when I was watching Bucket List by starring jack Nicholson and my favorite actor Morgan Freeman, I heard a strange phrase that i couldn't explain that for me. at the first dot me up 00:08:57 Okay, Dr. Eldridge will be in in a minute to dot you up, okay?

00:09:02 Dot me up.

Script The Bucket List Page 10

and then here Nicholson had a severe health problem and he was talking to one of his most important employees and he says

00:09:16 Thomas...

00:09:19 [WHISPERS] ...don't let me wake up paralyzed.

Can anyone tell me what these two phrases mean?

2 Answers 2


What AP said plus...

...don't let me wake up paralyzed.

Brain surgery can carry a risk of paralysis. It depends which area of the brain is being operated on.

Religious people might pray to God, "Don't let me wake up paralysed."

In this case, it is said to Thomas. Presumably Nicholson's character, Carter, is used to relying on Thomas to fix things for him. Of course there is nothing Thomas can do in this situation. He replies half-humorously, half-reassuringly, "I'll do what I can."


I haven't seen this movie and don't know anything about the characters. The limited amount I read from the script indicates that Thomas is not a doctor but an employee of Carter. The fact that Carter's scalp has been shaved and that he is worried about paralysis indicates that he is about to undergo brain surgery.


To dot someone up means the doctor will prepare Nicholson's character for the scheduled surgery by marking his skin with a pen (perhaps the markings will be actual dots, but not necessarily).

Marking with a pen is done to avoid surgical mistakes:

Patients want X to mark the surgery spot

Going in for surgery? Take a pen.

Too many doctors have been cutting on the wrong patient, the wrong body part or doing the wrong procedure, according to a warning issued Wednesday by the agency that accredits the nation's hospitals.


EDIT: chasly from UK pretty much covered the second part of the question while I was away making a cup of tea :)

I think there really isn't enough context to be 100% positive about what exactly Edward Cole (Nicholson's character) expects Thomas to do to "not let him wake up paralyzed". It's a very brief exchange.

Cole is used to relying on Thomas as his trusted assistant. Perhaps in this scenario Cole expects Thomas to go as far as do a mercy killing on him in the event of paralysis, but I'm not sure. Like I said, the characters only exchange a couple of phrases about this and do not go into any details.

  • @Majid No problem, glad I could help.
    – A.P.
    Commented Nov 7, 2015 at 14:06

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