Day 125: Lovely lady lumps… insert here…
This surgery day did not have a lot of fanfare. It was very different from the mastectomy. I was alone most the day. Family couldn’t make it and my husband was showing the house we are trying to sell. Things moved pretty quickly at Swedish, but the larger hospital in the larger city has none of the small town charm that my previous hospital did – at the smaller hospital I was able to take my iPhone in and listen to meditations when I had my mastectomies done, here I was stripped of everything like checking into the local jail. It wasn’t bad while talking with the nurse and getting dosed with the pre-surgical pain med cocktail that is supposed to block different pain pathways. But then we went down to the next waiting area. No phone. No magazine. No one to talk to… meds kicking in… did I mention it was in the basement of the hospital?
So… the nurse comes up to place my IV. I point out that no one has put my super expensive bracelet on me. He decides my ankle – that is a first. My anesthesiologist comes over and talks to me a bit… asks if I have been under a general before… “Nope, had these suckers taken off with a little rum and while biting a bullet!” 😐 I am starting to feel the effects of the pre-surgical cocktail. Doctor comes over… I remember to tell her that I did not purchase a “lymphedema bracelet” and soon I won’t be with it enough to tell them not to put a blood pressure cuff or give me an injection in my left arm. She smiles, grabs my arm and writes “NO!” in huge letters. (For some reason it made me think of when Pearl Jam was live on MTv – 80’s kids might get the reference.) Then the anesthesiologist comes back and puts the magic liquid into my IV lines.
Here is the super crazy part… she says to me, “Ok, let’s go!”
Me: “I’m walking?”
Did I mention we are in a basement?
So I walk what I am certain is in no way a straight line with my anesthesiologist pushing my IV pole along side me into the surgical suite. I am glad I don’t watch horror movies, I remember commenting about how odd it was to be awake and see all the surgical instruments, even weirder to position myself on the surgery table. For the record – they are not comfortable. I vaguely remember asking what to do with my legs because my feet were kicking something (guess they were not ready for a tall chick) or maybe it was a foot rest? I dunno. Eventually we figured it out. Room starts to get fuzzy. Then they stretched my arms out and thank God that was it, I seem to have an ok disposition coming out of general anesthesia but I think it would change if I were to remember being strapped down with arms spread out while staring at a bright a light cataloging in my mind all the surgical instruments I saw glistening off to the side… thankfully we don’t have to know. Nurse says something I think I understand but too late… last thing I remember seeing is the super bright light from the surgical lamp… room goes black.