The machine that goes "ping"

In the last year and a couple of months, and really throughout our whole marriage, Jim has been the hospital patient (with the exception of me having the babies) and I've been the supportive spouse. Yesterday it was finally my turn to be the patient! I had been to see a gynecologist who suspected I had an endometrial cyst. He wanted to scrape out my uterus to relieve my menorrhagia and, if there was a cyst, to dig it out and have a look at the tissue.

I'm the adventurous type, so I was keen to do something I had never done before. I had only been put under twice before many years ago, once when I was five and was a very uncompliant dental patient, and then again at 19 for another dental reason--to have my wisdom teeth removed.

I wasn't worried about surgery; it was going to be minor and I would go home after recovery. I was most interested/freaked about being put under. I get the willies when I think about being forced to take a nap. And also with the idea that I might not remember things I did when I was awake but under the influence of the anesthesia.

The nurses were very nice and politely laughed at my comments meant for amusement. I still had to wear a paper gown, but paper gown technology has made some improvements, like you can hook up a blower hose that can regulate temperature better than a blanket. There is also a "pocket" in front for your hands! And the top of the gown was lined with chuck pads for warmth and comfort.

my feet under a sheet

Jim didn't take any pictures so I had to. This was pre-op. I didn't take any post-op. Jim had my phone then. 
I don't know exactly when I got whatever medication is that relaxes you prior to the anesthesia, but I think it kicked in when the nurses came to wheel me away. One nurse said, "We're coming to take you" and I immediately launched into singing Napoleon XIV's "They're coming to take me away ha ha hee hee." The nurses laughed and joined in the song with me. Then I got into what I thought was a deep-thought conversation about the nature of the present and how could I participate in the present but not remember it later. Then they wheeled me out to the hallway and everything looked so NICE and so I had to point out that the pictures on the wall were so NICE. I think they were pictures of the OR staff. And then when we got to the OR, I saw all kinds of machines and I said, "There are a lot of machines in here, surely you won't use all of them." The nurse said, "Oh yes, we use all of them." And I said, "Where is the machine that goes "ping?" and they apparently had no idea what I was talking about. I had to explain that it was a Monty Python reference. (What movie? Can you guess?) Next thing I remember is scooting from the gurney to the table and the male nurse said something about a tail, and I said, "Don't tell my husband I have a tail. I only let him see me from the front." I meant it as a joke (did I? I can't believe I would be cracking such stupid jokes even under the influence of the happy juice) and I think they laughed (perhaps because they knew I was under the influence of the medicated sillies. This must be what being drunk is like). The last thing I remember was noticing the surgery lights, and thinking "Wow, just like Alien Autopsy." Is that even a real show?

Next thing I remember was someone saying "Breathe." I thought, OK. And so I did. And then I noticed that my lips had been vaselined up and how nice it was that someone did that. I had a breathing mask on I think, but I don't remember it coming off. I breathed for a while, and then the nurse said, "You're all done." Really? I thought. Surely I wasn't done already, I was just noticing the Alien Autopsy lights just seconds before. And now they were gone and I was in a curtained area. The nurse reminded me to breathe and I just sat there for a while breathing. I was between two men in other curtained-off areas, and as I mentally reviewed my physical state, I was happy to realize that I was in supreme comfort. Nothing hurt, nothing was in need of adjustment. I was fine. Surely if they had done anything, I would feel something amiss. I didn't really believe that I had just had a small surgery. The guy on my left was in quite a bit of pain; the nurse asked him how painful, and he said, "10." He wasn't crying, but I think he was moaning gutturally. The guy on my right wasn't moving at all, but he was being attended to. 

I breathed some more and enjoyed my pain-free existence. The nurse came back eventually and asked if I wanted something to drink or eat. I could do with a drink of water, but I wasn't hungry. I wasn't nauseated either, so if they had really wanted me to eat, I could have. I just didn't feel like I had to eat at that time. 

Finally they got me to a recovery room, but instead of a bed, there was a recliner. They brought Jim back to me and I spent a while there. I could stand, I could pee by myself, which was their test to see if I was ready to go home. 

And so I left, pain-free and comfortable. I watched MST3K until I fell asleep, and I continued to watch when I woke up. 

I'm still pain-free. The doctor said there was no cyst but they did do an ablation. I'm still fine a day later, just really tired. Too much movement wears me out. 


TaterBean said…
Haha! I like your recap on the hospital experience!