Post Op – Part 1

I am not a morning person–not by anyone’s wild stretch of anybody’s imagination. Yet I still thought it was just desserts that my husband and I had to get up at 5:15 the morning of my surgery to appear on time for my procedure. His hip surgery required us to do the same.

We drove to the medical center in the dark, making it up to the surgery center in time to watch the sunrise. It was a brilliant shade of red as it made its way through the various layers of haze on the Houston horizon.

Unlike my last visit to the doctor, this time I was making jokes. I had a captive audience, and, since I have the same kind of macabre sense of humor as many in the medical profession, I had everybody in stitches.

My surgeon came in–in a very good mood–and noticed that I was in a very good mood, so when he signed my right arm (as they all do to make sure they’re working on the correct limb), he wrote in big bold letters, “YES!” I really liked that sentiment and felt very comforted by it.

My husband, of course, stayed with me until they rolled me down the hall. It’s a very surreal experience watching the ceiling tiles go past you overhead. I thought I would be asleep by the time I got to the operating room. No such luck.

As I looked above me at the lights, I remembered another situation where I was wheeled into an operating room. That was 50 years ago when I fell on a glass bottle at the tender age of two and sliced all the way through my right arm, clear to the bone. I was unwilling to stay still for them to stitch it up while I was awake. I even succeeded in escaping a straitjacket. (Insert cheeky joke here.) So, they decided to put me under in order to sew my arm up. Still, I very distinctly remember those lights and the doctors in their surgical gowns and masks. I even remember that one of them wore glasses. He looked down at me and told me everything was going to be all right.

Well, this time, they didn’t have surgical gowns on, but they did have scrubs on, and they did have masks on, and my doctor even wore glasses. I don’t remember what story I was telling my captive audience, but I can pretty much guarantee that I fell asleep midsentence.

The procedure was short and sweet, and I felt like I woke up suddenly in the recovery room. I looked up at the nurse, raised my bandaged hand and wiggled my fingers. No pain. Other than the surgery pain, of course. I was elated. I started monologuing right then and there. The look on the nurse’s face was a mixture of complete amusement and surprise. When I took a breath, she said, “No one has ever woken up like that. “

I laid there with a silly grin on my face, humming the entire time while the nurse filled out paperwork and went to retrieve my husband. A single thought kept running through my head. I’m going to be OK.

We’re ALL going to be ok. Until next time, dear readers. May your bobbins be full and your seams straight!


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