When I first scheduled my operation, I immediately called my mom to tell her the decision I made and let her know the date so she could get off from work. My mom is a nurse, so I know any day she takes off she isn’t getting paid. With that in mind, I told her she didn’t need to come down the day of the surgery, but the next day to drive me home.
I thought I was being a considerate daughter.
She told me I was being too independent and that she would be down the night before my surgery.
About halfway through my pre-operation appointment, I was glad she insisted. After a series of questions about my marriage status and who I live with and whom the hospital was legally obligated to contact should I die and what do I believe happens after we die, it was nice to answer, “my mom.” to the question about who will be driving me to the hospital instead of “a taxi.”
I believe it assured the nurse practitioner I wasn’t the saddest or loneliest person alive.
For the most part, the rest of the appointment went without surprises: I’m healthy. I am too young to have hip replacement surgery (but what are you going to do?). There are no risk factors I need to be concerned about, so as long as I show up, everything will be fine. Don’t eat anything after 10 p.m. the night before and don’t have anything other than water 2 hours prior to surgery (this includes coffee so here’s hoping my surgery is the first one of the schedule).
Then, I met the anesthesiologist.
After he went over my medical history and reminded me about not eating or drinking, he started to go through what would happen the day of my surgery. I would be given a mild sedative to calm my nerves and then a local anesthesia would be injected into my lower spine so I can’t feel anything from my waist down.
And then you will put me to sleep?
No. Though most people do sleep, we can’t promise you will be asleep.
Wait. What? So I am going to hear everything and smell everything?
Yes. But you will sedated so your brain won’t be working the way it is working now.
Do you have a sedative for me to take from now until the surgery to stop my brain from working?
No. He answered straight-faced. But you can ask your primary doctor for one.
I hope my actual anesthesiologist has more of a sense of humor.