When I got up, I didn’t really feel anything. I felt pretty numb. It was like all my emotions were trying to go through the door at the same time and just got stuck. I did my normal routine as if I was getting ready for work. My whole family was up as well getting ready to bring me to the hospital. I knew I was going to be in the hospital for a few days, but I didn’t pack a bag as my house was only a few blocks away. Someone would be able to come by whenever I needed something.
When we arrived at the hospital, I went to patient registration. I handed in all my paperwork and ID’s to the admin lady. She saw my address and asked if I remember my old neighbor Bill who passed away a few years ago. She said that she was his daughter and we had a small conversation about him. I had good work benefits and asked for a semi-private room. I knew that I would have to pay for it up front later and would get reimbursed after I get the bill. I had to be weary about my expenses and opted out for a full private room because I would be getting paid disability which isn’t enough. It could possibly take weeks to get paid back, so I would need to save as much as possible
When I was done, they directed me to the pre-op room to get ready for surgery. My mom was a nurse for years and asked her to come with me as I was allowed one person to come with. I was welcomed by another nurse who was really awesome. She gave me the gowns to dress up in and directed me to my section that was curtained off. My mom and her gave me my time to change and when I was done, I let them know. I was told to lay on the stretcher and the nurse said she would need to put on these compression socks. As I was trying to put them on, the nurse and my mom were also helping pull it up, inch by inch. I could totally feel them compress my legs. Man were they ever tight!!!
The nurse called someone saying I would be ready in a few minutes. She took my blood pressure and drew some blood. She saw my tattoo’s and really liked them. She had a few herself and showed me hers. She asked where I got them done and told him that my cousin Lino runs a tattoo parlor in Chinatown called Dharma Studios. She then got a call and was told someone is on their way to pick me up. My mom called my family in to see me before I head into surgery. I still felt rather calm and they all gave me words of bravery and encouragement. The guys finally came to take me and my family all gave me hugs and kisses. I said I’ll see you guys in a few hours and they took my things with them. As I was laying in the stretcher, I was rolled out of the pre-op area headed towards surgery.
I remember going down a long hallway and into an elevator. The orderly’s were swiping their cards to get into places. I finally arrived in the waiting area. Totally looked like what you would see on TV or in the movies. I was the first patient there and was told someone will be in to check on me shortly. As I was waiting, more patients were arriving as well. A nurse came to see me and asked me all these questions to make sure I was the right person. Then the anesthesiologist came and asked me a few questions. Dr. Lee finally arrived to let me know that everything is set to go and will be taken in the O.R shortly. The nurse finally came and went over some final details, then asked if I had any questions. I just said “Let’s get this done”. I was still rather calm at this point.
Finally, I was getting transferred to the operating room. I saw Dr. Lee and he was setting up what looked like some sort of laser machine. I was moved onto the operating table and the anesthesiologist asked if I was ready. I jokingly said “do I have a choice?”, we all laughed. The nurse told me that they will be inserting a catheter because it was needed during surgery. I just said to her “As long as I’m put to sleep when you do it” again everyone laughed. They said that they will be inserting some needles in me and I felt the pricks.
I got the oxygen mask put around my mouth and was told to take deep breaths. The anesthesiologist said she will now attempt to put me to sleep. I felt the needle she inserted into my hand and it totally hurt. I gasped in pain and she apologized. She attempted again, but didn’t hurt much. I was told to take deep breaths and count backwards from 10. I got to 7 and just before 6, the lights were out.
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