Thursday, September 25, 2008

Woman on the edge

"She's a woman on the edge," I hear my surgeon say, as in scooting onto the operating table, I missed the mark and nearly went spilling onto the floor. She, the anesthesiologist and I had been talking about quantum mechanics on the way to the OR. I'm dressed in a Bair Paws gown (a very funky outfit that allows them to plug you into a warming hose and stay warm before surgery - it reminded me of when I was small, living outside of Chicago, and would stand in my nightgown on the hot air vents in the living room floor to get warm on winter mornings) and am wearing a silver hat also designed to help me retain heat (the nurse called it a Jiffy Pop hat and it's an apt description). The 6-ft plus anesthesiologist is holding my IV high in the air, towering over both me and the surgeon. We must have made quite a procession.

I was trying so hard not to be nervous, but when they hooked me up to the monitors, my secret was out. My usual pulse rate is between 60 and 65 - in the OR? 102. The last things I remember as I went under, were my surgeon holding my hand, and of praying the litany of the saints. Next thing I know, I'm in the recovery room - with a big sticker on my gown that said "Star Patient". I still don't know what I did to deserve that, since I proceeded to feel very "high maintenance" in the recovery unit. Suffice it to say I was glad of modern chemistry and medicine, and of a good friend willing to sit there through it all.

The team at home was sweet in their own ways. I woke to find a tray placed on the bed next to me, with a bowl of mashed potatoes and a cold drink (no napkin - we're talking men in the kitchen). Math Man had to go to back-to-school night for the mandatory choral meeting, so the boys reminded me how to use the cordless phones as an intercom system, in case I needed anything.

Since I'd sworn to the discharge nurse I would not get up without a spotter, when I needed to use the bathroom, I called up Barnacle Boy - who very gently took my arm. Then he pops out with "I don't have to say in there with you, do I??" "No sweetheart..." all the while thinking of those years not so long ago when he'd come popping right in the bathroom door without knocking, or decide to chat me up while I was in the shower. I think he's growing up!

Later, Barnacle Boy decided that the cat sleeping on top of me was photo material, grabbed my camera and clicked away. This morning I looked - the cat is indeed cute, I on the other hand look like something the cat dragged in.


  1. So glad you're home safely and recovering well. Wish I'd had that gown in my labors and the D and C after I lost Julian last year...

  2. It was definitely better than shivering, despite the vague impression that you were hooked up to a vacuum cleaner hose.