Five Routine Minutes: The Urine Sample Lady Does Not Like Jokes

The countdown is on. I check in for surgery at 4am this coming Tuesday. If all goes according to plan, by noon I will have a piece of donated bone and a titanium plate in my neck. I’ll get rid of some pain and some bone spurs that are injuring my spinal cord. All in all, I’m planning on Tuesday being a good day.

There is a lot of preparation that goes into doing surgery on someone’s spinal column. To speed the process, I got an appointment to go to the hospital this week and take care of some of the preliminary questions and tests.

Tuesday, 10 A.M.

I arrived for my pre-surgical appointment early. Sadly, that meant I had to sit in the waiting room and watch Dr. Phil. Dr. Phil is such a hack. I’m not sure why they felt that I deserved to suffer through that.

Soon, I was in a room by myself. A series of people came in to poke, prod and question me. Each of them started our meeting by asking me my name and birth date. I don’t know for sure, but I think they are planning a surprise party for me next year. Hospitals are expensive, but the people who work there are nice.

"Why I wear a party hat to my own surprise party?" My internal dialogue sounds like Frankenstein. A bad artist destroys works like this. A good one finds a way to make it work.


They kept mentioning to me that my surgeon had a lot of standing orders concerning his patients. They said it in that reverent way that implies that not everyone is as conscientious. The one standing order they let me in on was that he wanted to know the blood types of his patients before surgery. I had always assumed that, unless it was an emergency, all surgeons knew their patient’s blood type before surgery. I think that is one of the two questions a surgeon should ask themselves before surgery.

I think those questions should be part of the surgeon’s creed. I don’t know if they have a creed but if not, I submit this for consideration at their next meeting:

I (state your name) promise to always wash my hands thoroughly with an antiseptic soap before going into surgery. Because they are important to all concerned, I will ask myself two questions before I cut anyone. Those questions are whether I am operating on a person and if I know their blood type. Measure twice and cut once, so help me God.

Filling The Cup. Now With Moist Towelette.

So off to the lab I went, to give blood and urine samples. I knew I was giving a blood sample so I could receive donated blood if I needed it. I don’t know why I did the other.

A woman at the lab handed me a specimen cup. “Fill this” she said as she handed me the cup. She also handed me a foil wrapped disposable moist towelette like you get in some restaurants. As she did, she said “but first, you know what this is for.”

She didn’t have much of a sense of humor.

I’m hoping for a funny anesthesiologist.


38 Comments on “Five Routine Minutes: The Urine Sample Lady Does Not Like Jokes”

  1. Anesthesiologists are always funny. I think surgeons are, too. They always leave me in stitches.

  2. And my last comment was so bad that i feel I owe you an apology for it. I am better than that.

  3. I’m betting your chances of a funny anesthesiologist are a bit better as I would guess everything is a bit more funny drugged up. Good luck!

  4. Laura says:

    I had to give a urine sample before some minor surgery I had a couple years ago. I’m pretty sure it was for a pregnancy test.

  5. AiXeLsyD13 says:

    I saw a guy in a hospital once fill his urine cup with apple juice, then take a swig in front of the nurse…

  6. shoutabyss says:

    I would love her job so much. What a step up that would be for me. I can dream, can’t I?

    Good luck in there. Your neck is gonna feel so good after this!

  7. Lenore Diane says:

    Measure twice, cut once. Funny thing is – I read it backwards the first time. I hope the doctors accepting the creed are also good and thorough readers.

    Good luck, Ooma. At the risk of sounding like a crazed stalker, you are in my thoughts. I assure you, I am not a stalker. Well, not in the tapping phones, breaking into homes and going through your mail. Crazed? Jury is still out on that one.

  8. Lenore Diane says:

    Did I really spell Oma wrong? Wow. Sorry ’bout that, Cheif. Er, Chief!

  9. I might have been confused about the towelette too…

    Good luck with your surgery, Oma…best wishes for a speedy recovery! Will your brother be doing a “play by play” of the procedure for us while you’re asleep? I’m still waiting for him to start a blog…


    • omawarisan says:

      The towlette is just not part of the usual procedure. I don’t know why she’d think I’d think of it the way she wanted me to.

      Oh, no. I am not letting my brother in the operating room. He’d be lobbing meatballs or something.

  10. If your anesthesiologist is Dr. Handsome, don’t take it personally when he tells you you’ll be nauseous. His poor word choice belies his proficiency in making you go nighty-night.

    I hope you’re not nauseated, either.

  11. Wendi says:

    I second @writerwoman61’s idea of a live blogged/tweeted procedure. Good luck Oma.

  12. weid0089 says:

    My dad used to watch Dr. Phil(for real). And when you’re 10 and you think your dad is the coolest man on the planet you like what he likes. I am ashamed of my past. Sorry they put you through that. At least they let you play with your own pee and a moist toilette afterward.

  13. Jane says:

    I wonder if it has ever occurred that someone’s surgery was cancelled because of an unsatisfactory urine sample? I wonder what’s on the good urine checklist?:
    Pamper yourself this weekend and set up your novel-writing nook for when you get home.

  14. You mean she didn’t tell you to wipe front to back?

    I hope you have a quick recovery!

  15. Debbie says:

    Best of luck, Oma — will say a few prayers for a successful outcome!

  16. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Always hope that the medical staff will continue to ask your name and what part of your body will be operated on – all the way up to “count backwards from ten.” In fact, have your wife use a Sharpie to write all that info on your back, just in case.

    You’ll be fine, Oma! You’re going in healthy and you’re relatively young 😉 so no worries! A life free from the kind of pain you’ve been having will be so wonderful!

  17. jacquelincangro says:

    i think everything is funnier once they give you the drugs…

    Good luck on Tuesday and best wishes for a speedy recovery.

  18. jennygoth says:

    well what a way to spend xmas on your back aww sorry best wishes hugs jenxx

  19. linlah says:

    I’ll never think of a towelette the same way again. Best of luck.

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