Thursday, June 17, 2010

Let's roll!

Roberto took us through a maze of corridors and doors and elevators. He reassured my mother that he would take her back to the waiting room and she would not need to navigate the maze herself. Good thing too, because my mother’s sense of direction is THE WORST.

I was taken to some sort of pre-op waiting area and directed to a bed. On my bed was a bag and the nurse instructed me to get changed. I went to the bathroom and changed into my gown, cap and socks. For more than a moment, I wondered if I should keep my panties on. I remembered hearing about people’s butts showing through thin hospital gowns so that seemed to mean that I should take it off too. But it was brain surgery, they didn’t need access to there. Oh wait, there is that catheter that they will insert into me. Debate. Debate. I went with commando. I am pretty sure that was the correct choice.

I went back to the bed and jumped in. It all just felt strange – almost as if I was watching it happen to someone else. It was not hitting yet. I was mainly concerned about my mother. I didn’t want her to worry. If I could have had this surgery without her ever finding out, I certainly would have.

Eventually, a nurse came and checked my information and gave me a name bracelet.(We later noticed that my name was spelled wrong and they had to get me a new one and change the information on several forms). Then another nurse started the IV in my right hand. At some point, someone asked me how I was doing. I can’t remember who. I met several nurses and doctors at that point. I tried to make a mental note of time and names for the sole purpose of blogging but that was 7 weeks ago, I have already forgotten. There was operating room nurse, doctors from anesthesia, neurosurgery doctors and nurses who didn’t identify their affiliation. As I was saying, someone asked me how I was doing. I noted that I was fine and that the only part I disliked was the IV being placed in my hand.

The nurse doing the IV got irritated! “It doesn’t hurt! It doesn’t hurt! You are fine.” Tone is everything people. My mother and I exchanged looks and bit our tongues. Oooh, I remember who asked now. It was an anesthesiologist. After I responded, he said that my other IVs would be put in while I was knocked out so I wouldn’t feel them. Other IVs? You mean one isn’t enough? What had I gotten myself into?

A few moments later, I noted that I did not have my MRI CDs. EPIC FAIL. You can’t have brain surgery without MRI images for the doctors to use to navigate your brain, missy. I had left them in my bag in the waiting room. IV nurse to my mother – “why don’t you just go get it?” Tone again people. Tone. My mother gave her a dirty look. Remember that maze of corridors and elevators and doors? She wanted my mother to go navigate that? We had someone call down to patient hospitality who relayed the message that I needed my bag to my friends in the waiting room. Sue eventually brought my bag upstairs.

The hospital chaplin came around 7:30 and asked to pray with us. I was extremely happy for that. Things had happened so quickly before in the waiting room that we didn’t have a chance to do that.

Next, we waited for my doctor to show up. Everybody was ready to go but my doctor hadn’t arrived to sign certain documents. The operating room nurse was adamant that he had to sign the documents and not anybody else on his team. Stickler for the rules. She was getting a bit antsy that he was running later than usual. Typically, he would already be slicing and dicing at that hour.

He eventually showed up (of course) and signed the required forms and checked over my chart. He asked me how I was doing. I said I was fine. I felt fine. Never mind that my blood pressure was high. He shook my legs and told me that it was OK to be nervous, I had to be. I smiled. I really like that guy. At some point he noted that he hadn’t seen me since October. Oops? Well, apparently not.

Papers signed. Ready to roll.

Roberto came to get my mother. All the docs and nurses lined up on either side of my bed. One anesthesiologist said he was going to give me something to make me relax and not be nervous. He reached over to my IV and put something in. I glanced at the time. It was probably 7:50ish. That was the last thing I remember.

Now let me just say that I am pissed about this. What happened to being in the operating room and being told to count backwards from 100? I was oh so ready to say my ABCs backwards! I felt cheated. I never saw the operating room! The medicine was supposed to make me relax, not knock me out instantly! He lied to me!

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