You know, I have debated about whether I was going to write this post. The one that is the day of surgery. The emotion. The fear. The worry. The “trying to be calm but not” feelings. All of that.
But as I have pondered things these last few weeks since the hysterectomy I decided that I should write this post. And, I will. Because my voice has value and meaning. And, while my blog has a lot of non-Cowden’s Syndrome and Lhermitte-duclos stuff too, its main purpose is to raise awareness for rare diseases. Two of them, to boot.
So, here we go…
I guess one of the good things about there being some distance and time since that morning of surgery is that my emotions are not so raw today. Not as tender; however, some of that morning’s events are etched in my psyche forever. Not to be dramatic; just stating a point.
- Checking in. Handing the staff my insurance card and getting my ID bracelet.
- Sitting in the chair next to mom. Just trying to focus on my breathing, nothing more.
- Walking to the pre-op room and changing into the gown. I remember the nurse who walked like a turtle (no joke) and as fast as one, too. Nurse G. She will come into play later on.
- Looking at the clock. It was around 8 AM or so right around this time and the surgery was scheduled for 9.
- Meeting the anesthesiologist. I told him to please be mindful of my tongue since during the last surgery I almost bit it off. (I suppose a 13-hour craniotomy and negligent anesthesiologist will do that to you. Ah, the risks of surgery.) It was very important to me to express my concerns and feelings to this anesthesiologist. He was kind. He was attentive. He listened. I am grateful to him.
- Nurse G not able to find a vein in my arm. She checked my wrist, my arm, my upper arm, all over. Cue nerves. She began to make some smart-alecky remarks to me, but in her defense I can see now that she was trying to distract me. But, let’s be real. She sucked at it.
- Leaving pre-op (Mom got to come too) and going to the room where you are really prepped for surgery. Nurse G is there. Anesthesiologist. Mom is sitting to the side of me. Another nurse comes into my curtained area. Then, another. Both of my arms were stretched out to my side and medical personnel are scrutinizing my veins. Like, crazy.
- Cue the panic.
- Nurse G said, “I am about to slap you” (if you don’t calm down, relax, something.) I don’t remember the rest of her sentence, only that she told me “I am about to slap you.” This is minutes before surgery. Who does that? Why type of human being tells a patient this before they are having major surgery?
- Someone finally found a vein. I don’t remember who. I remember feeling relief. I said, “I love you” to Mom. The nurses wheeled me into the actual operating room. I was wide-awake to remember all of this. Yuck. Maybe you do stress/panic/medical stuff better than I do. But, I really didn’t need to be coherent being wheeled into that room. And, in hindsight (NOTE: If my veins had cooperated), I wouldn’t have been as coherent as I was.
- Seeing Dr. K at some point during this cray-cray. I remember asking him if he had gotten a good night sleep the night before. That was very important to me that he had slept well. 🙂
- The anesthesiologist said to me, “We need a lot of good oxygen in your lungs” as he put the mask on my face….and then I was out. But, my last thought was, “Wait. What? I don’t have enough oxygen in my lungs?!” I pondered for months that I wanted my last thought before surgery to be happy and free and light and unicorn and rainbows. This wasn’t it.
Then, I woke up.