Packing My Mental Suitcase

I’m a planner. And a list maker. And kind of an anal bitch, actually. As proof, I offer Exhibit A: the first day I ever sat in a therapist’s chair. I told him I didn’t really have time to talk about all this shit. I just needed him to tell me what to do. Just give me the procedure, dude.

Doesn’t work like that, does it. Not in the Hot Mess world.

At this stage of the gastric sleeve surgery game, I’m waiting. Waiting, waiting, waiting. My surgeon’s office submitted the paperwork to my insurance last week – and, being the Class A anal bitch that I am, I promptly called my insurance company to double-quadruple verify that they received it. Yes, they did. Via fax. Apparently we’re living in 1989. Don’t get me started. (Except that we’re CLONING SHIT and yet we’re still sending our medical paperwork via fax machine.) What the f…

Don’t get me started.

I’m told it can take “up to or at least 10 business days” to get a response from my insurance company, which is code for “we’ll get around to it whenever the hell we want – so put another Ding Dong in your cake hole, fatty, and stop calling us.” Naturally, this gets on my Class A anal bitch nerves…so I’m doing anything and everything to focus my energy on something constructive.

By the way, when I said we’re “cloning shit” I didn’t mean we’re actually cloning actual shit. That would be way gross.

I’m spending my time going about my normal existence, mostly – and when I feel the need to control a process in which I have little control over presently, I set about the task of mentally packing. For the hospital. Somehow it takes the edge off my angst and allows me to look forward to what’s ahead: lots of pain and suffering, but ultimately…a greater good for this HMP.


The 70+ page patient handbook my surgeon’s office gave me covers a huge range of topics, including suggested items to pack for my hospital stay. Bathrobe, toothbrush, shampoo, hair brush. I added a few things to that list. $70 worth of magazines, for one…which is painful to think about because I rarely buy paper magazines anymore, but my inner geek has a horrible fear that my tablet will be stolen if I take it to the hospital with me. Not by a nurse or a doctor, of course, but by some other patient’s visiting deviant Uncle Earl who thinks nothing of shuffling into a patient’s room and snagging their brand new Kindle Fire HDX out of their chubby grip while they sleep. I work hard for my geek toys. I don’t intend to let them walk off with Uncle Earl.

So $70 worth of magazines. That’s a shame, too, because if I brought my tablet I could watch The Hobbit while I heal. And, as you know, nothing promotes healing like the endorphins you get from watching hot dwarf men running around the Mirkwood. I’m sorry, my inner geek is showing again.

Speaking of Uncle Earl, I think it’s reasonable to expect that I’ll have a roommate at some point during my hospital stay. That means awkward, semi-conscious chit chat…visiting family and friends (I’m watch’in you, Earl!), and the possible airing of way too much Judge Judy on her side of the room. And there I’ll be, the Queen of Insomnia, trying to get a little rest in a place where rest is already a precious commodity. And I won’t have my Ambien…because I’m quitting that too. So I’ve added ear plugs to my packing list.

I’ve never used them to sleep before, but these little foam suckers don’t look like they’ll keep out much noise. They don’t look like much at all. I’m wondering if perhaps I should just bring the Volkswagon sized over-the-ear noise blockers that I wear when HMH takes me shooting. Can you picture it? There I am, reclined in my hospital bed, snoozing sweetly in my camo ear protection. Maybe I can find a matching sleep mask somewhere.


One of the gastric sleeve online groups I belong to offers a printable packing list for the hospital. I looked through it and didn’t see anything I hadn’t already thought of until…snacks and water. What? Why do I need snacks and water? I’m not allowed to eat anything after midnight the day before my surgery. I’m certainly not allowed to eat anything at the hospital while I’m waiting to check in. And if this is for HMH’s benefit, he’s on his own. He’s won’t be allowed to mow through a granola bar while I’m sitting there with an empty stomach and a dry throat, contemplating life and starting that pre-surgery panic I’ve had for every surgical procedure I’ve ever been through. He’s going to be busy holding my hand and talking me down from the mental ledge I’ll have myself on. Eating a granola bar in front of me will get him nothing but a good swift kick in the man-snatch. He can eat while I’m in surgery.

By the way, while I’ve been writing this I called my insurance again. You know, just to let them know I care about how their day is going. I’m told that “someone” has noted my file that all pre-surgery requirements have been met by my surgeon and that I have been diagnosed properly (that means I’m a fatty)…and that it’s moved on to the person who will officially note that and send a letter to my surgeon saying “For the love ‘o God…operate on her before she eats a small child!” I’m paraphrasing, of course.

And so I’m back to waiting. And mentally packing.

The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey (Two-Disc Special Edition) (DVD + UltraViolet Digital Copy)


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