!?! I have hot seats right up near the front!” And they’re like, “Uhhh. You’re done.”

Here is me with a jaw wrap around my head. It is nice and cold, but I couldn’t feel the bottom of my face anyway. That’s what you get when you sever nerves, people!

“Nonsense,” I woozily contest. “I have barely arrived!” (This is all mumbled because my jaw is banded shut.)

Then these nice nurses come and take care of me in the post-op area, which I have to stay in until they can move me to a room in the ICU (intensive care unit, or insanely chichi unit…you’ll see why!)

I am quite a fan of my IV fluids, and my mom is really hitting it off with the nurses. She is a pretty great conversationalist when it comes to making the other people feel interesting and captivating.

But the best new development after I woke up was that I had a catheter in my nether regions! That’s right. No worries about getting up to pee, because I was getting drained from the inside. Apparently I peed a lot during the surgery. I KNOW. Talk about embarrassing yourself in front of the cool kids (I mean everyone with med school and dental school and nursing degrees.) They’ll never invite me back!

Here are some prelim writings I made in post-op since I couldn’t really talk.

The last line indeed says, “Morphine la la la.”

This is me with my surgeon in shining armor! He had five hours to do the procedure and he finished in 2.5! Overachiever! Well, actually he had another assistant surgeon helping him who was left-handed and he’s right-handed so they had me ambidextrously covered.

Post-op ward quickly led to pampering. Hellloooo nurses! Anything I wanted, anything at all was within my beck and call! The best thing about all the nurses was that each one was a new kind of nice. I didn’t realize there were so many different subtleties to being nice, but there are! I felt bad because I couldn’t really say “Thank you” properly with my jaws all banded together so I tried my best to have grateful eyes.

Nothing brightens the world like a fat-lipped smile!

No more pics, paparazzo! TMZ, take mercy.

Seeing my reflection for the first time, I am introspective.

My first attempt at water! Cheers! Much of it ended up on the towel! 

I also got to wear these things that wrapped around my legs like blood pressure cuffs and every so often, they tightened around my gams to keep them non-crampy. Eventually, six hours later, a spot opened up for me in the ICU! I know! So exclusive, but the bouncers knew I was legit.

The ICU had a huge TV plus I was hooked up to a morphine drip which I could get any time I wanted just by pressing a yellow button. My parents decided I could spend the night in the hospital by myself because I’m a big girl. Plus I wasn’t very exciting just lying there, mumbling, gurgling, and getting my vitals checked constantly.

I remember having a hard time deciding what to watch on TV because I finished the book I brought with me but I finally settled on “Friends.” Say what you want about the show but it is easy to process when doped up, and I can appreciate that. The laugh track was a gentle emotional coach pointing out convenient moments for me to coo at the screen.

Then, in the middle of the night, I was moved to another, ramped-down ICU because they needed my other room for more important cases (i.e., not just gurgling chipmunks). I loved being wheeled around the hospital in my bed in the middle of the night because I felt like I was on an adventure!

The next room I was in was not as gussied up as the first one. It was a minimalist version of the first room. The TV was tiny, but I didn’t care. Still inherently watchable. Also I had an actual bathroom instead of a chamberpot (though my catheter was still in).

After several more hours the next day getting waited on jaw and foot, the surgeon visited me one more time the next day, and I was allowed to go home!

Here are some pictures from my second day after surgery plus a video so you can hear my voice (it sounds like I have an African accent sometimes. It’s intriguing.)

I call it The Nutty Professor shoot. You can decide for yourself why I am calling it that.




Here is what a typical meal looks like for me. Yes, you’re right, it does look like Nickelodeon slime. Very astute.

Here is the sound and look of my new voice.

Tomorrow I will write about how my tongue is a prisoner in my own mouth and all the excitement and intrigue that results from that. You can’t even lick a stamp for yelping out loud!