Anyone who has ever been in the military knows you have to have a wing man, a buddy who's there for you 24/7 who has your back. Would a quarterback go on the field without his offensive line? Even girlfriends know you go tandem to the powder room on a double date.

So what makes one think they can go into surgery ALONE? Of all the mistakes SL's made in her life --and there are plenty for sure--going into surgery alone was probably one of the worst.

Type A's like moi, couldn't imagine why it would be a big deal. There are nurses there, docs, etc. so why bother friend or family to be there while you were waiting to go under? In the Assembly Line fashion of the pre-op suite, you wait, you watch. Your brain goes into the deep freeze as the IV goes in to prep you for the netherworld of anesthesia and the knife. Alone.

Why be so stupid? Because SL didn't think it was a big deal. The doctor said it wouldn't be a big deal. An easy 90 minutes and you'd be out. Pain free after with the magic pain pump and ready to possibly hit the slopes late spring, driving probably 3 weeks later! Whoo hoo!

SL has always loved her fairy tales, optimistic Sag that she is.

But the Wing Man would have said early on, "Really? Seriously?"

The wing man would have taken copious notes on that first visit and fired the tough questions.
The wing man would have been right there every moment from opening the door to the surgical suite to asking questions about what medicine are you giving the patient, did you know it will interact with xyz drug patient is already taking? Why hasn't the anesthesiologist showed up? You are going to do what to her? Stick that long tube into her leg without a local anesthetic? What's the risk of infection with that thing sticking out of her leg? Why is she flipping out on the gurney?

Question, question, question. That's what the Wing Man does, and until the answers are right, they keep asking them.

The wing man has the eyes of an eagle, mind like a steel trap, and the heart of a mother Lion, not afraid to go toe-to-toe on behalf of their child, spouse, sibling, BFF, significant other, or patient for whom they serve as an advocate. Nurses, doctors, med-techs are human. Things go wrong. People suffer more than necessary. Some die.

Today's very broken, very complicated health care system makes it a necessity that one have an advocate, a wing man or wing woman alert and present from the first meeting with the surgeon, to the pre-op suite and recovery room, to the critical post-op days in the hospital when the parade of people dart in and out of the patient's room. If you're not almost Code Blue, they figure you're good to go. They can't wait to discharge you to fill that bed STAT. It's about volume these days, rather like Wal-Mart or McDonald's.

Cynical? Exaggeration? Another Fig-Newton of SL's vivid imagination? I wish it was.

Stay tuned to the next chapter..SL's Own Purple Haze!

Wishing you spex-tacular health!


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