On the day of surgery, I arrived at the hospital quite a bit tired (bed at 11 p.m. and up at 5 a.m.), but I was surprised that I wasn’t more apprehensive or worked up about it.
I was taken to the “day surgery” area for “prep”. The nurse decided to let the anaesthetologist do the IV in the OR, so all I had to do was to change, allow for blood pressure and temperature check and then separate swabs of both my nose and, the rudest test of all, my backside. I was then given medication to keep me calm.
Onto a gurney I’m put, and away we go…to the surgical floor when it was rack’em, stack’em patients. I was the fourth to be added to the waiting area and three more came after me.
My surgeon saw me and spoke with me, initialing my skin over both breasts. Later I would see the marks and realize she’d marked which breast to have radical and which to have simple.
Shortly after that, I’m wheeled into the OR (OR #3), and as we’re going down the hallway I see the wash/scrub areas for the operating room staff, just outside each OR and in the hallway. My only thought was, “Seattle Grace, this is not.”
When I woke up in recovery….just a side note here, why do they call it waking up?? The brain is addled and you’re barely cognizant of things….so, when I woke up I have fuzzy memories of my endocrinologist being by to see me as well as my surgeon.
There’s a lot of blur after that and about mid-afternoon I started to regain thinking abilities. That’s when Vince told me that in the process of transferring me to my hospital bed, I had actually sat on a drain and just made the gurney a mess.
My throat hurt and was scratchy, to be expected since I had a breathing tube down my throat.
I was in a semi-private room, my roommate being an elderly lady who had suffered a debilitating stroke – completely bed bound. Her family stayed with her 24-hours, 3 children rotating shifts. The last day I was there, the doctor had come in to see them to tell them that they had found cancer in the surgery. The family declined a referral to the cancer clinic.
What I didn’t expect was a fat lip that was entirely numb including down the chin. It took about two weeks for that numbness to completely go away. It’s funny the things that can happen.