The doctor stopped by and made an X with a marker on the correct toe. Nurse Three arrived, and I was wheeled into the operating room to meet Nurses Four and Five.
One advantage to local anesthesia is that you get to watch what goes on. Just like on TV, the surgeon put out her arms and Nurse Four covered her with a gown. Then the doctor installed her face shield. I felt compelled to ask if she had to wear safety shoes as well. The answer was, "Not today."
The procedure went well. The four of us had a grand conversation about Cozumel, Hawaii, and hurricanes. They applied two Band Aids. I was then dismissed. No one offered me a wheelchair ride.
Commentary: Can you imagine if Judy got a pebble up her nose today? Instead of a handful of pepper, she would have been subjected to Xrays, MRIs, brightly lit operating rooms, and who knows what else.
We have become a country filled with fear: not fear of harm, but fear of litigation. As for me, I'll take the pepper treatment--or just hop up on a table.
[Originally published in September, 2013.]