The prospect of undergoing surgery in a foreign land can be somewhat alarming. One often presumes that medical specialists are more reliable and more competent in one’s own land than in an unfamiliar country. Still, one can overcome anything with a sense of humor.

Act I – Discovery

Doc: “Wir wissen nicht genau was es ist, also wann Sie nächste Woche kommen, machen wir die OP, und dann sehen wir. Aber kein Panik, es ist kein Grund in der Saar zu springen!
Me (to Sab): “Huh? What’d she say?”
Sab: “She says they’re not quite sure what it is, they’ll find out when they do the operation, but don’t worry, it’s nothing to jump in the Saar about..”
Me: “Oh well that’s good.”

Act II – The Paperwork

Nurse: “Do you have any allergies?”
Me: “Yes. Apples and apricots.”
Nurse: … writes down ‘Apfel und Aprikosen..’

Nurse: “Any hearing impairments?”
Sab: “Uh, she speaks English?”
Nurse: … writes down ‘spricht English..’

Nurse: “Any special considerations, like a rug to pray on?”
Me: “Uh, no…”

Nurse: “Any addictions?”
Me: “Yes, the Internet. I need it through an IV.”
Nurse: “Ah sorry, ‘fraid I can’t help you there. Anything else?”
Me: “Coffee?”
Nurse: … writes down ‘Kaffee’
Nurse: “I think we can manage that.”

Act III – Aftermath

Sab: “Are you okay? How are you feeling??”
Me: “..chapstick..”