The Life and Times of Florence Knitingale

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Time and Relativity

Time that it takes for one surgeon and a plethora of nurses to remove a pea-sized cyst from Mr. K’s hand: Approximately ½ sleeve and one practice statistics test (prior to real test).

Time that it takes for one Ms. Knitingale to get from hospital to school so that above-mentioned real test might be taken: more than was available.

Time spent by a post-surgery Mr. K in the student lounge whilst Ms. K frantically whipped through real test so she might take the poor man home: about an hour.

Time it will take for Ms. K to ever be considered for wife of the year: Longer than it will take for the world to stop hating Americans after G. W’s presidency. Truly.

That said, and in my defense, Mr. K didn’t actually have to have general anesthesia, and he was feeling perfectly fine. In fact, when I ran out of class (having torn through the test at lightening speed—or what passes for lightening speed when the words “Ms. K” and “statistics test” are in the same sentence) and located him, he was sitting happily in the lounge reading a book and didn’t even notice me walk up. Hasn’t even needed so much as an aspirin, thank heavens. I’m still thinking I won’t need to clean off the mantel for that “Wife of the Year” trophy, but he’s being very sweet about the whole thing.

Some other meaningful measures:

Time that Mr. K was required to go without food, water, or (and in his world, FAR worse) coffee in case they changed their minds and used a general anesthetic: 10 hours.

Time that Mr. K is capable of going without coffee before his head explodes: Less than that. WAY less than that.

Time that it took Ms. K to purchase coffee once surgery was over and permission given: Mere minutes.

Time that it took Ms. K to purchase coffee, etc. from Mr. K’s perspective: about 12 years, 3 months, and 2 and half days.

Time that Ms. K was required to sit waiting for news of her poor, beleaguered hubby: about 2 hours.

Time that Ms. K is actually capable of being patient when someone she loves is involved: ……..I think that may be an imaginary number.

Time it took hospital staff to hose Mr. K down with Betadine (apparently with a firehose, judging by the finesse with which it was done), thus staining him a lovely shade of jaundice yellow from fingertips to elbow: Mere seconds.

Time it will likely take Mr. K’s skin to return to something that does not resemble a character from The Simpsons: Days, I fear. And possibly longer. He doesn’t mind, though. He kind of likes the looks people get on their faces when he holds out his bright yellow, Simpson-esque hand.

Time it takes hospital designers to select the most ergonomically disastrous chairs possible for the waiting rooms: Unknown, but probably quite a long while, accompanied by an obscene amount of money.

Time that it takes for Ms. K’s back to rise up in protest when sitting in torture chambers cleverly disguised as above-mentioned waiting room chairs: About a quarter of a sleeve.

Time that doctor advised Mr. K to take it easy: One day.

Time that it takes Mr. K to become bored and restless: Another imaginary number…he is prowling like a caged cougar at the moment. But don’t tell him I said that.

You know, I’m going into the medical field (you may have guessed that—I don’t know, I’ve been so secretive about it…..), but I still don’t know where it’s written that waiting rooms must always have magazines that are outdated or are on extremely obscure topics of interest (Why yes—I’ve always wanted to read a copy of “Belly Button Lint Quarterly”), large fish tanks containing large, expensive and dreadfully bored fish, an assortment of pamphlets that are either horrifying, irrelevant, or both (“Bubonic Plague and You—with color photos!”), and at least one person waiting who is reading blissfully and completely unaware of the fact that they have a snot that whistles when they breathe. I’m thinking that there’s a guidebook for this sort of thing somewhere. Perhaps they’ll show it to me in nursing school?

Now that I think about it, the same person who wrote that particular section of the hospital guidebook probably also wrote similar guidelines for the DMV, the Social Security Office, and the offices of the Internal Revenue Service. Bastard. He’s giggling away merrily somewhere, I just know it.

Another handy unit of measure for you:

Time it takes for me to come up here and type this for y’all to read: no more than 20 minutes.
Time it takes for Mr. K to start clattering around alarmingly downstairs: about 19 minutes.
Time it’s going to take for me to vault down the stairs in a panicked fashion to check on his big yellow hand: I’m already there.


  • At 5:27 PM, Anonymous Marianne said…

    Flo, sweetheart, I know that the most important vote for your wife of the year award comes from the person it means the most to, your dear polar bear, er, prowling cougar of a husband, Mr. K.
    Yeah, wtf is with those chairs in the waiting rooms anyway.

  • At 6:54 PM, Blogger Kim said…

    Ms. K., again you've made me laugh out loud at the computer. I love your writing, and I don't care how crazy it makes me look. I'm glad Mr. K. came through in fine fettle, too.

  • At 11:47 PM, Anonymous angie cox said…

    Don't worry Florence with that fine display of being a good Labour Party leader , P.M etc our Tony has displayed we must be equal ranking in hated .I am glad Mr.K is home and back on the coffee .It's all too familiar my Mr C . impaled his hand on a fence spike one Winter after slipping .I couldn't get to the hospital fast enough .

  • At 8:09 AM, Blogger ambermoggie said…

    Time it took me to burst out laughing from reading your entry, seconds
    time it took me to wipe keyboard minutes:))
    Hope Mr K and your good self are feeling ok this day


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