Enough Procedures for Everyone – Take a Number

by Bella Rum

I don’t know exactly how it happened, but H and I both scheduled our “procedures” for this week. I didn’t even realize this until Sunday. I got my quarterly eye-poke procedure yesterday, and he had oral surgery this morning: two extractions, two implants, bone grafting, skin stretching (to cover the area) and stitches. His was much higher on the pity scale than mine.

When the nurse showed me back to a small waiting roomdopey02, I found him lounging in a comfy recliner, dwelling somewhere between The Land of Nod and The Twilight Zone. The doctor said he was chemically delusional about how extensive and serious the surgery was. Meaning he was as dopey as… well, Dopey, and believed the whole thing was walk on the beach. He is supposed to be a total slug for a couple of days. He is not allowed to lift anything heavier than a fork or walk any further than the bathroom until Sunday. Even as goofy as he was, he was complaining about not being able to exercise for a week.

I’ve kept his jaw iced down, but it’s beginning to swell. The doc said the worst will be on Sunday.

Now, lets talk about money. Our insurance shared the cost for his last implant, but we found out YESTERDAY that there’s a lifetime limit, and he used all of it on the first implant. The doctor required payment in advance. Wait for it.


This is what happens when you’re born with crummy teeth. His teeth look fine; he has such a sweet smile, but trust me, they are not fine. Not! He needs one more implant. After that, he will have good anchors that will enable far less costly solutions in the future. So we’re told.

While waiting in the waiting room, I listened to Nora Ephron’s I Feel Bad About My Neck: And Other Thoughts On Being A Woman. I can’t remember if I’ve ever mentioned Nora Ephron here. If I haven’t, it’s long overdue. I love her. Sycophant: There’s no other way to describe my love for her.

I’ve had this book for awhile, but I only allow myself to listen to it in waiting rooms. I have two relatively sane reasons for this. Limiting my reading to waiting rooms makes the book last longer. I was one of those kids who put her candy in her pocket and watched her friend devour her’s. Delaying and anticipating the pleasure made me enjoy it all the more.

The second reason I only allow myself to listen to it in waiting rooms is because I’m the worst waiting room person in the world. I hate it. And Nora forces me to tolerate the wait, nay, to enjoy it. She wraps her arms around me and squeezes until I laugh out loud in front of strangers.

And have you noticed how sadistic waiting room designers are. They never put clocks in waiting rooms, and I always forget my watch. If they’re going to keep me waiting, I want to know exactly how long. If I’ve been told the wait will be one hour, I want to know precisely how many minutes over an  hour they’ve made me wait. H gave me his watch today before he disappeared into that lonely corridor. Even though I knew he would be fine, I always hate that moment of separation when one of us is “going under.”

Nora Ephron

nora-ephronBut Nora, who narrated this book in her familiar, casual tone (I recommend the audible version), distracted me in the best possible way. She regaled me with stories about cookbooks and recipes that she made back in the day, with her crazy stories of friends who spent exorbitant amounts on purses and how she finally chose a public transit bag to use as a purse, and her self-deprecating stories about her “maintenance routine” which included hair removal in various places.

Nora, your wit had no rival. You engaged and delighted us, and I wish you were still here to give us more. Your fans are a greedy lot.