A few weeks ago, I blogged about a presentation I recently gave to colleagues about how miscommunication causes businesses to lose millions annually. To personalize my presentation, I decided ‘on the fly’ to share with the group the research I’d conducted and decision I’d finally made to get implants (Getting Implants? Clarify! Blog Dec. 27). In short, the very point I was trying to make about miscommunication – I made at my own, somewhat embarrassing, expense.
I’m grateful for mistakes. Without them, we’d never learn anything.
So I sit this morning, admittedly, nervous about being sedated in a few hours to get four dental implants. It’s not so much that I’m worried something will go wrong, or that I’m annoyed I’ll be trapped in my face for a week, or that I won’t be able to chomp for a while. It’s more that I’m worried about what I’ll say in my amusing loquacious babble, before or after sedation. In the past, I’ve allegedly announced I was pregnant, running for office, and was once a stripper named Lollipop. For the record, none of it was true.
Anesthesia impairs the brain, making some laugh, some cry, some babble. Check out Hannah Manry’s babbling “Land of the Blueberries” on YouTube. Her diatribe landed her on The Ellen DeGeneres Show. Luckily, I’m not to THAT extreme, and have tolerant friends picking me up who’ve promised not to hold anything I say or do against me.
My babble first revealed itself 15 years ago, when I’d just moved to Syracuse to start a morning anchoring job and needed minor surgery. A colleague offered to drop me off and pick me up. When the surgery was over, the nurse told me it was time to go home as my husband had arrived to pick me up. I followed her orders, got dressed and went in the waiting room whereby ‘my husband’ told the nurses they brought out the wrong wife. I’m told I assured the group I was the right wife until my colleague arrived to save me from my stupor self.
Five years ago, my daughter Kiki picked me up from an oral surgeon’s office after they’d pulled a tooth under a fog of Versed. That’s really good stuff. After getting the “she’s ready” phone call – like I’m a take-out order – Kiki joined me in the teeny, cold, don’t-get-too-comfortable recovery closet. I tried to make out her features as she nudged me to hurry up, wake up, get up, and get going. Of course, I complied. That’s what children, puppies and sedated people do. I vaguely remember her annoyance as she herded me down the hallway – like an embarrassed parent leading a naughty kid out of the principal’s office. All I was trying to do was eloquently sing, “I Wish You a Merry Christmas” (it was July) through my soggy, drooling, gauze-packed half smile, complemented with an awkward Miss America stage wave as I bumbled into walls.
Later that night, Kiki informed me she was never picking me up again, that I was embarrassing, and to find another ride in the future.
Her understandable revulsion would come to light, a week later, during a follow-up visit, where the nurses in the surgeon’s office thought it was AWESOME that I clutched the doctor’s coat, provocatively flirting, “Oh, Bob, I love it when you knock me up!”
(OUT! Yes, I’m sure I meant OUT.)
Three years ago, needing a brief surgery, again requiring anesthesia, I warned the doctor about my ‘babble.’ She told me not to worry, that they’ve heard it all and actually find things patients say, quite amusing.
Apparently I told Becky, a kind middle-aged operating room nurse, she had a lovely face. Which would have been fine, had I just left it at that. But I didn’t. I just had to add adjectives, an accent, AND a tag line.
“Becky…you have…a VEEERY….VERY loveeely…looovely face,” I whispered softly in a high-pitched British-ish accent — before shouting, “BUT YOUR MAKEUP IS A HORROR SHOW!!!”
I was mortified when the doctor told me what I’d said, adding that when I woke up, I announced I’d just slept with Tom Jones.
I’m hoping today, there’s enough gauze to keep my opinions…to myself.