Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Surgery!

The morning started off as sort of a fiasco. I was worried my surgery would be canceled, because my mom was fighting traffic after a late start from her town to my boyfriend's town. The distance between both is about a hour long! My check-in time at the surgery pavilion (It sounds so fancy, "pavilion!" Like "Please head to the Surgery Pavilion, to get your head drilled into, which is next to the Fair Pavilion, next to the clowns and merry-go-round) was for 11am.

It was 10:40am. She was still not there. I paced, while trying to seem as though I wasn't pacing. The hospital is 30 minutes from my boyfriend's place, which I was staying at in-between moving to my summer housing and school housing,
because my mom was gone in Vancouver, WA all weekend moving her new husband's things to her town.

I calmly turned on my hair straightener and grabbed my hairbrush after a sleepy Ian asked if I was ready, his eyebrows
emphasizing the question.

I had slept VERY well. The bed was ridiculously comfortable. Its comfort was immediately noticed, even though I fought the allure of sleeping. I was too preoccupied with reading one of the Little House books (by Laura Ingalls Wilder).

I wanted to sleep with happy thoughts in my head, undisturbed by dreams.
These books have always been really enjoyable to me- a time that was much simpler and where people did what they had to do which included the barest of essentials- hunting your own meal, cooking it, sewing clothes, and buying cows for milk and butter. I really wanted to post but all I would've had to say would have been, "I have surprisingly little feeling about this!" I WAS excited but also nervous... the IV? How would that go? How long would it all take? Would I get to see the operating room or be mostly out first? Will my face nerves be ok? (After I woke up, I IMMEDIATELY smiled and winked. Phew, all fine. I'd continue to do this at intervals through the whole stay.)

My mom arrived at 10:45 and there was a frantic rush to load everything into the car (including my things from the dorm! The picture is my dorm room, in the throes of being packed. Fortunately everything was in suitcases when we packed it!!)

My mom's car groaned down to the windows! I ran back into the house, turned off my straightener which I had almost forgotten was on! Pulling a brush through my hair quickly before pulling it into a ponytail, I applied some lip gloss afterwards. Then I ran!

There was some confusion about Ian, because I had thought he would ride home with us after the surgery, but he said he would drive. So my mom and him
exchanged cell numbers and he withdrew into the darkness of his garage as my mom backed out into the bright sunshine of the day. He signed quickly, "I love you too! Good luck! I'll be praying for you!" I waved and happily settled back against my chair.

My mom, frantic, took the
wrong turn. I directed her to the highway, and then we got onto the express lane, which TOTALLY went past the hospital/University of WA exit. Oh no! So, she cleverly maneuvered back while dialing numbers on her cell. She got ahold of somebody who said it was fine and that the surgery would still be on. Phew! So, we parked, chatting happily. My mom looked at me and asked, "Aren't you nervous? You don't seem to have ANY opinion but I keep saying to myself, you must be!" I shrugged. "I really don't think much of it.. I'm just glad it's finally the day. I'm more nervous about the IV than the surgery itself, almost." We laughed, the sound echoing in the garage. (This was something I never heard or realized until after the surgery!!) I realized I forgot my camera (an essential!!) so we headed to the car again. I grabbed my backpack and she didn't know I had "so much" which she would have to carry later (she was right), so we walked 10 feet back, and I grabbed only my makeup case, my camera, and a notebook.

Finally!! We got to the actual hospital. My mom
observed how fancy the lobby of the parking garage was before the elevators swept us up to the second floor.

I bounced in, my mom walking behind. We went through the preliminary questions and I got my hospital bracelet and my allergy bracelet. (I'm allergic to amoxicillin, a form of
penicillin. They don't use this in the operation at all, but it was a precaution.) Then we waited. It wasn't a long wait at all before they called us into the back room. It was all sterile, many rooms curtained, and I started to get a LITTLE nervous.

I had to pee in a cup, change into a hospital gown (oh so fashionable), and wait. Picture-taking occurred, much to my mom's amusement. ("My goodness, Tasha! You really are silly. That camera!") The anesthesiologist came in to introduce himself, then a doctor, then a nurse. Then MORE questions by the nurse on duty. The usual: "Do you feel ok today? When was the last time you ate?" etc. They took my blood pressure, and then my temperature which was normal. My mom was surprised and said so, because I usually have a high temperature whenever medical personnel take my temperature!

More waiting.
Then, they came in with the IV supplies. I told them to do my upper arm, which I am pretty comfortable with because of giving blood. I hate the thought of a needle piercing the thin skin on top of my hand or on my wrist. It makes me shudder inwardly, and it had been a source of some of my worries! So, that was a relief they did the upper arm :) My mom took my camera and began snapping pictures! Thanks Mom! :D I was glad because I LOVE having "pictures for posterity," as the hospital staff was informed. I didn't even know my arm bled until I looked down, because I was too busy looking at the camera!

I began to get a bit nervous, which I was successfully concealing, until my mom caught an expression I made for a split moment and captured it forever on the camera. This is me looking.. well, nervous. "They're going to drill a hole in my head and cut my skin in a matter of MINUTES." Everybody was very nice.
The interpreter they had provided for me was being really silly though because she was being overly pushy and I didn't want her in the operating room or ANYWHERE near it! I was lipreading most of the dialogue between everyone or preferring to use my mom, so we sent her away. She didn't seem happy at all and was really pushy about it until my mom and the nurse confronted her calmly and told her it was within my rights to not have an interpreter. I tried to ignore this ridiculous happening because after all, it was my first surgery!

A resident doctor discovered I still had my bra on, and he asked if it had metal in it. I wasn't sure and I had my IV in and a gown on and everything!! But oddly enough I had used the bra that has a bad strap, so it was easily untied and nothing was disturbed! PROVIDENCE! Yay!

They wheeled me away and I thought, "Time to rock n roll!"

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