Yay! I'm not dead! Woo-hoo! *insert maniacal smiley-face here*
Surgery Day went much as expected: get to the hospital with plenty of time, rant against the medical establishment for not letting me eat or drink, sit around waiting for said medical establishment types to prepare me for surgery. The people you meet in pre-op are generally the nicest people in the world. I suppose this is because there is already a huge chance any given patient is about to run screaming from the building in fear at any time before their surgery can commence, and anything they can do to lower that possibility is in their best interest.
Carolyn and Dr. Abrahms and Patrick were all very nice to me. The waiting in stages was somewhat frustrating. Arrive to wait in the lobby. Be moved to a room to wait there. Change in the room to wait again. Meet the anesthesiologist to wait again. Meet the doctor to wait again. Use the bathroom to wait again.
By the time I was asked what the scariest part of this was for me, I was sick of waiting around and the horror of not waking up from the table was gone. We went over my more immediate horror of IV insertion. And then I waited some more. I was practically skipping by the time Patrick the Nice came to lead me away to the operating room.
There is an odd phenomenon with surgery regarding the things that you forget versus the things you remember versus the things you only thought you forget until they're repeated at a later date. I tried hard to remember everyone's names. Patrick introduced me to 3 new people in the room who had masks on and who weren't looking at me, so there was no way I was going to over come my natural inability to remember names for them. I have this weird feeling one of them was named Wendy. Because later that day someone named Wendy appeared for a moment and although she wasn't familiar, her name was. See what I mean?
So, here I am with Patrick the Saint, my doctor, someone possibly named Wendy, and 2 more people I've never seen before in my life. Dr. Abrhams is nowhere to be seen. They get me to lay myself on the table, spending extra time to line up my ass and my head into designated spots. They half-heartedly put an oxygen mask over my mouth, I'm supposing by its unfastened nature that it is "just in case". Or maybe just to distract me because we're starting to talk about where my good veins are.
As far as I can recall, no one has ever had any extra problems on the left, although I've been hearing lately that my veins like to "roll". They try for the left, thumping and snapping and rubbing. Someone (Wendy?) starts doing the same on the right. Is this a distraction technique? Nope, they decide between them (Wendy? and St. Pat) to try the right hand instead. The Saint asks if I've ever had a mosquito bite before. I half groan, half growl something resembling "yes", keeping the part back about "of course I've had a mosquito bite and don't EVEN fucking think for a moment you're fooling anyone by comparing that damned needle you've got there to a mosquito sting." You know, don't want to be rude to the people with the sharp objects that instill pain.
I get the mosquito-bite of "love" also known as lidocaine, to numb the area. This is the part that becomes familiar - I remember my last surgery to have my wisdom teeth removed, where they did not have a lidocaine-dispensing insect available, and they poke each of my hands between 5-10 times each before successfully putting me under. This is not a good thing to remember at a time like this, but I can feel the promised "pressure" of the actual IV being inserted, so I am back to concentrating on not concentrating on the huge metal point thing being inserted into my hand.
It goes well. It doesn't hurt. The blood pressure cuff hurts though, so I focus on trying to find a marginally more comfortable position to keep that arm, and wiggle my now-numb right arm on occasion in sympathy. Patrick, having been demoted to mere human status for attempting to trick me with that mosquito BS, would like to now talk about what I'm going to dream about. OK, big finish, right? I'll start talking about cats, fall asleep mid sentence, they'll laugh for a few minutes about how funny I sounded in the middle of explaining "no, not the musical, my pet cats", and then I'll wake up in post-surgical bliss.
So why am I not asleep yet? How much more descriptive of my cats do you want me to get here? Yes, we call Fiona "Fluffers" - she's really damned fluffy. In fact, did you check to make sure her hairs aren't floating around my abdomen right now? Seriously, can we stop talking about cats and get to - holy crap I can't breath. My throat has decided to take my dry-mouth to the next level, times 1000. No saliva, added constriction, and now not only have I lost the ability to swallow, but I think I just took my last possible breath.
"Rrrggg. Caaaaan't breeehhhhhhhhhth. Ggglllggggg."
Three sets of eyes looking very calmly down at me like magnanimous deities who don't understand English or breathing or possibly the concept of life.
Unsaintly Patrick tells me, "Just breath deeply."
WTF Mother Fucker? YOU breath mother fucking deeply after I shove a giant hole through your throat with.... oh, there's got to be something sharp and nasty around here that will do.
"Time to wake up sweetie, you're in post-op," announces Saint Candice.
Fucking god dammit mother fucking medical profession types. Fuck. The next time I run into someone named Patrick, I'm stabbing him.