It's official. The operation is Friday. I will be under for only a couple hours while my surgeon does what's called an "anchovy procedure". Basically, the thumb is shaped with natural tendon tissue and an artificial prostheses. I am not sure if I'll be partially awake while they do it. I've heard that some people just do a local anesthetic, so they can still see what's going on. I am not one to watch gruesome surgery on my body. I am going to tell the surgeon I want the "knock me out and wake me up when this nightmare is over" anesthetic.
I am trying to stay positive with the whole thing. According to the doctors, my mindset could significantly effect the success of the surgery. They have been talking to me about phantom feelings and what kind of things I need to do post-surgery, and just non-stop with the "chipper attitude" stuff.
"You could dictate whether the body accepts or rejects the prostheses," my surgeon with the British accent said. "Studies have proven that a positive attitude before prosthetic surgery increases the bodies likelihood for acceptance by 17%."
"That's not much," I said.
"It's better than the alternative, Mr. Kalayeh."
He also went on to talk about faith in him as a surgeon and gave me another 35% percentage of people doing better on placebos when they believed in their doctors or something. I wasn't paying attention too much. I mean, I got the point. Stay positive! I'm trying. It's hard. I did make an effort though. I told the nurses about how reading poetry and watching good comedians might make me feel more positive. I guess that's why my parents picked up a copy of "Bill Cosby, Himself" and put it on my nightstand. That was sweet of them. I just don't know if I can watch some guy talk about chocolate cake when my hand throbs every five minutes, and I can feel the word "surgery" tattooed to my forehead the other five minutes. It's almost unbearable.
Sogee recommended I write a poem about my experience to make me feel better. I got as far as "Electronic thumb--sucks!" Then I just sat around and thought about Luke Skywalker and how I was becoming Darth Vader and might slowly turn to the dark side.
I wonder why I am so overly depressed. It's not that bad, right? It's not like I am not going to be able to use my thumb. I'll be functional. Possibly. I can also use this to fuel my artistic ideas. That's definitely a positive point, right?
Since I found out about the surgery, I have been questioning what exactly is real and artificial. I mean, how could I not, right? I am about to become partially fake and real simultaneously. That makes the prostheses real, right? I mean, the experience itself is very real. I can't deny that. And if it's a real experience and I accept that, maybe it'll help my body accept the prostheses, right?
I don't know what I'm talking about. I suppose I'm just a normal, scared patient. The only thing that keeps me from screaming at the top of my lungs is my idea to change my name. It's been calming me to talk about new names with Sogee. I don't know. My name is just too freaking difficult for people here. Sogee's too. We're just thinking about starting completely fresh. Brand new names for a different life. Well, maybe not life, but you get the point. Just make things easier when we give our names at a Starbuck and shit like that.
Anyway, I am thinking about changing my name to Pierre, Peter, Pierce, Piedro, or something really normal like Biff or something. Last week I got a haircut and used the name, Pierce. It worked out well. The stylist understood me and even commented on how cool my name was. "I like the name," she said. "You don't hear it too often, except for James Bond."
"Yeah," I agreed. "Bond."
I got such a kick out of that reference. I'm no Pierce Brosnan--definitely not! I'm about to be in a hospital bed and then in physical therapy for six weeks or something. I'm far from a secret agent or superhero. At the same time, the idea of a new name does cheer me up. I don't know. Maybe I could ask my British surgeon to install a cell phone or iPod in my thumb to be really secret agent-y and whatnot. That would be pretty hip. Maybe a flashlight or something.
Anyway, I'm excited about "Pierce" as a name. We haven't gotten to last names, but I'm probably going to get to that too. Montenegro is an early draft. That's about it. Who knows? I'm hoping for more in the coming days after surgery. Maybe that'll keep me positive through hand therapy or whatever.