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That Little Hop At The End

Lou Reed. Schinitzer Concert Hall Portland, OR

Lou! (Image via Wikipedia)

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

Hospital - old operating room - NARA - 299583

I wasn’t awake, so I can’t say for sure that this is my operating room. (Image via Wikipedia)

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.

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31 Comments on “That Little Hop At The End”

  1. Snoring Dog Studio says:

    Ahh! And now you’re home where you should be! I’m so happy that you’re feeling better. You’ll remember this one Christmas for sure. Now you can have a real beer.

  2. Glad your surgery went well, and you had a good experience at the hospital!

    Merry Christmas to you and your family, Oma!

    Wendy

  3. Happy you are finished with the surgery and back home. Yes, the anesthesiologist is always my best friend. And the best times are when I’m out before I ever hit the OR. Happy Holidays!

  4. Katybeth says:

    A little hop at the end…I really like that a lot. My pediatrician always looked me in the eye at the end of each angst ridden baby visit with Cole and said, “You are doing such a great job.” I was embarrassed by how much those words meant to me. A hop at the end end can really help make the leap a lot easier

    Merry Christmas. Be mindful and well.

  5. Lenore Diane says:

    Very nice, Oma. I like the ‘little hop at the end’ sentiment.
    Having had one or two procedures/surgeries, I know the value of a good anesthetist. Having a nurse for a sister, I know the value of a good medical team. I am glad you had a good team, and I am glad the last person you heard assured you.
    Happy recovery!

  6. Laura says:

    Ah, the magic IV juice. My anesthesiologist referred to it as “a couple of martinis”, and I remember going instantly from being terrified about my procedure to being fascinated and delighted by the patterns made by the ceiling tiles. He stopped by afterwards to see how I was doing, and although I didn’t technically thank him, I did tell him he was the best bartender ever.

  7. Spectra says:

    I am glad to hear you are doing well, and that your attending anesthesist(?) was so reassuring. My last procedure, the anesthesiologist took additude with me, when I congratulated him on his MD degree (they are real doctors, afterall). I was not so reassured.

    Hoping you enjoy your Holidays, even horizontally 😀

  8. Pie says:

    A hop at the end. I like that. How many beers do you think they shot into your IV? It’s almost worth having an operation for that experience alone.

    Have a wonderful, restful Christmas, Oma. See you next year.

  9. Was it a domestic or foreign? Are you speaking German or Spanish or (maybe, if it was Blue Moon) French?

    So glad to see you are awake again and writing. Enjoy your Christmas “break”!

  10. Linda Sand says:

    So, glad you came through all this with your sense of humor intact. It would be horrible if they extracted that!

  11. Jane says:

    You’ve just given me my New Year’s resolution (I actually keep mine because I only choose goals that I’m pretty sure I can achieve): I’m going to provide a “little hop at the end for someone at least once a day.”
    If I get good at it, I could probably hop all day!
    Thanks for the inspiration.

  12. linlah says:

    Her hop was the hops in the beer, glad you’re home and recovering.

  13. You are an amazing writer. You really know how to tell a story. This one had me hooked at the beginning and all the way through. That anesthesist sounds like a good person. I am so glad everything turned out okay.

  14. Debbie says:

    Yeah! Here’s “hopping” your recovery continues as well as the surgery!

  15. spencercourt says:

    A little hop at the end is always good!

  16. Cheers! So glad your surgery went well and I wish you a speedy recovery! Will be happy when you’re hopping around. Merry Christmas and best wishes for the New Year!

  17. Barb says:

    It’s funny how important that little hop is.. thanks for reminding me to hop more.

  18. shoutabyss says:

    To me it is amazing the amount of love you feel in that situation. During one of the most helpless moments of your life this magical person is taking time to be nice to you, to take care of you, and is helping take away the pain that has been troubling you for so long. I experience this feeling at the dentist’s office quite a bit.

  19. […] Let’s take a little side trip here. As a courtesy to anyone considering kidnapping me, I’m going to pass this little tidbit on – it doesn’t take much to sedate me. They put something in my IV right after the nurse said that kind thing. “It’ll help you relax a little”, they said. I went way past relaxed. It knocked me out, instantly. This is not the first time this has happened. […]


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