I write letters to Ellen DeGeneres. No particular reason. Just because I can.
As I’ve mentioned previously, I’m pregnant with my third and final child (emphasis on final). With the birth of baby number three, I’ve opted to have a tubal ligation so that my husband and I can resume our habit of having stupid, sloppy sex without worry. My age is also an issue. I’ve reached the point in life where the doctors are calling me mean, scary names like “advanced maternal age,” and “geriatric pregnancy.” What’s a “geriatric pregnancy?” Basically, it means I’ll hobble into the delivery room with my walker and after giving birth, the doctors will replace one or both of my hips and possibly my knees….depending on how ambitious they’re feeling. Despite the name calling, three kids is plenty for the Silver house.
Anyway, the hospital sent me some paperwork I had to sign regarding the tubal ligation It consisted of a bunch of small statements that had to be check-marked and initialed and it looked something like this.
- I, patient name, hereby request a tubal ligation.
- The tubal ligation is irreversible and will result in sterilization.
- I, patient name, will never be able to get pregnant again.
- The tubal ligation is permanent, unless it doesn’t take effect, in which case I, patient name, might get pregnant again.
- The surgeon is not responsible for your pregnancy – unless he’s your husband or you’re a very naughty girl.
After you’re done filling out all of that, they provide room at the end of the paperwork for you to write a mandatory letter to the surgeon. The letter must be a minimum of 150 words, single-spaced, and make use of “tubal ligation” and “sterilization.” Spelling and grammar will be graded. A low score may result in a deficient amount of pain killers administered for the procedure.
Here’s the thing: I realize that the surgeons are just trying to protect themselves from malpractice suits and that’s fine but, honestly, if after filling out all the fields above, the patient doesn’t understand the procedure, they’re not going to be able to write about it either.
So I’m reading through this the morning of my glucose test. And in case you’re unfamiliar with the glucose test, it means you can’t drink coffee for four hours prior to the test. There’s actually a lot more to the glucose test but the coffee is the only thing that stresses me out. So, I’m reading through this paperwork – sans coffee- and I’m feeling especially snarky by the time I get to the written essay. This is what I wrote:
I, A. Marie Silver, do solemnly swear that I’m up to no good. Effective [Date of Delivery], all mischief will be managed. I understand that after the forceful eviction of yet another child who refuses to peacefully vacate the Uterus Hotel, you will – at my request – perform a tubal ligation. I understand that this is a permanent and irreversible procedure. All sales will be final. There will be no exchanges or returns. The closing of the Uterus Hotel will be everlasting. I also understand that one possible side effect of the above-stated procedure is the spontaneous conception of another child. Should this happen the Uterus Hotel will have a grand re-opening resulting in nausea, weight gain, fat ankles, and an overwhelming desire to chase my husband around the house with a cast-iron skillet. I understand that I cannot hold you or any member of your staff liable for said side effect. I can, however, hold my husband responsible as I’ve repeatedly asked him in the past to keep his little friends to himself – which is why use of the cast-iron skillet is justified.
Now that I’ve turned the letter in to my doctor, I’m having second thoughts about it. What if the surgeon doesn’t speak sarcasm? Ellen, do you think this letter was too sarcastic?