Having surgery requires a lot of paperwork.  What happened to electronic medical records?  I keep answering the same questions over and over.  Maybe it is a test to see if I get the answers right.  To test this theory, I change my weight a few ponds every time someone asks me.  Not enough to take me back to my 20’s, but a pound here and there.  So far, none of the doctor’s scales match, so why should I stick to one number?

I’m handed a “pre-op folder” which I’m told to read over, keep with me at all times and be sure to bring with me to the hospital.  I see that they are assigning some homework.  Fill out more forms (of course); have my primary care doctor fill out some forms; call the hospital to speak to a registrar; and notify my insurance.

Paperwork — no problem.  I’m the Queen of Paperwork.

Speak to a registrar — I think this translates to “Give the hospital your insurance information.”  No problem.  I have this in the bag.  I call the very nice lady and respond to a few insurance questions.  She asks me if I know where to go on the day of surgery.  I  tell her I have no idea.  She asks if I have my folder.  Of course I do.  She instructs me to turn it over and look on the back.  There is a giant map on the back with detailed instructions on where to park and where to go.  I feel stupid.  Who would have thought to look on the back?  Then she says, “It looks like I have everything except the type of procedure you will be having.”  I swallow.  I can say this.  “A mastectomy,” I reply.  “Oh,” she says, “I’m sorry.”  This is a great reply.  It really is.  I mean, what else can a person say.  She was very nice and wishes me a speedy recovery.  I’m with you sister!

Notify your insurance — this turns out to be interesting.  Basically the same questions are asked and I roll my eyes at my housekeeper as she passes by and she laughs.  Then we get to the question that I know is coming and I’m ready for it.  “What type of procedure are you having?”  I respond, “A mastectomy.”  It doesn’t get easier, but at least I’m ready for it.  Then she asks, “And what is that for?”  Seriously?  I repeat her question and pause . . . “Breast Cancer” I reply.  My house keeper is running for my desk and grabs a note pad and writes, “Tell her you are having a sex change operation!”  I’m laughing so hard at this point that I have to mute the phone.  Where are these great lines when I need them?