Shave and a Slight Cut, $10K

So I have to tell the story of finding out about my surgery date for the two, count ‘em, TWO hernias I have being diagnosed with. (A bilateral inguinal hernia and an abdominal hernia.) I got a call from the nurse yesterday. Let’s call her Joanie. She told me I should not eat anything after 12M the night before the surgery and I should wash the area with anti-bacterial soap and soak it for 20 minutes the night before the surgery and also the morning before I go in. I was told to arrive at 8A for a 10AM operation. Joanie had called me sweetie early in our conversation, perhaps because we talked a little bit about our shared Latino heritage, her’s is Mexican and mine Cuban on my Mom’s side. I asked Joanie hesitantly about whether or not they would… they would probably have to… or I could…

Yep, we’re talking about shaving the area and I could do it myself if I felt more comfortable with that. I told her I was not sure comfort was the right word and she said yeah, I can understand how’d you’d feel if you woke up shaved and in the hospital. I told her at least this time I would have awakened in a hospital! I also told her I would do a bit of “manscaping.”

Project Access NW

Project Access NW

The surgery will happen Friday, March 1st, so if you want to keep good thoughts for me that morning, I’d appreciate it. I am grateful to Project Access NW for all their help in making this care possible, as I do not have health insurance and have about 14 years before I can be covered by Medicare.


About Splabman

Paul Nelson is founder of SPLAB (Seattle Poetics LAB) in Seattle, the Cascadia Poetry Festival and the August POetry POstcard Fest (PoPo). He has published a collection of essays, Organic Poetry & a serial poem re-enacting the history of Auburn, WA, A Time Before Slaughter (shortlisted for a 2010 Genius Award by The Stranger) and American Sentences, a book of 17 syllable poems drawn from the first fourteen of his 20 years of daily practice. The tenth anniversary edition of that book includes Pig War: & Other Songs of Cascadia. He’s interviewed Allen Ginsberg, Michael McClure, Wanda Coleman, Anne Waldman, Sam Hamill, Robin Blaser, Nate Mackey, Eileen Myles, George Bowering, Diane di Prima, Brenda Hillman, George Stanley, Joanne Kyger & many Cascadia poets (see: has presented his poetry and poetics in London, Brussels, Bothell, Cumberland, BC, Qinghai and Beijing, China, Lake Forest, Illinois, Ukiah, CA, and other places & writes an American Sentence every day.
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4 Responses to Shave and a Slight Cut, $10K

  1. Marjorie Rommel says:

    Be at peace, my friend — Bruce went through these surgeries twice, and even in his somewhat compromised mental state managed well. In fact, he LOVED the overnight stays, especially the two lovely nurses detailed to attend to his every wish! He was up and tramping around the block in less than three days each time. I’m sure you and your (ahem) forestry will be in good … hands.

  2. Splabman says:

    And now he’s back to power-lifting? Thanks for this, Marjorie. I can’t wait to get this over with.

  3. Peter P says:

    Best wishes for an uneventful surgery, Paul. Project Access is amazing, and such a Wondeful resource.

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