Saturday, September 24, 2011

Post Op Advice

For several years now, my friend Paul and I have driven each other to the hospital when one or the other was to undergo a procedure needing anesthesia. For obvious reasons, most health providers will not perform even routine surgery unless the patient is driven to and from the site; my HMO goes a step farther and insists the accompanier be there during and after the surgery.

This has led to a couple of interesting situations, not the least of which is the assumption by the medical folks that Paul and I are an aging gay couple—after all, who but your partner would volunteer to take you to have surgery?

Paul has been married to the same lady for some twenty years, and I’ve been married twice. We are both disgustingly heterosexual and yet on three separate occasions, one or the other has been pulled aside by the post-op nurses and advised of what to be aware of— post-operationally—in the other.  Most recently, Paul was told that he should not allow me to eat too many nuts and legumes and encourage me to sleep on my back.

At some point, we decided that trying to correct the assumptions of others was a losing proposition. In an earlier blog, I mentioned how many women hikers, seeing two men on the trail, will assume the men are gay and therefore not a threat. This, I guess, is good. If I could find other areas were being instantly—and wrongly—labeled as a gay male might be advantageous, I would welcome them. I am sure there are some; I’m simply not aware of them.

I’m going into surgery this coming Friday, and Paul will accompany me. I suspect he will have to endure another iteration of the various what, when, where and how to deal with my health. That’s OK. After all, what are friends for?

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