Conditions of Use
I was lying in a hospital bed, almost twitching, I was so anxious. I was watching television, and my mom, dad, and step-grandfather were in the room watching me. They were waiting for me to talk but I was too nervous. They filled the quiet hospital room with small talk and one-liners, until the woman walked in with the IV needle.
I am not afraid of needles. I am afraid of surgery. Well, the anesthesia part. I had never had anesthesia, so I didn’t know what it was like. I was under the impression that it was like dying and waking up. Things don’t sound safe when their definitions sound like that, so you can imagine my skepticism.
The reason I had to have surgery was because of an incident in my kitchen. Long story short, I cut a tendon near my toe, and it retracted up into my ankle. This may sound gross and painful, but it took me a whole month to realize, so I guess it really wasn’t bad. When I realized, I went to an orthopedist that specializes in feet.
I think that this doctor’s visit was the worst doctor’s visit I had ever had. I was used to a yearly check-up, where there was nothing wrong with me, or a dentist’s visit, where my teeth were perfectly clean. No, not here. I walk in, take x-rays, and sit in his office. He walks in, asks the problem, tells me to take off my shoe, looks at my toe, and then says I need surgery on Friday. It was only Monday and in five days I needed surgery? He said it in such a monotone and routine way that it made me second guess what he just said. Not even a sorry? Great. Just great. We were then told to go to the hospital to take blood tests.
At the hospital, I waited for two hours for them to take my blood. I was angry enough, so this just added to the fury I had burning inside. Once I was called in, I had to listen to two women tell me how, “…girls are always the ones who are comfortable with taking blood. Those teenage boys have such week stomachs.” I don’t know if they could tell by my obviously fake smile that I did not care. When we were finished, they informed us that we would get a call about the time on Thursday.
We get a call that week Thursday night. The surgery was the next day at 9:00 am. Good. I didn’t have to wait impatiently the whole day. But when I got there, I was very excited.
I got there and they plugged me to an IV. I waited there with that IV for about two hours. And then the anesthesiologists came. Two large men, one with a needle and serum, came into my room. They plugged the serum into the IV and I looked at my mom, feeling very light and free, and said, “I don’t feel any different,” with my voice jumping up and down. They rolled me out of the room.
Coming out of surgery was terrible. I was in more pain than I had ever been in my entire life. At that moment I would have amputated my foot to get rid of that pain. The woman walked in and saw that I was stifling tears, and offered to get more morphine. She came back and said that this was that absolute most she could give me, and she plugged it to my IV. After 15 minutes, the pain still hadn’t gone away. They were incredibly surprised by how unresponsive I was to the morphine, so they tried another medication that worked almost instantly.
We were leaving the hospital after an old woman rolled me to our car, taking what felt like twenty minutes to roll the wheelchair down the hall and around the corner. My parents started asking what it was like to be under anesthesia and how much I remembered. I started remembering things that I didn’t really realize were happening while they happened. I remember them rolling me into another room, moving me onto a different bed, but that was about it. One thing I definitely remember was how strange of an experience it was.
Article posted October 23, 2011 at 07:38 PM •
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