Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Story From My Life

I don't remember everything, but I'll tell you what I remember. Its a long tale, but its packed with thoughts, descriptions, memories, and what conversations I remember.

The appointment was at 8am. Dad drove me to the doctor's, and I told them who I was, and the receptionist nurse set up a follow up appointment for the next week. I sat down in one of the chairs next to dad. They had given him a PostOp booklet to read, but he set it on the side table. I think he did that for me, knowing there were probably things in there that I wouldn't want to read right before the surgery.

There was bamboo in one of the flower pots. Dad told me bamboo is a grass, not a tree or a shrub. He had learned that just a day or two before in the rain-forest. The ones he had seen were thirty feet tall, and green, and thicker than a coffee mug. We talked about bamboo and his trip with mom to Puerto Rico until the nurse called my name.

I stood up and shouldered my purse to follow.
"Oh, you'll want to leave your purse with your driver." I don't remember much about her, but I'm pretty sure her scrubs were purple.
I turned to dad and smiled, taking my purse off, "ha, you're my 'driver' now"
"Hey now- I'm more than that- I'm your dad!" we both smiled and laughed , and I think the nurse laughed too, but I think she was also a little embarrassed. I followed her to the surgery room.

Honestly, I wasn't nervous about the operation. Wisdom Teeth Removal isn't one of the most dangerous surgery, and there wasn't much risk. I'd panicked a couple times in the past few weeks. But the night before, when I had a small panic attack, I prayed for peace... and suddenly, like in a book or movie, I was at peace, and I could fall asleep.

No, I was most anxious about the IV.

Three or four years ago I yawned my biggest yawn ever- and my jaw slid out of place, locking open. I dislocated my jaw with a yawn (talent- I know). Long story short, I had to go to the ER. My muscles were too tight because I was so tense and anxious and they couldn't slide it back into place. So, they gave me an IV with something in it to relax my muscles. I was scared to death when dad told me what the nurse was going to do- I don't like needles very much. I didn't want the IV, but my mouth was stuck open and I couldn't speak to protest. I bawled, sobbing, holding my dad's hand as he tried to calm me and tell me it would make things better.

I walked into the operation room where two nurses waited. I sat in the beige operation chair. They leaned me back, explaining the monitors they were putting on me-  one on each of my wrists, one on my pointer finger, and a blood pressure monitor that seemed to randomly check my blood pressure. Somehow, I remember hearing one nurse read my blood pressure to the other nurse, 120 over 80 I think, and I tried to recall from my gen bio class if that was a good/reasonable number.

Then, one nurse sat down and told me it was time for the IV. I took a deep breath- it was going to be ok.
"This is just going to be sugar water- like lucky charms," She said. I think I smiled.
Don't look at it, self, look away- at that corner where the walls and ceiling meet. Keep breathing normally, its going to be ok, keep breathing. She told me to lay my arm flat on the rest, and to open and squeeze my hand. Self, don't look at the drop drop drop of the sugar water from the IV bag into the tube that lead to my bloodstream. Keep breathing, its going to be ok. Rubbing alchohol. "Hold your fist tight." Remember to let out my breath.

A pinch, a breath, it was over. I could sort of feel the IV in my arm, but it didn't hurt, it was just a little uncomfortable.

"That was the part I was most anxious about," I confided, letting out a breath.
"Aw, it wasn't so bad- it didn't hurt, did it?"
"No, I hardly felt anything," I almost laughed.

They monitored some other things behind me, came in and out of the room, wrote things of pieces of paper paper-clipped to manila envelopes.

One nurse asked me what I had done for mother's day, and I gave her the highlights. Then, she relayed a story or two of her own. Then:

"Ok, we are going to switch you over to the anesthesia in a minute. The doctor is about to come in, do you have any questions for him?"

I didn't, so they switched the IV. I'm not sure how exactly, because, like I said, I wasn't looking in that direction. I could still hear the beep beep beep of the monitors relaying my pulse. Everything got fuzzy, the lines of objects becoming less defined. I was a little dizzy, but not really. Part of me thought this was going awfully fast, and part of me thought it was sure taking a long time. I decided to start saying my memory verse for the week in my head, while I waited. I got to 'Matthew 4:19, And he-' and then I was out.

And just as suddenly I was awake and in pain. I cold see three heads, each wearing one of those whitish blue doctor surgery hats, and I felt a horrible pain in my mouth. I don't exactly remember the pain now, but I remember it really hurt. I wasn't sure what part of the surgery this was, but I guessed it was the end because it felt like dear old doc was putting in the stitches. I'm pretty sure I started shaking, and crying. Then I was out again.

Then I was conscience again. No pain. Nurse telling me to swing my feet over the side of the chair. Helping me stand. Walking me down the hall, into another room. I sat in another big cushioned chair. I don't remember if dad was in the room before me, or if he came in after, but he was in one of the regular chairs. I wasn't sure if I'd imagined the part about waking up, but it never occurred to me to ask. When I walked down the hall with the nurse, and into this other room, I was holding a Kleenex with wet spots on it, so I'm pretty sure it happened.

The doctor came in and said some stuff. I'm sure it was very important stuff, but all I remember is 'No Straws!' A nurse came in and showed me how to change the gauze. Then I was standing again, the nurse helping me, then she handed me over to dad, and she lead us to a side door with a sign over it was was printed off the computer. Dad thought that was the funniest part because it said "Surgical Exit", so that PostOp patients don't scare other patients in the waiting room. Genius.

We were in the car, soon, and driving to McDonalds. Dad told me the operation only took thirty minutes, which I think was pretty good. Then we were home, and I took my special medicine, leaving the malt in the freezer for later, and lay down on my bed and fell asleep.

No comments: