The Listerine Shower

I recently had surgery, Dear Reader.  I would have called it a procedure, but the word surgery was thrown around.  I wondered what differentiated a surgery from a procedure, and then I realized, it’s the Listerine shower.  

I’m to the point where I have a fairly long hospital rap sheet now.  I can start at my broken arm in 1978 and entertain medical personnel with surgeries and medical experiences through the decades.  I did take a break from 1987 – 2000, but may I just say, I’ve made up for it in the last few years?

My pre-op surgery instructions said I was to shower twice (the night before and the morning of) with a product called Hibiclens.  Evidentially Hibiclens does not mix well with soap because you are not allowed to use soap. Just Hibiclens. Hibiclens is red and smells like Listerine.  Once you have doused your body in Hibiclens, you too, smell like Listerine. As if the gown with the entire backside air-conditioning isn’t enough, they also make you smell so bad you can’t stand yourself!

No problem!  You’ll just get out of your Listerine shower and apply some lotion and perfume.  Wrong! Wrong! Wrong! Section 2 Rule 9 of the Hibiclens Guide Book states you may not use lotion.  Or perfume.

Let’s do a quick review, Dear Reader.  No soap. No lotion. No perfume.

And then they get serious.  No deodorant. That’s a mic drop.  As if you aren’t already demoralized enough, they take away your last defense against body odor.  Great!

But what really ticked me off to no end is what they had to say about my hair.  I was allowed to shampoo my hair (prior to the Listerine scrub), but was not allowed to use any conditioner.  Conditioner? All the problems we have in the world and doctors are worried about me using conditioner on my hair?  Seriously? And then I read the dreaded words, “DO NOT use any leave-in styling agents in your hair.” No mousse. No hair spray.  

Coffee is to some what hairspray is to me.  Hair spray is important, vital, and necessary.  Show me hair without hairspray and I will show you a sad head.  My hairstylist is so talented she’s actually able to use hairspray as a wand, but I just try to use it to keep my hair from flying all over the place.  I rebelled, “No hairspray?” If they were doing brain surgery, OK, but newsflash, they’d be working at the other end of my body! How could hairspray possibly be a problem?”

I shared this with my friend and sensing my rising rebellious spirit she admonished me and begged me to please follow the rules.  I said, “No way!” I stepped out of my Listerine dunk tank, stinkin’ up a storm, applied mousse, dried my hair, and used a minimal amount of hairspray.  I felt like Mel Gibson in Braveheart. “They may take my life, but they’ll never take my hairspray!” (Or something like that!)

I reminded myself that on July 17, 2015 when my body was in more pain that I thought humanly possible not one person asked me if I had hairspray in my hair of if I’d recently showered in Listerine. This firsthand knowledge gave me my needed courage, and I bravely entered the hospital the next morning stinking up a storm, yet wearing minimal covert hairspray.  

Frankly, I am a rebel.

And about an hour before surgery what did the nurse do?  She put a net over my entire head! My entire head, the head they were sooooo worried about having hairspray was covered with a net.  And nobody ever said one word about any hair products. Not. One. Word.

So be warned, Dear Reader, when they hand you the Listerine shower in the bottle, gird yourself.  Resolve to stand your ground. A tiny dollop of hairspray did wonders for my self-esteem that morning.  And you may need some self-esteem yourself with the hospital costume they’ll expect you to wear when you have surgery. It’s a little breezy in the back.  Just sayin’.

Until next Wednesday, Lord willing.