The Ghost of Operations Past

How to rock bladder surgery


Plague doctor with long beak and all
Not my doctor Photo by conor rabbett on Unsplash

While being wheeled into the operating room, I started to ask my doctor a question. “So, if this is cancer..?”

He cut in sharply. “It is cancer.”

I thought such a diagnosis would follow the biopsy, but who am I to argue with a doctor? I have argued with doctors about computer problems, but I had the upper hand there. Also, they were paying me, not the other way around. I had always enjoyed writing out big invoices for doctors. Yes, that’s a little sadistic of me. Tough.

I’m not a worrier. If this thing in my bladder was cancer, I’d think about it later. All I wanted to know was when I could get a follow-up appointment. He wouldn’t have known anyway, so I shut my mouth.

Earlier, a nurse had been by to rig up some intravenous tubes. She started by trying to find a usable vein in the back of my hand. I’ve had that done before, but she struggled, muttering something about “valves”.

Sheesh. There are veins all over my hands. Look, see? There must be valves in there somewhere. Turns out, that was the problem — too many valves in her way.

Back of my hand with lots of blue veins
Do my veins lack valves? Photo by author

After several jabs, she moved up to just above my wrist and tried again. No luck there, either. Exasperated, she attacked the crook of my elbow and struck oil at last.

Then, three ghosts appeared. The first one claimed to be part of the anesthesiology team, but I knew he was the Ghost of Operations Past. He asked a series of questions I had already answered on-line. Nice guy.

The second ghost asked the same questions.

So did Casper number three, the Ghost of Future Operations. Apparently, people hire starving grad students to replace them on the operating table. The repeated questions are to catch the imposters in an error to avoid this type of cheating.

And then there was my doctor with his cheery prognosis of doom. I didn’t recognize him at first because he was wearing eyeglasses thicker than Kim K’s…



Anthony (Tony/Pcunix) Lawrence

Retired Unix Consultant. I write tech and humor mostly but sometimes other things. see my Lists if your interests are specific.