Sunday, November 26, 2006

Thanks for No Memories

By C. L. Beck

Since November is the month for giving thanks, it seemed appropriate to think of Bob Hope’s theme song, "Thanks for the Memories", and then write about a few of the non-memories I’m grateful to have forgotten.

Medical procedures are the perfect opportunity for a writer. Especially for a writer that doesn’t pass out at the sight of blood. Unfortunately, that’s not me. All the same, when I’ve gone to the doctor’s office I’ve thought of the multitude of plots that could be concocted about the medical field . . . if I just had the technical knowledge.

In the past several years, I’ve had two colonoscopies. You might wonder why the person who wouldn’t normally tell her best friend that she has a hangnail would tell the entire world about her medical procedures. I think that must be one of the side effects of a doctor injecting stuff into your veins which totally erases your inhibitions. They tell you the medication in the I.V. is to relax you, but we all know the truth. You can bet no one is going to wear that hospital gown with the natural air conditioning in the back unless there’s a way to keep you from remembering you paraded around and mooned everyone.

There’s no doubt in my mind why the doctor asks you to have someone with you at the hospital, either. It’s not to drive you home. It’s so they can tell you the crazy things you did and don’t remember.

Before my first colonoscopy, a multitude of questions ran through my mind. Aaah, research for a future novel. Who better to ask than the doctor? By the time the procedure was over, my mind didn’t have a question in it. In fact, it didn’t even really have a brain. It was a blank slate . . . but only for a moment. As I was getting dressed to go home, a song popped into my head and I vaguely remember humming it. To hear Russ tell it, I was singing the verse, “she walked up to me and she asked me to dance, I asked for her name and in a couple of months she said Lola”, over and over again, at the top of my lungs.

Well, I can’t be certain those were the words, since my memory is fuzzy, but that’s what Russ tells me. "Lola" is a rather strange song to have stuck in my mind, and certainly not something I would sing to just anyone. The lyrics are not obscene, but they are about a questionable subject . . . cross-dressers. It’s not a topic I’m particularly well-versed on, and admittedly, I should have been singing "I Am a Child of God", but you can’t blame me. I was only singing what the I.V. dictated. My doctor’s receptionist, Lola, is a very kind person, and has always been helpful to me. Apparently she was on my mind, and the I.V. liked her as much as I do.

The second colonoscopy went much better. No, I still didn’t remember to ask those technical research questions. But, remembering my last faux paux, I reminded myself not to sing. You’ll be glad to know I accomplished the task. Not because I couldn’t recall any songs, but because when I offered to sing, the nurses and doctors all remembered my last rendition and refused to take me up on the offer. That being the case, I turned my attention to the medical facts at hand. The doctor told me the colonoscopy had gone fine and they hadn’t found any evidence of cancer. Did I sing about it? Nope. Did I formulate a plot about it? No, indeed. Instead I announced to everyone, on my long gurney ride back from the O.R., that the doctor said everything was fine and I had a "good butt".

Honest, I’m not the kind of girl who would run around and announce that to everyone. You can’t blame it on me. It was the ‘milk of amnesia’ in my I.V.


Tristi Pinkston said...

That was hysterical! Thanks for sharing!

C. L. Beck said...

Thanks for your kind comments, Tristi. Maybe I need to schedule a few more medical procedures since they create such good writing material. Perhaps an hysterical-ectomy or a pre-frontal lobotomy?