During the whole process of surgical process, nowadays, every caregiver asks you to rate your level of pain, 1 to 10, with ten being the highest. And closing in on the time for slicing, they ask several times if you know what procedure you're having. The first several times they asked, I answered dutifully, "I'm having my appendix removed...I'm having an appendectomy..." And so on. I think that has something to do with their worry over liability issues.
As they wheeled my gurney into The Room (what we on the inside call the O.R.), they asked me again, and I told them I was undergoing an experimental operation (inspired by something Ann Coulter said recently) to remove all concept of reason and accountability, in hopes of turning me from a Constitutional Republican and into your run-of-the-mill Democrat. Cracked 'em up.
I thought about saying "Thank you, thank you, I'll be here all week," but feared they'd take me up on that idea.
After surgery, again, they resumed asking me to rate the pain-level, and I played along most of the night. In the wee hours yesterday, though, I took to quizzing every nurse and doctor who visited: On a sale of one to ten, with ten being the best patient you could ever imagine, how would you rate me as a patient? There's a level of emotional detachment most caregivers have to own to get through their jobs, but I felt like making it easier for them to like me. All of them were a bit off-put at the question. Funny, that they all rated me a 10, though, and the main nurse gave me a 4.5 until I was just about to walk out the front door, when she came running after me...to tell me I was really a ten.
Some good folks, them nurses.
EDIT: Crap. The link to the Ann Coulter essay doesn't accurately quote the author of the notion, but I'll find it. It's still good reading, but not the exact origin.