Tiny Bubbles

I woke in a puddle of steamy dread earlier, realizing “It’s today! I have to get up and get ready for my surgery!”

I grabbed for my phone to see why the alarm hadn’t gone off.  3:46 a.m.  That’s why.  Because time is linear, and I wasn’t there yet.

I tried to settle in to fall back to sleep, but I had a feeling that wasn’t going to work out.  After all, it’s surgery day.  And I’m just a little bit afraid.

The last time I had surgery was nearly ten years ago.  I had an accident on an ATV and broke my nose.  A few weeks later I was having surgery to have it reset.

I remember lying in the pre-operation room where the nurse was going over some last minute things.  She was about to give me a shot of something.  I forget what.  And I noticed a few bubbles in the syringe as she moved the needle toward my arm.

“Oh, wait!” I said, pointing them out helpfully.  “Aren’t you supposed to do that… tap tap… squirt thing?  To get the air out?”

She laughed patiently. “No dear.  Bubbles only kill people on TV.  In real life, people die in ATV accidents.”

I’ve told that story to a few nurses over the years and I always get a big laugh.  Good lesson, though.  And a good reminder.  Statistically speaking, I won’t die in surgery today.  It will be the next ATV-like thing that I didn’t take as seriously as an operation that may kill me.  Or, if I’m lucky, just send me back into surgery.

About Rachel Lewis

I am a writer, ceramic artist, knitter, and stepmom. As a playwright, I had six short plays produced in showcases and festivals in Manhattan, Salt Lake City, and Austin. My full-length play, Locking Doors, was presented by Wordsmith Theatre Company in The New Lab Theatre (University of Utah) in 2005. I co-wrote a teleplay titled “Thank God I’m Atheist” which won the 2015 “No God But Funny” contest founded by the Center for Inquiry. My short nonfiction essay, “It’s Coming Down,” was published by the online literary magazine Halfway Down the Stairs. My essay "The Red Rock Chronicles" was published in Contemporary West magazine. I currently work in pharmaceuticals professionally and write recreationally, but dream of making the transition to write professionally and do pharmaceuticals recreationally. I am a Utah native and live in Salt Lake City with my family and our Goldendoodle. I am working on a collection of humorous non-fiction essays and a second full-length play. Follow me at: rachelclewis.com @rachel_lewis_ut (Twitter) @rachel_lewis_ut (Instagram)

One response to “Tiny Bubbles

  1. Gina

    Aaaahahahahaha, and stay away from scalpels and from ATVs!

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