Thursday, June 17, 2010


I expected to be panicking and worried and stressed during the weeks leading up to surgery but I never felt it. What I did feel however, was P A I N. My trigeminal neuralgia was kicking my a..well, face would be the correct body part. The night before, I expected to have trouble sleeping. However, I didn’t expect to have trouble sleeping because I was in P A I N. I know TN gets worse when one is stressed. I guess since I wasn’t panicking, my stress decided to manifest in a different way.

I didn’t crawl into bed until nearly 1 am and I was pretty much just lying there trying to find a comfortable pain-free position. When my alarm went off at 4:30, I ignored it and stayed in bed some more. I knew it wouldn’t take me too long to get ready and I just wanted to relax a bit before the mad rush to the hospital began. Additionally, I needed to pack a bag for the hospital and I had no clue what to pack. I had asked my support group for suggestions but I was still a bit clueless. I know I wouldn’t need anything immediately but I didn’t want my mother to have to go through my things to pack items for me.

Apparently, I relaxed too much and suddenly we were late. I got up and hurriedly went to take my antiseptic shower and pack a bag while my mother got ready. I shamefully admit that I got a bit snippy with my mother. Sigh. She tends to twist and turn and not get stuff done when she is getting ready to go somewhere. We were late. It was not the morning to be twisting and turning and and and I am a bad daughter.

We were taking two cars to the hospital, we loaded up 4 in my car and 2 in the other car and set off. On the way, I completed my living will. Yeah, yeah, I should have done that before. But look, I was busy. And frankly, those questions are not the easiest questions to answer. No, seriously, think about it. Think about it really carefully. How long would you want to be kept on life support for? If there was no possibility of you waking up for several years, how long would you want to be kept alive? Easy for you to answer? Anyway, I got it done and cleaned the nail polish off my toenails – nail polish is a no no during surgery.

On the way, I had some of the worst TN pain ever. I closed my eyes and was thankful that it was dark so that the others did not see me in pain. At that point, if I had not already scheduled surgery, I am pretty sure I would have gotten sufficiently fed up and immediately scheduled it.

We made it to the hospital just after 6am, valet parked and then marched in to be registered. It still had not hit me what I was about to do. I don’t know when it ever will. We sat in the waiting area with all the other patients there for surgery waiting to be called.

At about 6:30, Roberto from patient hospitality called me over. I had spoken to Roberto the night before. He called to tell me he would be handling my case and that we should valet park when I got to the hospitality – it was complimentary (woot! Woot!) He took us to show us patient hospitality and the waiting room. We had a private waiting room complete with comfortable couches, a flat screen television and no DVD player (that little tidbit was a running joke in the waiting room while they waited for me to get out.) We were also shown where they would have breakfast and coffee and the bathrooms (one looking very spa-like, according to Robert). I must say that the accommodations were fantastic.

Robert then told us that my surgery was scheduled for 1pm. WHOOOOOOOOOA. It is now 7am, Robby. What am I going to do until 1pm? Surely, I might starve (no food before surgery). Additionally, one of the doctors had called me the night before to say that my surgery was moved to the first one in the morning. Did that change? We all looked a bit disappointed. Surely, that wait would send anxiety levels through the roof. Roberto went away then returned shortly thereafter to say that he was mistaken. My surgery had been moved up to the first of the day and it was time to take me upstairs. Only one person could come upstairs with me. My mother would come, of course. I waved goodbye to everybody and headed upstairs.

Let the games begin!

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