The day is here and I’m hungry. Dr. Niazi instructed to avoid eating anything after 10PM the day before the operation. My last meal was a masala steak burger from La Fiesta at 1PM, forgetting to tell them to remove the tomatoes from my burger. As I indulged in the burger I removed them myself.
Back to the present day
Ouma and I woke early, a black sky showing itself outside my bedroom window. The geyser was off, I ended up bathing in the basin. The water was cold and got my nipples hard as I gave myself a quick sub-zero scrub. An overnight bag had been prepared the night before. I got dressed and checked with Ouma if we packed everything. We left home and made our way to Greenacres hospital, arriving at 5:35AM. There was plenty of parking, unlike the times I visited my specialist where I would circle the parking lot 3 to 4 times, stalking someone approaching their car for their parking spot – Today I had my pick.
Ouma and I entered the hospital. She sat down as I strolled to the receptionist’s desk where she pulled out an orange file from a dark gray cabinet. “Take a seat so long Mr. George” said the receptionist. I had a glance at the rest of the unwell crowd; a black guy with a knee brace almost similar to mine and an old bald white guy with a blue shirt, navy blazer, old man trousers and a walking stick. The guy behind me was listening to music through his earphones. I brought my headphones and did the same. Ouma sat next to me on Christmas tree green couch, playing slots on the tablet.
Dealing with another woman by the name of Cecelia Wilson, she made me sigh a few forms before instructing me to proceed to Ward B on the second floor. One of the nurses, short and dark skinned showed me towards my room; room 210. Upon entering the room I immediately noticed that I was the youngest patient in the room. The walls, TV sets built into the ceiling, the bed sheets and 3/5 patients had the same thing in common… They were white – the bed curtains were light blue. The short black man in the bed next to mine and myself, were the only two to add colour to this all white party.
Two elderly men had the window seats; Mr. Morris and Mr. Bezuidenhout. Mr. Bezuidenhout is from Jeffreys Bay, he is 70 and a retired minister of the Dutch Reformed church. It appeared that he had undergone surgery on his shoulder judging by the sling around his arm.
Mr. Morris was a mystery was a mystery, he didn’t say much. He resembled Patrick Stewart and had a voice for radio. It turned out he actually did radio advertisements back in his day. He had both his kneecaps replaced, yellow bandages plastered on both of them. He seemed capable of walking with the assistance of crutches. His wife would pick him up later that day.
In the bed next to mine laid Mr. Tuni, he was in a tragic car accident – two people died and his friend was paralysed. He made it out alive, but not unscathed. I couldn’t tell whether he was asleep or not because his hand covered his face.
Across my bed laid Mr. Du Toit. I had no idea what his story was, he never said much. He wore black framed spectacles with thick bandages wrapped around his left arm and right leg.
Each bed had its own TV mounted into ceiling, mine seemed to be out of order. I asked to be moved to a bed with a functioning TV after my operation.
The nurse working in the kitchen came to take my orders for the duration of my stay. For lunch I’ll be having chicken breasts and boiled potatoes. For supper, its grilled fish and mash. I look forward to dessert – malva pudding drenched in custard. Nurse Petersen, a coloured woman with uneven skin tone told me that I had moved up the list from third to second, this meant that I could eat sooner.
Ronecia Bell brought lunch for the two geysers at the window. I could hear the earthquake within my stomach as the smell of food crept up my nostrils. She wore a black hair net with a forced ponytail underneath it. The white shirt she wore was light, you could probably see her boobs if she weren’t wearing a tank top underneath it. Black pants and shoes covered her lower half. I could tell that English wasn’t her first language. The day operation when I complained about the milk being, she asked
“Why didn’t you ask me to hot your milk?”
She came up to me as if she had known me for years.
“Excuse me if this sounds rude, but have we met before?” I asked with a puzzled look on my face.
Pointing to me as she says “you work at Pick n Pay. I was a merchandiser there”
Merchandiser is a fancy word for shelf-packer. Now she’s a health care worker, something like a waitress for hospital patients.
It was already 12PM, two hours after I was scheduled for surgery. Eventually the nurse told me that my operation was delayed due to the first patient needing a knee replacement instead of a ligament replacement, which takes longer. 12:30PM a young, thick, brunette haired nurse by the name of Cindy Cunningham pushed me out of room 210 on my hospital bed. She reminded of a friend mine with her flat dough nose, chubby cheeks and BBW structure.
The porters in their dark green scrubs and blue hair nets took me into theatre. The first thing you noticed or should I rather say felt, was how cold it was. There were machines and people all around. The cold didn’t seem to bother them, but I felt the cold embrace my body as I began to shiver. I sat up on the bed, the porter untied my hospital gown, exposing my back. The room seemed colder than before as my teeth began to dance against each other.
“Mr. George, I am going to give you two injections in your spine. The first will numb your skin. The second will numb your lower body” explained the white doctor wearing rimless spectacles. This must be Dr. Viljoen, the specialist from Durban.
The doctor felt his way around my spine as I leaned forward with my head pressed against the porter’s chest. Penetrating my skin, the first needle went in and I felt a liquid run down inside my body. I always hated needles and injections. It was worse when the doctor told you when to expect it. The second injection wasn’t that bad since my skin was numb. Again a cold liquid ran down the inside of my body, only this time I felt an unexpected jolt in my leg, not too long and they went numb.
The porter lifted my lame legs back onto the bed and shifted me onto the operating table. Lights shone directly above me, blinding me from everything around. This must be the light people see when they die on the table. The doctor placed a breathing mask over my mouth and within mere seconds, everything faded to black.