Monday, March 31, 2008

What Happened To You?

This is the question I’ve been asked more than any other the past few weeks. It’s taken me this long to saddle up enough again to tell the tale. So, here we go.

I will begin this saga by explaining that I LOVE to jump. When I was a little girl, nothing made me happier than jumping on my bed. My mother was constantly yelling at me, “Are you jumping on that bed again? Stop jumping on the bed!”

When I was about six or seven years old, a momentous event occurred in my young life. It started out like any other spring day. Then, my mother pulled me aside. I was told to sit down. I was about to be given some very important instructions.

“Now honey, I’m going to go to the store.” This seemed like a normal occurrence, but I could tell by the careful tone of her voice that something was different.

“Now, I’m going to leave you here. You’ll be all by yourself. I’ll be back in half an hour.”

What? This was unthinkable! I loved going to the store. I particularly liked to make sure I got to pick out the breakfast cereal. As much as I loved my Mom, she had lousy taste in breakfast cereal. Grape Nuts? Hello! Not only did it taste like a bowl of rocks, there was no prize in the box!

“Now, Aunt Joyce and Uncle are right next door. So, if you need anything, you just give them a call and they’ll be right over.”

Wait a minute. She really WAS leaving me.

“Don’t open the door for any strangers. And if anyone calls and asks if you’re home alone, you just say that your Mommy is in the shower and can’t come to the phone.”

A moment later, she picked up her purse, walked out the front door, got into her red Pinto and drove away.


It took a moment for it to sink in. I was alone. Completely alone. For the first time in my life. There was only one thing I could do: I ran to my bedroom and jumped on my bed.

I must’ve jumped on my bed for ten minutes. Laughing, giggling, half out of breath. Jumping, bouncing, up and down, up and down. Ridiculously silly bouncing. A jumping giggle box. Wheeeeeeee!!!!!!

It was the best moment of my life!

At some point, I stopped bouncing, crawled off the bed, settled myself down and got out my crayons. By the time my Mom walked in with the groceries, I was completely focused on a connect-the-dots page in my activity book.

To this day, I don’t think she knows that when she gave me my first test in maturity and independence---I jumped on the bed.

But this is what the approach of spring does to me. Every year around this time I find myself wanting to---well---Spring! Sometimes, I have so much bottled-up winter energy that I just have to go off to a quiet corner and jump up and down.

This year, I felt the jumpies coming on again. Luckily, in New York City, there are all sorts of amazing ways to get Spring Fever out of your system. There are trampoline classes down at Chelsea Piers, mini-trampoline pilates classes at a studio on 5th Avenue, and (if you really want to get in the air) you can take a trapeze class downtown just like Carrie in Sex in the City.

My friend Nicole seemed eager to do some jumping as well. I looked at everything online and sent her links to all the jumping classes in Manhattan.

The next day, on a day trip to the Ikea in New Jersey, I called my aunt. I was still all over the whole jumping thing.

“Oh, honey. Be careful. You can hurt yourself on those mini-trampolines.”

Blah blah blah. For godsakes, it’s pilates. The usual caution of the elders.

“You’re not too coordinated, honey. You’re all arms and legs.”

No matter how old you are, they still think of you as six years-old. I re-assured her that I was INDEED coordinated, and quickly looked around the New Jersey Transit Bus for some wood to knock on. Looking back, I remember that there was nothing but hard plastic and pleather. I hadn’t knocked.

A few days later, I was rushing to work. Our GM seems to be giving the fish eye to people when they walk in five minutes late. And I have that strong Mid-Western work ethic that always seems to bite me in the ass. As I walked thru the subway tunnel, I heard the train pulling into the station. I did what pretty much any New Yorker would have done---I ran.

I ran thru the tunnel as the train was pulling into the station. Swiped my card as I heard it pulling to a stop. Ran down the stairs as I heard the doors open. And when I heard the beep signaling that the door was about to close, I looked down at my feet. I was three steps away from the platform. In less time than it takes to write all of this----I quickly calculated that if I JUMPED down those three steps (instead of simply continuing my swift pitter-patter) I could beat the clock. And I was all about jumping. I would jump down those three steps and then make a flying leap onto the train. Very Jackie Chan.

Unfortunately, my feet didn’t catch up with this mental plan. And when I jumped down onto the cement platform, my feet buckled and I fell face first onto the train.

The front half of me landed on the floor of the subway car. The back half of me was lying on the hard cement.

And then, the doors closed.

Before I list my injuries---may I say---I made that train.

At least one half of me did.

Numerous urban myths tell the tale of the person caught in the doors who got dragged thru the subway---eventually being chopped in half as the train rushed forward into the tunnel.

I have to admit that these thoughts did occur to me as the doors locked somewhere around my upper torso.

Then, what happened next took place in about ten seconds---several beefy guys stepped up and pried open the doors. I remember hearing, “Are you okay? Are you okay?” I felt a lot of pain in all different places, but knew I had to get up on my feet. I quickly stood up. Then the doors shut. I saw huge drops of blood on the floor of the subway car. I felt my chin. Blood dripped thru my fingers.

“I have to get off,” I remember saying somewhat in a daze.

The doors mysteriously opened.

I stepped off the train and stood there alone on the platform pretty much in shock.

The train sped away.

I felt the warm blood trickle thru my fingers as I held onto my chin. A piece of my back molar fell onto my tongue and drifted around my mouth. And then, as I tried to keep the blood from pouring out of my chin and all over my clothes, I heard something horrible---the sound of my jaw going “Eee-ern, eee-ern, eee, ern”. This was not good.

What did I do then? I started walking home.

A good friend of mine says that this seems to be a phenomenon that often occurs after accidents. After a sudden trauma, people just want to get to a safe place. Of course, I knew I needed to get to an emergency room. But before I went to a strange, scary place---I just wanted a few moments of comfort at home.

By the time I walked in my front door, I was pretty sure I had done some pretty serious damage to myself. I was nervous, shaking and scared out of my mind. I dreaded looking in the mirror---but that’s the first place you go. Right?

My hands were shaking as I took off my coat, turned on the bathroom light and geared myself up to view the damage.

Well, I was definitely going to need stitches. My chin was split open pretty bad. Oddly enough, at this moment, I looked down at my blood-covered white shirt, and Hints From Heloise kicked in. This shirt was going to need to soak in some cold water. Why I was so worried about staining my nice white shirt is completely beyond me, but this seems to be the way the mind works in these situations. I took off my shirt, put the stopper on the bathroom sink and swished it thru the cold water and Woolite. However, while this may seem like a calm, homespun, cleaning moment---what was going on in my head was, “Shit, shit, shit.”

Because by this time, I was pretty sure I had broken my jaw. Not only was there a horrific sound (as well as pain) emanating from that corner of my face---when I would try to put pressure on my chin to stop the bleeding, I could literally FEEL my jaw shoving back into place. I can only describe the feeling as sickening.

However, once the shirt was soaking in cold water, it was time to deal with the situation at hand---I needed to call work and let them know I wasn’t going to make it in tonight.

It was Old Fish Eye who answered the phone. The call was nothing if not simplistic---I fell in the subway, split open my chin and think I broke my jaw and I’m off to the emergency room and I won’t be in for work tonight. I don’t even remember what he said. Frankly, I didn’t care. I needed to figure out where the nearest emergency room was.

Luckily, I have health insurance. Any emergency room in Manhattan would surely be happy to help me. I remembered that there was a huge hospital about twenty blocks away on 168th St. With my shirt soaking in cold water in the sink, I somehow figured I had taken care of all the details, looked in my wallet to make sure I had my insurance card, soaked a rag in cold water to take with me to help stop the bleeding and walked out the door.

I walked to the corner and stood there on Broadway holding my bleeding chin as I tried to hail a cab. I remember consciously trying to look well and fit---why? I don’t know. My deluded mind somehow thought that a cab driver might not stop for a bleeding, pathetic-looking woman. So I held my head up, gave a little (if slightly crooked) smile, made every effort to look full of energy, life and vitality, and blithely waved down a cab. Phew.

Within moments, I was at the Columbia-Presbyterian Emergency Room door. I walked into the emergency room, bleeding, broken, insurance card in hand and ready to tell my tale. Then I saw the line. Damn.

I think this is a good time to mention that I had done something wonky to my knee. Come on, I fell on cement!

I stood in that line for an hour---yes, a full hour. On a wonky knee. The only person who spoke to me was a nurse encased behind plexiglass. After about half an hour standing in the line, I peered into the plexiglass and asked if I was indeed in the proper line.

A nurse squinted at me thru the scratched two-inch, bullet-proof plastic, “Yes. This is the line.”

Then she did what can only be described as a double-take.

“Here, honey,” she said as she pulled a few paper towels out of a dispenser. “This is for your chin,” she added as she slid the paper towels under the metal bullet-proof barrier. I guess I was bleeding pretty bad.

I stood in the line for another half an hour. No one talked to me. No one even asked my name or what was wrong with me. I looked around the crowded emergency room. It was a madhouse of sick people. None of whom appeared to be getting any immediate care. Then, the person a few ahead of me in line was a middle-aged woman trying to get care for her older husband. Being a polite mid-westerner, I didn’t try to listen in; but being a person in severe pain, I was certainly interested in knowing how soon I would get some medical attention.

She said she’d been waiting for over two hours---she pushed her husband and his wheelchair up to the attending nurse and began the litany. It began with his heart problems.


Okay. Not that I don’t have compassion for this man’s heart problems. But when the nurse in charge of triage left her station and immediately began a thorough examination----well, let me just say, I realized a couple of things. First of all---this man should NOT have sat there for two hours trying to get treatment for a possible heart attack. Second---I should not have to stand there bleeding for an hour with a broken jaw before anyone even speaks to me. Third---I had to get the hell out of there.

A decision like this only comes when one is almost in tears. But I looked around that emergency room. It was packed to the brim. And when I heard an old woman walk up to the plexiglass and complain that she’d been waiting for FOUR HOURS!---well, I figured it this way: If this was the sort of treatment one got while waiting in the emergency room, I can’t imagine what the rest of the hospital was like.

I walked out.

Walked out of there crying.

Frankly, I didn’t know where else to go.

Damn me and my jumping! Damn that Fish Eye! This was terrible!

So where does one go an hour and a half after a horrible accident still bleeding and with broken bones?

I went home.

Yes. I walked over twenty blocks back home. Uphill. They don’t call it Washington HEIGHTS for nothing.

Well, what was I supposed to do?

As I walked home, I pulled out my cell phone---beyond the last-minute call to say I wouldn’t be able to make my shift---the first call I’d made since the accident.

I called my friend Timmy. Thru a series of odd misfortunes, Timmy had had the opportunity to visit just about every hospital in Manhattan and Queens in the past year. Surely HE would know where I could go.

Unfortunately, he was currently the picture of health and blissfully away from his cell phone. I left what was surely the most pathetic message in the history of the world.

I don’t remember much of what I said on his machine. A few days later, Timmy told me he felt HORRIBLE when he hadn’t chequed his messages for a few days and hadn’t returned my desperate cry for help. At the time, all it meant to me was that I was no closer to an emergency room than I had been almost two hours earlier.

I called my friend Nina. She lived in the Upper West Side. Maybe she knew where I could go. Another answering machine. Another pathetic message.

My knee was starting to buckle as I walked up Broadway. Then a few blocks away from my building, I saw a neighbourhood health clinic. Sure, this was the sort of place where women went to get their annual pap smear and brought their kids for immunizations---but it was health care. I dabbed at my still-bleeding chin to look presentable and walked in the door.

A moment later, I stepped up to the counter and explained to the nice lady, “Hi. I know you guys can’t help me here. But I fell in the subway and I think I broke my jaw. I just came from the Columbia-Presbyterian Emergency Room and I waited for over an hour and no one would even talk to me. I have health insurance. Where can I go?”

She looked at me with the most sympathetic face I’d seen in almost two hours.

“Okay, sweetie. I’m going to give you this card here, and I’m writing down the address of St. Luke’s. We’re affiliated with them and they’ll get you in right away. They’re right down on 114th St. You can take the train down there and it will let you off a few blocks away. Or you can take a cab. But they’ll take good care of you.”

I thanked her SO much and walked out. You’d think I would walk across the street to the 1 Train Station to St. Luke’s. Or at least hail a cab. But where did I go?


To this day, I don’t exactly know why. I had the address in hand. But I was only two blocks away from a safe, comfortable place.

I walked in the door. My cat Bessie (17 years-old and counting) was doing her usual activity of sleeping on my bed. She looked up and meowed at me as I walked in. The white shirt was still soaking in my sink. I swished it around a bit and then I did something that only my family and close friends will understand.

Okay, bear in mind that I had just spent an hour in an emergency room where no one paid any attention to me. I was about to go to another strange emergency room. And, despite the kind face of the lady at the neighbourhood health clinic, I had no guarantee of anyone even asking my name.

What did I do?

I made a cup of tea.

I can only explain this by saying that the pain was SO intense that all I could focus on was the fact that I could not sit in an emergency room for another hour without a cup of soothing, warm, safe and comfortable hot tea.

I usually keep a few empty Starbucks cups on hand for… Well, tea emergencies. With my jaw still shifting around inside my head, I boiled a cup of hot water, popped a Twinings English Breakfast tea bag into the mix and let it steep for a few moments while I Googled “St. Luke’s Hospital” to make sure I had the correct address.

Five minutes later, with the milk and sugar added, I grabbed my cup of tea and headed out to Broadway to hail another cab.

For some reason, everything seems better when you’re holding onto a cup of tea.

I made every effort to look fit and healthy for the cab driver and, within moments, a Yellow Cab pulled over to the side of the road and whisked me to St. Luke’s.

This was a different sort of Emergency Room. As soon as I walked in, a woman greeted me with a clipboard and asked my name and ailment.

Ten minutes later, I was called in to see the doctor.

“What happened to you?”

This was the first time anyone had asked me this obvious question in almost three hours.

I quickly explained my fall and began to detail the possible damage.

“Oh my god,” the nice female doctor said. “What time did this happen?”

“About three hours ago.”

She stopped writing and looked at me.

“What took you so long to get here?”

I started to explain my trip and long wait at Columbia-Presbyterian---a little too embarrassed to mention the time it took to make my cup of tea, which sat nearby on the floor next to my coat and warm wool hat.

“Well, that’s typical there. They’re great at gunshot wounds. If you ever get shot, it’s the place to go. But other than that…”

Good to know. I guess.

Moments later, I was whisked to an examining room where she got to work. As she asked more questions about my fall and the possible damage, she seemed particularly interested in my jaw. Not that I wanted anyone touching it at that point, but that’s what they always want to do. I submitted to the painful touching, only to hear her conclude, “I’m going to send you for some x-rays.”

She also asked about my last tetanus shot. Frankly, I don’t remember ever having one. So in came the guy with the syringe who warned me that it wouldn’t hurt that much, but would probably be sore the next day.

Honestly, the next day, I was in so much pain, that the tetanus shot was a pretty big nothing.

Then, she shot my chin up with Novocain, placed a paper towel with a hole cut out of it on my face, and began to stitch up my chin. The shots were painful, but at least bearable. I must’ve had about five shots before it was numb enough for her to begin.

As she stitched, I tried to think of happy things. My cup of tea sitting on the floor. My favourite vacation to Paris. The cute red seat cushions I’d recently purchased from Ikea.

But all I could think of was that my face was being stitched up. For godsakes, it’s your face!

As I laid there encased under the paper towel, I began to explain to the emergency room doctor that I’d never had any kind of an accident. Never had stitches. Never had surgery. Never had anything like this happen to me ever. Happy place. Happy place. Swedish meatballs and lingonberry jam at Ikea.

A few moments later, the paper towel was pulled off my face. I was stitched up and, for the first time in three hours, felt I was in good hands.

She asked me where else (besides my tooth, my chin and my jaw) I felt I’d been injured. I had a cut-up knee. That much I’d discovered while I was waiting for the tea to steep. I mentioned my knee as well as my elbows---which, by now, were all adding to my pain. But after three hours, my knee wasn’t swollen and my elbows just looked a little red. I was a little sore all over, but hey---I fell.

A few days later, I would discover that my elbows had turned horrible colours of black and blue; I had ripped a ligament in my knee and also cracked a few ribs. But, at the time, the pain in my face didn’t even allow the other pains to assert their viability.

Did I want x-rays of any of these other trouble spots? I had the chance and I said, “No. I think I’m okay.”

Oh well.

Then came the guy with the little cup. Could this experience be any more humiliating? I guess they have to make sure people aren’t high on crack before they send them off to surgery or the next round of tests. I didn’t think I had anything in me to get the job done, but it was at this moment that I was thankful I’d finished almost half of my tea. English Breakfast saves the day!

As soon as I handed my cup over to the technician, an x-ray guy pulled me aside and started positioning me for a series of photoshoots. I don’t think I’d been that posed and maneuvered for photos since an embarrassing family portrait at Sears years ago. Nevertheless, I persevered thru the x-rays, only to be told a few minutes later by my physician that she really didn’t even need to see the x-rays. It was a foregone conclusion. The x-rays only proved it. She pulled me aside and informed me in what can only be described as hushed tones that I had broken my jaw.

Despite my now four-hour ordeal, I can only describe the news as shock.

Honestly, I don’t know what I thought the outcome would be. Maybe that I’d simply dislocated it and a chiropractor or something would be on the way down to snap it back into place?

But upon hearing the news, I was suddenly in shock. She informed me that a specialist was on call and was on his way down and that I should just take a seat and wait.

“Okay,” I said numbly as I sat down on one of the four waiting chairs nearby. As I sat down, I was so much in shock that I turned to the guy next to me and quietly muttered, “I broke my jaw.” As if it were a question more than a statement of fact. I was just stunned. The guy looked at me and nodded in silence. But frankly, he didn’t seem too concerned. But why should he? He didn’t know me. He was just another guy who had something freaky happen to him that day that sent him to the emergency room. We were all a bunch of misfits. Broken people waiting. That would make a great name for a band, I thought. Broken People Waiting. I tried not to cry, but I just couldn’t help it. I started to sniffle.

And then, the specialist showed up.

At this point, may I say that two weeks later, my friend Nicole asked the question that every single New York gal wanted to know about my experience, “Did you get any cute doctors?”

Yes ladies, I did. As I was sitting there sniffling, scared and in pain---a REALLY cute doctor walked up and introduced himself.

Oh great.

First of all, let me explain that I have that pale, Eastern-European skin that, when I cry or even start to sniffle, does NOT make me look like Julia Roberts in a lovely dramatic moment. I simply turn red and blotchy. So there I am, red and blotchy, broken jaw, in such pain and fear that I haven’t even powdered my nose or re-applied my lipstick in almost five hours, and… The Big Finish: I now have about ten big black stitches in my chin that make me look like a fourteen year-old boy trying to grow his first goatee.

And I get Dr. McDreamy about my age and no ring on his finger. Great.

Honestly, I was too scared and in too much pain to even worry about anything other than what was about to happen to me. And what was about to happen?

My adorable doctor explained.

I broke my jaw. It was pretty serious. I had two options. They could try to re-set my jaw and I would be wired shut for six weeks or I could have surgery where they would go into my jaw and install a steel plate and a screw.

Frankly, none of these options sounded particularly appealing.

And no matter how cute the doctor, I had no idea what to do here. If ever there was a dilemma, this was it. Since neither option sounded very tempting, I simply started to sniffle again. Well, I realized was I doing more than sniffling when the tears started to fall down my stitched-up face. Getting even more red and blotchy.

“I don’t know what to do. This is the worst thing that has ever happened to me.”

Dr. Handsome gave me a little re-assuring pat on my arm.

“Well, that’s good. It’s going to be okay,” he kept telling me as the tears embarrassingly flowed down my broken face.

He discussed my options a little more in-depth, but I still wasn’t coming any closer to a decision. Wow. I had to make a decision.

If you ever break your jaw---well, first of all, my sympathies. I learned later, via a Google search, that it’s the worst bone in your body that you can break. Second, the doctors will explain it to you thusly:

Wired shut means exactly that. You will be eating out of a straw for six weeks. You’ll be able to talk, but you’ll look and sound like pretty much like a beginning ventriloquist. The problem there being that sometimes after six weeks, the bone doesn’t set properly and you have to go back in and they have to re-break the jaw and start all over again. That’s what’s behind Door Number One.

Door Number Two? Well, they make an incision right underneath the jaw. Occasionally, they have to make an incision alongside the ear, as well. They place the steel plate and screw inside, stitch you up and you’re done. You’ll be able to talk and open your mouth right away. You’ll be on mushy foods for a few weeks and have to do a little bit of home-based physical therapy to get things all working again. You might lose some feeling and movement in your face for a few weeks, but that’s normal and will eventually heal. Unfortunately, there’s a nerve right there where they do the work, and there is the possibly of nerve damage. It’s slight. VERY slight. They monitor the nerve throughout the surgery, but there is a slight risk of permanent damage.

So, what do you want to do?

I had no idea. All I could do was to sit there sniffling. I looked at my now cold cup of tea sitting next to my coat on the floor. I was going to have to check into the hospital. I had no overnight supplies. Sure I’d gone back home twice. But I’m not very good at things like Emergency Preparedness. I wish I were the type of person who actually had that “Go Bag” the government agencies are always telling you to have ready-at-hand. But I’m not. I’m a slightly quirky artist/waitress who can’t even leave for work early enough to make the train. Well, half of me is. I remain extremely proud of the fact that one-half of me was on that damn train.

But the tea? What was I thinking?

At the very least, I could have thrown some contact lens solution, deodorant, shampoo and a pair of clean underpants into my bag. But apparently it was more important that I have a cup of tea!

And what about my kitty? Sure, I filled her dish with cat food and gave her nice, fresh water before I left for work that day. But why didn’t I think to throw down an extra dish of food? Why didn’t I throw a few extra pellets into the bowl for my betta fish? All I could think about was that cup of tea!

I asked the handsome doctor for a moment to make a phone call to help me make a decision. He smiled and said that would be no problem and patted me again saying that he would give me a moment alone. One more re-assuring pat and this would’ve been the best date I’d had in months. Well, except for the pesky broken jaw thing.

I got out my cell phone and called the one person who’d had more slips and falls than any other person I know. She was also possibly the one person I knew who would always be there for me and always at home this time of day---my Aunt Joyce.

I turned on my phone and immediately realized one other horrible thing---I was almost out of battery power. Damn that cup of tea! You’d at least think that while the water was brewing I would have thought to grab my charger. Luckily, a couple of bars began to pop up.

I tried to sound as calm as possible when she picked up the phone. I started by apologizing for waking her up. Despite my pain and the obvious emergency, the Catholic Guilt thing always steps in. Then I quickly told her what happened. Re-assured her that I was being well taken care of and I now had a decision to make. She sounded half-asleep as she rendered her decision.

“Well, honey---you just listen to your doctors and do what they tell you to do.”

I guess it was going to be up to me. And the bottom line is, as much as I love to write---damn, I love to talk. I just couldn’t see myself barely able to open my mouth to speak for six whole weeks. Not only that, but I certainly couldn’t work during that time. Not as a waitress. Sure, most of the time you’re just walking back and forth. But at some point, someone’s going to ask you the soup of the day. And if it healed wrong? Well, I’d have to go in for the surgery anyway.

I made my choice. She told me that she would give my Mom a call at work and let her know what had happened, told me she loved me, and said to listen to my doctors and she’d call me in the morning.

A few moments later, I informed my good-looking doctor of my decision. I would do the surgery. However, despite my pain and fear, I kept thinking of the little things. How much food was in the cat food dish? Where was I going to put my contact lenses? And, while I was currently wearing a clean pair of underpants---what would I wear tomorrow? Without bringing up my underpants (after all, despite the re-assuring pats, we weren’t quite on a first name basis, yet) I asked my cute doctor if there was any way I could go home and come back. I’d only be about an hour.

“What do you need?”

It was all so stupid. I muttered something about my cat. My cell phone. I even got up the courage to let Dr. Perfect-Perfect know that I wore contact lenses. He re-assured me that I would be taken care of and that there would be a phone in my room. And surely I could call a friend about my cat. He certainly couldn’t recommend that I leave. And stressed that if I left, it would be against doctor’s orders. I have to admit, he looked extra cute when he was scolding. Well, doctor’s orders. The cat was just going to have to fend for herself.

The handsome doctor took me by the arm and led me to a chair. Under any other circumstances, this sentence would sparkle with the anticipation of wonder and romance. Unfortunately, the chair was a wheelchair. AARRRGGGGHHHH!!!!

The indignity of it all! There I sat. Broken. Confused. Scared of out of wits. And with tufts of black string growing out of my chin.

Then they told me to lie down on a gurney. My wonderful doctor gave my chart to the processing people, told me he’d be back to see me soon and gave me another little re-assuring pat.

“You’re going to be okay.”

He was really going to have to stop that.

A few minutes later, a nurse came by to get a blood sample and then came back to stick an IV thingy in my arm.

Could I have any more pieces of medical equipment jutting out of my body? This was certainly not attractive. And then my doctor came back.

“Now, I’ve scheduled you for surgery tomorrow,” he began to explain. The most important thing was that I get a lot of rest.

“I really want you to get some sleep tonight,” he wagged a finger at me. So cute!

“And you can’t have anything to eat or drink after midnight. So you’ve only got one hour left till then. Okay?”

“Okay,” I said softly. This shouldn’t be a problem. After all, how much could I eat with a broken jaw?

As he gave me another one of those pats, I suddenly realized something awful. I turned to him and said, “I’m sorry. But is there any way I could get a cup of tea?”

Stay tuned for Part Two!