Thursday, February 07, 2013

Care Taking

I am not so much of a care taker.

I mean, in your time of need,

I will make you a meal

run your errands

take you somewhere

but not sure I can do anything more medical than that.

If you could hear it, I just whispered the word medical. 
Lest it mean anything slightly more than a toe-step over 
my sense of personal space and boundaries.

I appreciate the fact that I have only had brief encounters 
with care taking.

I thank God that He has not seen fit 
to equip me in that area--yet.

I am confident He will do so if that changes.

Heaven only knows just how much I need it.
And Carisa.

Me and Carisa at the surprise 80s birthday party
I threw her. She thinks she is hilarious
covering up my face just as the picture is
snapped. She is.
I mentioned some time ago that my friend, Carisa, had a bit of plastic surgery.

2 bits, actually.
Sorry. That was inappropriate. 

It was a reduction surgery.

I was slated for care taking.

After my hyena-like giggle fest during the pre-operation doctor's appointment, my friend elected her daughter as the more "hands on" care taker.

It was a smart choice.

I panic when I get stuck in the underlinings
of a garment in a dressing room. 

But since I drive, I took Carisa to her post-op doctor's appointment. 

She was still a bit woozy from the pain pills.

And she was dragging around 
two drain balls
that were still attached
to her person.

That was the whole intent of the appointment.

To remove the drain balls.

Sweet heavens, I did NOT realize what that was going to entail.

Neither did Carisa.

Or she would have had her daughter come

driver's license or no driver's license.

The very trusted and respected doctor came in to greet us with a beautiful, young, strawberry blond

(heavy on the strawberry, so that's how I'll refer to her) 

that was in her residency of her medical training.

The doctor asked if it was okay if Strawberry could take out the drain balls.

Carisa was all thumbs-ups and fist bumps from the pain pills
(figuratively speaking)
and said okay to Strawberry.

I was seated across from her and directly in sight of the full-length mirror that was hanging on the back of the room door.

After some questions and "looking good" comments by the doctor, he left us with Strawberry and a nurse.

We preceded to verbally hug all over Strawberry like only two experienced mommas can do.

"Look at your hair--it's gorgeous!"
"Those eyelashes--to die for!"
"Your momma must be so proud of you, 
going off and being a doctor!"

Then Strawberry got to the business at hand.

I'm not sure I had actually thought about how long the tubes of a drain ball would be, 

but when Strawberry kept pulling out 
and pulling out 

the ever-lengthening drainage tube

I kept thinking she was going to pull out a rabbit

or a series of attached colored scarves 

like a magician.

But I wasn't fascinated.

I was horrified.

I saw my face in the mirror on the back of the room door.

Horr. I. Fied.

Carisa looked liked she was getting her nails done.

No. Big. Whoop.

I tried to breathe through the brewing nausea.

Then Strawberry started in on the other drain ball.

The stitching was a bit snug on that side.

After a few tugs, Carisa's eyes grew wide with pain and she did the "I hurt" giggle while looking to me for comfort.

I had nothing.

Except a wide-mouthed gasp of disgust as Strawberry whipped out some surgical scissors and started snipping away at my friend's

not-ready-to-come-out stitches 

to widen the opening so the drainage tube could be extracted.

I watched every bit of color drain from Carisa's face.

Then mine.

I started to sweat and then looked around for a plan if the brewing nausea decided it meant business.

There was a sink nearby.


After all that was over, Carisa was exhausted and too sore to get herself back into the post-op, hospital-issued bra that was given to her.

I decided to attempt to make myself useful for something, and helped her.

The zipper closure in front got stuck.

So I did what moms have been doing since the invention of zippers

I jiggled it.

Jiggling and post-surgery don't go together.


I knew this instantly when I heard the defeated kicked dog moan coming from deep within Carisa.

I begged her to punch me in the throat.

She assured me if she had an ounce of strength, she would.

That made me feel better


I saw what I thought was one of Strawberry's beautiful stray hairs hanging out of Carisa's bra.

I realized after I gave it a good tug

that it was attached

and in fact a STITCH and NOT one of Strawberry's beautiful stray hairs.

There was that "I hurt" giggle again.

I just fell over myself with all manner of apologies and promises.

So I took her shopping for button-up shirts which would be easier for her recovery.

Shopping with someone on pain pills is a bit of a roller coaster.

There was the moment when she cried at the realization that she was now a much smaller size.

Then the moment she felt the need to "share" with the woman walking by all about her surgery. 

The woman kept walking.

Carisa kept talking.

I busied myself looking at skirts. Very intently.

Then there was the moment when we were in line to purchase 
and Carisa confessed her deep need 
to tell the very bosomy check out lady 
about the freedom of reduction surgery.

I urged her not to.

Maybe even begged a little.

Then she just sat down

right on the floor

like a puppy in the middle of play time

too exhausted to move one more step.

So in conclusion, 

if you are having surgery,

call me for a meal

or errand running

but trust me on this,

nothing more medical than that.


  1. Dying. You? Are one hell of a storyteller. I love a good story of ineptitude, and his is one of the funniest posts I have ever read. (And cringe inducing.)Your picture is probably in post-op recovery brochures across the country: "See this woman? Don't let her anywhere near you."

  2. For excellence in blogging, I am hereby awarding you the Bloggy Dance Award (formerly known as the Sunshine Award). You just copy and paste the award button, copy the questions from my post, answer them, then pass them along to someone you deem worthy. I hope you have fun with it. I know I did - like most bloggers the thing I like talking about most is myself!

  3. Wow! Thank you so much, Lisa, for the acknowledgement! I have been reading your blog. Oh my! Can't wait to spend more time reading. The top questions you find yourself asking your kids is TOO funny! I remember those days. The questions just get weirder when they become teenagers. Ha! Hmmm…there might me a post in there somewhere. Thanks again!

  4. Oh, I could just picture this entire episode! I spent many years working a clinic so the medical part doesn't scare me so much but I have seen many "helpers" end up as white as the patients.

  5. all giggles over here and yeah drainage tubes.....they go in a long ways. I love the medical, it fascinates me.

  6. OH, thanks for the giggles this morning!

  7. Oh my word!!!! This post is hysterical, Karmen!!!! LOVE!!!


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