I’m not sure how I survived the few days leading up to surgery. I know I didn’t sleep very much. I had a lot on my mind.
The thought of anesthesia scared me. The thought of not waking up from anesthesia scared me more. No one really prepares you for what to expect, but signing a form to acknowledge the fact you may die during the procedure is certainly thought provoking.
My surgery was scheduled for Friday the 13th! I know, someone somewhere was having a great chuckle at my expense.
We had to leave the house at 5.30 that morning to ensure prompt arrival at the hospital for 7.30am. I was taken into an admittance ward and my parents were told they could not stay with me. I was actually calm, something that surprised me. I was practising my albatross breathing to try and keep my blood pressure as level as possible. Breathe in while imagining the wings of the great bird lifting, breathe out as they lower. Hey stop laughing, it actually works!
I was given a gown, and a sock and told to get changed. It’s almost impossible to keep your modesty in check when you’re on crutches, have no spare hands and your arse is hanging out of a blue gown that you can’t tie because the fastenings are at the back. The single white sock however was kind of fetching in it’s own way, it’s aim, to aid circulation I think.
Then in walked my surgeon. I am guessing he came to explain the procedure to me, I did not hear one word he said. I was to busy gazing upon his loveliness. I saw his mouth moving, but seriously that was all. Little words like, drill, holes, in, kneecap, suture and stitches may have filtered through the bird song and fireworks I just can’t be sure. He then grabbed a marker and proceeded to draw an arrow on my foot. I’m pretty sure had it been anyone else but him I would have joked and said do you not know what leg it is ya eejit, I mean does the full leg cast not kind of give it away, but I said nothing. My sub concious was obviously smart enough to tell my brain, you’re going to be asleep and under his knife, shut the hell up!
Next came the anesthetist, lovely man he was, all jolly and smiley. He’d have put me right at ease if I hadn’t been already due to the aforementioned albatross exercises, to be honest I think I was a little giddy at this point from all the attention.
Anesthetist: Hello I’m Dr Anesthetist and I’ll be looking after you today.
Me: You’ll be putting me out, right?
Anesthetist: Yes, that’s my job.
Me: As in, out, out.
Me: As in I will be asleep, right out, not aware, dead to the…..ummm reallly soundly alseep.
Anesthetist: You have no need to worry.
Me: Ok! (begrudgingly)
They come and tell me it’s time and start wheeling me through the corridors, into lifts and down into the bowels of the hospital. I’m not ashamed to admit I cried. Watching all the ceiling lights go past I started to think of all the people I might never see again if I didn’t make it through, I was lonely, I wanted someone I knew to tell me goodbye and that they would see me later. The nurse patted my hand and told me it would be ok and right there and then that was the nicest thing anyone could have done for me.
The scenery changed and I was in a little annex off the theatre and the Anesthetist Nurse says she is going to put in a cannula, I think that’s what it’s called anyway. She says “You’ll just feel a little prick” and I swear I let out the loudest schoolgirlish giggle in the whole world and said “tee hee hee she said just a little prick” and they all started laughing. I went bright red, I think I muttered “Oops did I say that out loud! She carried on with what she was doing and it bloody hurt, “Ouch that wasn’t such a little prick after all!” says I.
My jolly anesthetist came back and started patting my hand and asking me questions, I heard him say she won’t need a mask. I remember turning to him and saying “Ooo my face has gone all tingly” and him replying that was perfectly normal, I remember nothing after that.
To be continued……………….