A story about a time you were very afraid.
A couple of years ago I had my tonsils out – I’d been suffering with septic tonsillitis for over 12 months, in so much pain, constantly on antibiotics, time off work and rendered mute because my throat was so sore and swollen I couldn’t speak! It was awful! After much pleading, I managed to convince the Dr to whip those bad boys out!
I thought it was a brilliant idea…until the morning of the operation. I’ve never had an operation before of any kind. I’ve never broke a bone, I’ve never spent any time what so ever in hospital as a patient, never had an anesthetic, nothing, nada, ZIP!
I thought I was going to be fine, I was to begin with. I got ‘checked in’, took to my bed, met some lovely patients who had already been sliced, diced and sewn back up. Settled myself in and waited to be taken down to theatre.
When the porter came along and asked if I was good to go I said ‘sure’, even insisted on walking down to theatre. That’s when I started to get scared, I mean sweaty palms, stomach in knots, it took all my concentration to just keep putting one foot in front of the other and make my way down there. It felt like a scene from a movie, I could even hear that slow, chilling music they play as the victim walks into the empty house – and you know the murderer is upstairs, you shout at the tv, ‘don’t do it, don’t go in there’ but they do anyway. That’s exactly how this walk felt. When I got into pre op I sat up on the bed and took a few deep breaths, trying desperately to calm myself down. I could hear the Dr and his assistants on the other side of the door in the operating room discussing what they were going to have for lunch! Well, if they can be so normal about all of this – why am I freaking out so much, I wondered.
After a few minutes, the anesthetist came in and started asking me some general questions. By time we got to the third question the tears started falling, my breath caught in my throat and my chest went tight. ‘I’m so scared’ I whispered. This nurse came from nowhere, threw her arms around me, and told me it was all going to be ok. The anesthetist asked if I had ever had an anesthetic before, I shook my head. Her face softened and she smiled. At the time it didn’t make me feel any better, but looking back, those two women were just so nice to me, if it wasn’t for them I’d have probably ran out the room, backless gown flapping in the breeze.
Eventually they got me to lie down and I was good to go. I remember crying when they gave me the anesthetic and I remember telling them ‘I’m ok now, my throat doesn’t hurt anymore’ – what a wimp I was! I was just so terrified. As the anesthetic washed over me, it was the most surreal feeling in the world. The lack of control, fighting to keep my eyes open – it was awful.