Gallbladder surgery

De Gaulle Bladder Surgery

By T. Michael Doyle

Floyd sat in a hospital bed inclined at forty-five degrees. Miriam pulled his hospital gown and tucked it under his butt. He smiled. “Why’d you do that? Were you getting turned on by my manliness?”

“With all due respect, my dear, I’ve been looking at your bony arse for over forty years, and at this point, I’m immune to your so-called manliness and your fantasies for that matter.” She touched his knee. “I’m just trying to make this ordeal less traumatic.”

 “Thanks, for being so concerned, but I’m all right.”

“I didn’t mean traumatic for you. I was thinking about the nurses.”

He squeezed her hand. “Thanks, I love you too.” Floyd glanced at the door. “Do you think Dr. Solo will talk with me before the surgery?”

“I’m sure he will before the anesthesiologist comes in to knock you out.”

 “Knock me out? Couldn’t you use a softer expression?”

“Before he puts you to sleep.”

“Don’t say that. That’s what they do to a horse when it breaks a leg.”

“When he puts you under?”

 “That sounds like I’m being laid to rest.”

The door swung open, and Dr. Solo entered the room wearing a surgical mask with a yellow smiley face on it. His dark eyes smiled at him. “Name and date of birth?”

 “Floyd Busby, twelve, nineteen, forty-nine.”

 “Good morning, Mr. Busby. Are you ready for your little surgery?”

“I was born ready, but it’s more important that you’re ready.”

 “Excellent. I like a patient with a sense of humor.” He looked at Miriam. “He is trying to be funny, isn’t he?”

She laughed. “Oh, he’s a barrel of laughs, a virtual stand-up comic.”

Dr. Solo turned to Floyd. “I want to explain what I am about to do.” He pulled up the gown exposing Floyd’s abdomen and other parts. He touched Floyd at the edge of his navel. “I will make a small incision here for the camera.” Then he touched a spot a few inches above his navel and two more places on the lower right side of his abdomen. “And these three spots to insert the implements. Once inside, I’ll flip your liver over to get to the gall bladder and remove the little troublemaker. After a brief recovery period, you will be headed home.”

 “Do you have any questions, Mr. Busby?”

“Just one. Will the scarring be too unsightly? I’ve always aspired to be a swimsuit model. Will my career aspirations be nipped off along with my gall bladder?”

Dr. Solo laughed and looked at Miriam. “He is joking, isn’t he?”

 “Trust me, Dr. Solo, even without four small scars, no one wants to open a catalog and look at that body.” She stood and kissed her husband’s cheek. “Except me, of course.”

The doctor stopped at the door. “I’ll see you in the OR, but you won’t see me.” He winked at Floyd and slipped out the door.

“Did you hear that, Miriam? He’s going to flip my liver. He said it like it was no big deal, like flipping a hamburger on the grill.” He looked at his wife with concern. “How will he get a spatula through one of those little holes?”

 “You are kidding, aren’t you?”

He smiled. “You know me too well.”

 The door opened and a woman appeared. She carried a tray with a bottle of some type of lotion and a razor. “Hello, I’m here to prepare you for your little surgery. Name and date of birth, please.”

Floyd shook his head and mumbled, “Floyd Busby, twelve, nineteen, forty-nine. Why does everyone here call it a little surgery? It’s not little to me.”

The nurse smiled. “I’m sorry, but compared to some procedures done here, it is a lesser surgery. Trust me, you’ll be fine, a walk in the park.” She pulled up his gown and spread a small towel over his genitals. She squeezed some of the lotion onto her right hand and began to apply it to his abdomen. “I’m going to shave some of your pubic hair and your tummy for the procedure.” She began to stroke the lathered area with the razor. “Don’t worry. I’ve done dozens of these, and I seldom nick anything important, and if I do, that little towel will stop the bleeding.”

Floyd grinned. “You are joking, aren’t you?”

She shook her head. “Is he always like this?”

Miriam nodded her head. “Only when he’s awake.”

“Well, he won’t be awake for long. Dr. Feelgood will be in shortly.”

Floyd cocked his head to one side. “Did you say ‘Dr. Feelgood?’ Is that his real name?”

 The nurse stood up and laughed. “Heavens no. That’s just what he likes to call himself. He is Dr. Gamble.”

 “Gamble? You’re jerking my chain again, aren’t you?”

 She resumed shaving more of his pubic hair. “No, that is his real name.”

“I hope it’s not a gamble with Gamble.”

 “No, sir, he’s our best sandman.”

 “That’s a relief.” He examined his receding pubic hair line and looked at Miriam. “If it weren’t for having those new scars, I could model Speedos with my new bikini cut.”

 The woman snickered and halted shaving. “Please, don’t make me laugh. I’d hate to make a serious mistake if you know what I mean.” She finished shaving him and dried his tummy with the towel. “I’ll be back in a second to put in your IV.”

 As the nurse left the room, a short balding man entered. He smiled broadly at Floyd. “Are you my next victim, a Mr. Busby?” Floyd nodded his head. “I’m Dr. Gamble, your anesthesiologist, and I’m bringing the good stuff.”

 “Nice to meet you, Dr. Gamble.”

 The doctor looked at his clipboard and said, “What is your name and date of birth?” He looked at Miriam. “And this lovely lady must be your daughter.”

Miriam burst into laughter and looked at her husband. “That’s another one, dear.”

 Floyd feigned frustration. “She is my wife of forty-five years.”

“Wow, Buddy, did you luck out. How old was she when she married you? Eight?”

The nurse re-entered the room carrying a tray. She nodded to the doctor. “Dr. Gamble.”

“Nurse Ratchet.” The doctor winked at Floyd and disappeared behind the closing door.

“Did he call you ‘Nurse Ratchet’?” Your name tag says ‘Bryant’, and why do they have to keep asking me my name and birthday?”

“To answer your first question, Dr. Gamble is quite a jokester. As to why everyone asks those questions: we don’t want to mistakenly give you a frontal lobotomy instead of removing that pesky little gall bladder.” She touched the vein on his hand. “You have great veins. Just a little pinch.” She taped the needle to his hand. “Did you know that the gall bladder was named after Charles De Gaulle?”

“Before Floyd could comment, the nurse said, “Now, you’re going to sleep and when you awake, you will no longer have a tiny organ that…”

 Floyd stirred beneath the sheet. Miriam stood beside the bed. She was holding his hand. “Are you awake, dear? Are you in pain?”

 “I’m sort of awake and a little sore.”

 “Do you feel like getting dressed?”

 Holding his belly, he struggled to sit up. “Hell, yes. This place gives me the creeps.”

 She helped her husband dress, and an attendant came into the room with a wheelchair. As they rolled through the lobby to curbside, Floyd said to the attendant, “I just had my gall bladder removed. Did you know that the gall bladder was discovered by Charles De Gaulle?”

Miriam said, “Don’t listen to anything this old man says. My father is a bit delusional from the anesthesia.”

“Don’t listen to her. I’m not her father. She’s been my wife for forty-five years.”

T. Michael Doyle HeadshotT. Michael Doyle earned his M.A. in English Education from The Ohio State University and served as a high school English teacher for forty-two years in Ohio, Pennsylvania, and Florida.

The author, a native Ohioan, has published two novels, Whitewater, Ohio and Bubba and the Bedroom Cowboys. Mugs, Jugs, and Hugs; Cruising, Boozing, and Schmoozing; and Holidaze, Covidhaze, and Busbywaze are humorous books of short, short stories featuring a senior couple, Floyd and Miriam Busby. Floyd says that the stories are short enough to finish before your butt falls asleep on the toilet. “The De Gaulle Bladder Surgery” shows us that in Busby World, the removal of a small internal organ can be a source for laughter.

3 thoughts on “De Gaulle Bladder Surgery”

  1. Doyle’s story points out the sweetness of growing old with a special mate, especially one with a wicked sense of humor. Very funny read!

  2. I absolutley loved the story.
    Having had many surgeries during my lifetime, I never thought of writing about one in a humorous way.

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