It's funny how one little event can trigger a flood of memories, and inspire a blog entry. Let's start from the beginning.
I rarely get people who instantly recognize me, especially on my days off, hair uncombed, unshaven, civilian clothes... It's more of "I think I know that guy. He looks like the one who does my brother in law's taxes."
I was in line at a big box office supply store yesterday. The woman in front of me kept stealing a glance backward. I didn't pay much attention to it. Playing with the car USB chargers and cables occupied my time at the check out line. She paid and left. I had only one item, so my transaction was amazingly swift. That particular big box store is not known for quick in-and-out service.
As fate would have it, the woman was parked next to me. She walked over as I was getting in my car and said "Excuse me, I'm -----. My husband operated on you a few years ago."
Indeed he did. The husband is one of the Scranton area's best known plastic surgeons. The wife worked in the office and helped handle my appointments and insurance paperwork. I told her I was very satisfied with her husband's work and added I'll likely be back as I'm not getting any younger.
I had a mole removed from my lower lip area in 2010, which was quite the adventure in and of itself.
The procedure was scheduled for one of those outpatient surgery centers, except it wouldn't take the insurance I had at the time. It was off to a hospital instead.
Even though the surgery went well, I couldn't wait to get out of there. I had an intense thirst when I awoke from the anesthesia. I begged the nurse for anything cold, like a diet soda. She returned with an 8 ounce can of Diet Shasta Cola. I hoped for a little more. The nurse was instructed to keep them coming. She did. I was happy. The staff was exceptionally nice.
After discharge, it was a trip to the drug store. A couple of prescriptions needed to be filled. My sister drove me there. Keep in mind, my face is stitched up and bandaged. While I was waiting in line, I sprung a leak, and blood was oozing from beneath the bandage, trailing down my chin. The woman at the pharmacy counter actually asked me if I wanted my prescription now, or if I wanted to return to pick it up. As blood ran down my neck, I replied "I think I need it now."
The next day, and against medical advice, I drove to the station to show management what I had done. They knew I was getting surgery on my face, and there would be stitches. I couldn't shave. It was up to the news director to decide if I could go on the air that weekend. Much to my surprise, he said "yes."
I'll have to admit, I was uncomfortable that weekend. It just didn't feel right. I got through the Saturday and Sunday morning broadcasts, and my reporting assignments that followed. I understand there were some quizzical Talkback calls, but I was in the clear. Management knew about the surgery, and it signed off on my slightly different on air appearance.
Back to yesterday, the woman at the office supply store said she and the doctor watch on weekends, and he's happy with his work. So am I.