The trend in the past has been to write about my hospital trips with as much humour as possible. Today shall be no different…
I hate hospitals. I hate the way they smell, and I hate being in them for whatever reason, but they are a regular occurrence on my timeline and so I choose to take note of it all and try to find the funny in what would otherwise be a miserable affair.
This morning I had to be there at 7am sharp (which for me is the arse crack of dawn and not a good time of day for my sparkling personality) and report to admissions. I filled in all the forms, and started to look forward to the pre op sedative they had promised me before.
I was booked into the wrong ward. Surgery One. Which is for people who are staying overnight. I was meant to be in the short stay ward where you come and go with out any fuss. But what did I know – so I got given a gown that you put on backwards so that the underwear that looks like a chef’s hat that happens to have two leg holes in it was sticking out.
I insisted on keeping my boots on so that I could go and smoke. Bum showing and not interested in the 10 page forms that needed to be filled in by the nurses. What medication are you on? Do you have any of the following problems… high blood pressure, diabetes, hypertension.. blah blah…
As always my assigned nurse had a huge pair of boobs and as always when they ask about any previous surgery and I say ‘breast reduction’ I get the whole ‘is it sore’ cross examination. Sure.. I mean they cut your boobs open to scoop out shit and they sew your nipples back on. Doesn’t hurt at all…
So when they eventually found me in the wrong ward, I was three cigarettes in and had lost my sense of humour… and then, the panic set in. I am always convinced I am going to die. I conformed with my mother that she would take my cat, and told her there was a letter in my bag for if something happened to me. She did what she always does and rolled her eyes… but in that moment … I am terrified.
So there I am. A 35 year old grown as woman crying like a baby reciting care instructions for my cat to my mother while they wheel me in my bed backwards and into pre op.
… where I got a weird hat to match my weird underwear.
Now… I talk a lot as it is. But when I am afraid or nervous, I talk a lot more, and a lot faster. Even if you are the sedated guy next to me who isn’t listening. Or the nurse who keeps telling me to stop reading my own files sitting on the bottom of my bed because I am rearranging the pages to suit me rather than the doctors that are about to be in total control of my life.
The anesthetist comes. He looked like a body builder that fell into a scrubs cupboard and came out wearing a better hat than me. Then I started doing the maths on how many people were in the theater. My stoic Polish surgeon who says very little, the scrubbed body builder, the nurse who looked about 15, … panic…
They are on a time schedule so I appreciate that they have to get a move on, but you cant expect a girl to have her throat sprayed with anesthetic, a mouth opener thing put in her mouth, and oxygen hooked up her nose and around her ears all in one go and to remain bloody calm. So I do what I do best, and pulls it all out and off and demand to know exactly what everything is that is being put in or near my face. Then I tell the body builder dude to stand where I can see him… and ask him if he knows me. Random, I know… and then tried to back it up with a weak explanation about how seeing as he is about to stick a camera up my butt.. we should at least know each other… As I do that, the anesthetist inserted a needle into my hand, and told me that the shit he was putting in me would help me talk more. In my state of panic, I was like ‘Oh okay, cool…’ .. and that’s the last I remember.
This part I don’t remember either – but I am told: You could hear me coming before I even made it into the ward. I am aggressive and stroppy after any anesthetic so it made sense that I would be interrogating whoever wheeled me back. I demanded that I needed to take a giant poop and that I did NOT need to be accompanied. They walked me with my drip into the loo, and I obviously believed I was alone, because all I did was fart with a huge grin and then flush, as if I had indeed done what I believed I intended to do.
I vaguely remember fighting with the nurse who wanted to take my blood pressure three times in a row… because I wanted a cigarette and I had managed to weave my drip through my clothes so that I could exit … and then the food arrived.
Food. Screw the cigarette and the drip still attached to my hand… If I could have poured that food into my face and swallowed whole I would have.
News had traveled of my stroppyness back to the ward before I even made it back there because all the nurses that signed me out and helped with me leaving and who stopped me from taking my own drip out…. all said ‘You are the one who talks so much…’
So ya. Fun times as always.