That Little Hop At The EndPosted: December 23, 2011
I have a CD that starts with Lou Reed playing the introduction of one of his better known songs, Sweet Jane. He plays the bit of music as a bit of self-deprecating humor to show new bands how to build a career (as, in his words, he did) around three chords. He then reveals that the three chord introduction to Sweet Jane actually contains a subtle fourth chord and follows it by pointing out that “like a lot of other things in life, it’s that little hop at the end.”
I like the idea of “the little hop at the end”. To me, it gives a name to that little something extra that we all give to make something a special effort. I try to make it a point to thank people who give a hop, but this week I was thwarted in my efforts.
Remember Three Days Ago, I Was In The Hospital?
On Tuesday I had some pretty significant surgery on my neck and spine. I had a lot of confidence in the surgeon and, as it turns out, I’m a pretty good judge of surgeons. Things went very well. I’m home and recuperating, the problem seems resolved.
I was nervous when I arrived at the hospital. The check in process didn’t really help. Stripping down and putting on the hospital gown is another big step. I knew they were serious about something happening when they stopped letting me walk around, they had me lay on a gurney and rolled me from one place to another. Soon I found myself in the holding area, the last stop before the operating room.
There I was, in a hospital gown and a hair net, lying on a stretcher deep in the hospital. Everyone who was going to be in the operating room started coming by to visit me. I met the nurses, I met two women who would be monitoring my nervous system, I met the anesthesiologist. My surgeon stopped by and told me a joke, I told him one back. It was all fairly reassuring. And then the anesthetist came by. She didn’t say as much, but I think she knew about the hop.
I Forgot My Manners, But It Was Her Fault
This anesthetist spoke to me about how they were going to put and keep me asleep. I paid attention because that is kind of important and she told me a lot more than the anesthesiologist did. We chatted a bit and then she gave the little hop – “I’m going to take good care of you”. Everyone else had been very kind, but no one had been so reassuring. I thought about thanking her for that, but she then she changed subjects and I figured I ought to pay attention.
“I’m going to put something in your IV, it’s going to feel like you had a glass of wine or beer. It’s just to relax you. We’ll take you into the operating room and I’ll tell you more about what I’m going to do when we are there.” I was pretty attentive to that message, then she put her magic juice into my IV. I was going to thank her for her reassurance, but the magic juice went into my arms and I said, “oh, I feel that, that’s a lot of beer.” She laughed and said, “oh is it?” That was the last thing I remember before the recovery room.
I woke up in the recovery room a couple hours later. A lot of people took great care of me. I was sure to thank all of them. I got to thank all but one.
For what it’s worth, Dear Anesthetist, thank you for your concern. It was that last little reassurance I needed to get me into the operating room with confidence. It was the little hop at the end.
But you’ve got to know, that was a lot more than one beer.