Tuesday, July 28, 2009
Biopsy or bust
In just a few days, I'll be back under the knife in the operating room at Kaiser.
I hope they wheel me into the recovery room when that nurse who thinks I am a doppelganger for Ben Stiller is on duty. Ben Stiller is an even hotter commodity than he was last winter, so rumors that the star of "A Night at the Museum: Battle for the Smithsonian" is recovering from surgery at Kaiser would create even more of a stir than it did the last time I was in the hospital.
Trouble is, the more famous Ben Stiller gets, the less likely it becomes that anyone whose vision is superior to Mister Magoo's would mistake me for him. But maybe I could rustle up a faux Anne Meara lookalike to sit by my bed and moisten my forehead with a washcloth until I come to, just for fun.
Star impersonations aside, there's a lot riding on Friday's procedure.
My face has all of the pliability of a Grecian bust at the Getty Villa. Still, Dr. B1, my head and neck surgeon, believes he can get his sharp tools into my mouth far enough to capture tissue at the back of my tongue for a biopsy —without fracturing my jaw in the process.
On Monday, I asked Dr. B1 how he would know if my jaw fractured during the procedure.
"We probably wouldn't know," he replied, referring to the rest of the surgical staff. "But you would be able to tell, from all of the pain."
I have complete confidence in Dr. B1, of course. These days, I barely flinch when he pushes the fiber-optic camera in my nostrils and drops it down my throat. If anyone can pry open my mouth wide enough to capture tissue off my tongue for a biopsy, he can.
Before I get knocked out on Friday morning, I'll slip a black Sharpie between my fingers.
Just in case anybody on Kaiser's nursing staff wants an autograph after I come to.