June 13, 2004

A day of day surgery

I was thinking last night about this hernia operation. In the world of medical procedures, it's not a huge thing but, when you have a dislike for anything like this, as I do, it's big enough.

I began in the Day Ward, on the first floor (U.of A. Hospital). The procedure was on the third floor, Operating Theatre 4. So I was taken on a bed ride.

It was quite cool. I kept thinking, "Steadi-cam. That's what I need - a steadi-cam." Because I was seeing it all in terms of film and how it would appear (from my prone position on the bed, head slightly elevated). It wasn't quite the frantic rush you would see on TV. Rather, it was leisurely and much more interesting that way.

Anyway ... next up, Operating Theatre 4. Frankly, I've seen too many movies. So I had far too many disagreeable images and scenes playing out in my head.

The worst: the IV thing. So I'm hooked up. And they placed the oxygen thing over my nose and mouth while putting the anti-nausea, knock-out stuff into me via the IV. And I kept thinking, "This is how they do the execution thing. Death by lethal injection. This is how they do it."

This is not the sort of shit you want running through your head. But that's what was in mine.

When I came to afterwards, it was just like coming to after fainting or a seizure - both of which I'm overly familiar with. Again, quite disagreeable. I hadn't a clue who I was or where I was or who belonged to the voices I was hearing. I know I suddenly had chills and was shivering madly and someone said something about Demerol and morphine and - poof! I was out again.

The next time I came too, sort of the same thing - minus the shivering. But I stayed conscious and quickly recalled the who, the where, the why and so on. My throat was dry and sore (like a sore throat) and I damn near died when I started coughing. You'd be amazed at how involved your stomach muscles are in everything!

And then ... the long wait to get sensible enough and physically up to scratch sufficiently so they could say, "Adios," and send me home.

Lovely day.

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