06 January 2011

Mom, Reason Number 284 Why Tattoos And Body Piercings Might Not Be A Great Idea...

Back in 2006, I posted about the adventures my Mother and I had at the hospital, just prior to her knee replacement surgery.  Yesterday, at Andy's Place, he mentioned (in addition to an amazing amount of other 'interesting' news) that his Mother-in-law was going into the hospital for knee replacement surgery.  So for Andy's Mother-in-law because Andy tends to get into trouble when left to his own devices, an experience to share in her recovery to make her laugh.  Laughter is, after all, the best medicine.
My sisters are not the ones you want to visit you if you are in the hospital.  Really.  One of my sisters has the dubious honor of having a very large labeled applied to her son's medical record (in addition to her own) that says, "If the words 'needle, shot, or immunization' had to be used, my sister had to be in a prone position prior to trying to have the discussion."  No lie.  I'd love to tease her about it, but as you can see, she'd just take a nap on me.  My other sister isn't quite as bad, but since I could drive up to stay with our Mom, I told them not to worry.
It's about a three hour drive and I was happy I managed to make it to the hospital before she was taken in. I knew she was really nervous but determined to get this over with and have her mobility back. We ended up having a long time to visit with each other because the surgery schedule had somehow been delayed.

So Mom is laying in bed with one of those self-air-conditioning Johnny's on that you will never see in any magazine as the newest craze in fashion.  (although, I might be wrong about this since showing underwear and butt crack has become fashionable, I may be wrong about the Johnny's style appeal to the newest generation...)  She has a little granny cap on her head which, of course, keeps slipping down over her left eye. Since she had IVs attached to both hands, I tried to help her adjust the thing, but it didn't want to stay put.  So I suggested she just pretend it was an eye patch and that she was just going through her pirate phase in life.... I got the 'look'. (The same one I use on my own offspring...)  OKaaaay, so I helped tuck the thing behind one ear. (Till the nurse came back in and put the granny cap back where it had been....)

When nurse anesthetist started asking questions, a few produced the funniest expression I can ever remember being on my Mother's face.  She was asking Mom questions like, "Do you have any special markings?"  It took me a second to realize she was asking about scars, moles, or tattoos.  My Mother's hearing isn't too good and she obviously was not wearing her hearing aids, so I repeated the questions nearer to her ear.  My Mom mentions her scars.  Then the nurse asks about body piercings and my Mom says two. One in each ear. (By this time I am trying very hard not to laugh.) The nurse finishes up and leaves.

My Mom turns to me and and says, "WHAAAT?"

"Mom, reason number 284 why tattoos and body piercings might not be a great idea. I can see myself at 70 saying, 'yeah, I have a belly button ring, both ears pierced 7 times and oh yeah, both nipples'..."

(I know my kids are going to read this and say GRRRROSSSS MOM!!! - Well, sweeties, don't read the rest of this then!)

You know? They say timing is everything and just as I was saying this the Doctor comes around the screen. He was smiling but thankfully didn't say anything about our unlady-like guffawing. He does his spiel and then he too, leaves.

So my Mom and I are still laughing and another nurse comes in to administer the 'Happy Juice'. She kept checking the chart and I'm sure she thought that we were both probably 'Happy' enough. After she leaves I tell my Mom, "There's another reason I won't get a tattoo. I don't think they look as good with the wrinkle, wave effect.... I can hear myself having to say something like, 'Hey, I'll be happy to show you my tattoo... just give me a minute to stretch it out flat for you to see it...' Nope, not gonna happen.'"

Then I asked my Mom if she needed a 'sharpie marker' and she asked me what for... I told her about a story I had just heard about a woman who had been in a really bad accident and eventually had to have part of one leg removed.  She had used a sharpie to write notes all over her body to the doctors, nurses and anesthesiologist. On the good leg she wrote 'Not this leg.  This is the good leg.' On the bad leg she wrote 'This is the right leg, I mean the bad leg, cut here.' She also wrote notes with arrows about where the reconstructive surgery was not taking place so that there was no need to look there. I couldn't remember all of them but it didn't matter, we were laughing so hard by this time that all the staff had come to see what was up and then we just had to tell them the whole story. Needless to say, Mom went into surgery with tears and a smile on her face... and so did everyone else   :o)
QOTD: "Always laugh when you can. It is cheap medicine. Lord Byron (1788-1824) English Poet


  1. Hilarious! You and your mom must have a great relationship. I've thought about that too. I don't have a tattoo, but I've considered it. I would just need to make sure it was in an area that would age well ;)

  2. Heh! Nyuk, Nyuk, Lemon Lady.

    I shall certainly pass this along to MIL.

    I actually know an Obstetrician at the hospital where I work who went in for rotator cuff surgery, and did the same thing...marked "here," and "not this one" on his shoulder. He had seen too many goofups to chance it.

    Love the wrinkle wave-effect thing. There are gonna be a lot of painted up old hags one of these days. Sigh...

  3. Midlife Army Wife - You know? I've thought a lot about this over the years and the thought HAD occurred to me that a flag might be OK with the wrinkle, wave effect but with my luck the thing would just sag in the middle.

    Andy - Wish her quick recovery thoughts from me! My Mom had a double knee replacement and she is more mobile now at 74 than she was at 65.

  4. I'm so going to use this if I have to have surgery in the future!

  5. Laughter IS the best medicine!

    Writing Good Leg / Bad Leg with a sharpie was HILARIOUS!

  6. VWbug - That's my thoughts exactly!

    Meleah - Even after over four years, I still can see the expressions that crossed my Mother's face that day... and the fact the nurse told me she had asked for a sharpie when she was coming out of the anesthesia... she just couldn't remember at the time what she'd wanted it for. :)

  7. Has anyone here ever kissed someone who had a ring in their lips? I ama told by a twenty-something friend that it is very erotic, but it just grosses me out to think about it. So I won't (think about it, that is).

  8. Bob - I can certainly relate to the feeling and can assure that is NOT an item on MY 'bucket list'!


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