February 11th, 2002
I woke up at 5:00 am, took my shower with anti-bacterial soap but can't eat or drink a thing. Dang, I wish I could have a cup of coffee, sure could use some right now. In the pre-dawn light with very little conversation, Sam and I drove to University Medical Center and arrive around 7:15 am. I remember seeing a truck delivering bread and baked goods along with milk and other refrigerated goodies parked just outside the entrance we were to use. We check in at the Pre-Op holding area desk and then find a seat in the waiting room. My brother in law and sister in law come in about 7:45 am along with friends visiting them while they were in town, they all were our dinner companions last nite. We all make small talk for a bit then everyone finds a seat and sits down to wait with Sam & I. Someone in the group asks if anyone wants coffee,
God, if he only knew!
A little nurse comes out to the waiting area around 8:00am and takes me on back to get ready. Sam and I kissed “goodbye” for now. Little nurse tells me "You have a very nice family," As nervous as I was, I am so very grateful to have them all there with me and I tell the little nurse,
"Yes, I sure do!"
I'm taken down the hall and lead into a medium sized room with about 8 beds and privacy curtains . I'm shown a little area with a bed that will be mine for the next few hours. I'm asked to get undressed, place my belongings into one of those large plastic bags with handles that said "patient belongings". I'm given and put on a hospital gown that is very roomy and doesn't leave my fanny exposed to the world. I'm also given a pair of little socks with treads on the soles for walking later. After I undressed I am to get into the bed and just try to relax.
Little nurse is back in a bit and gives me a small prelimary medical exam and takes my temperature. She asks me if I know and can explain to her what I am here for. She wanted to make sure I hadn't lost my marbles and knew where I was and what I wasgoing to have done. I try to give her the Reader's Digest version.. She also gives me my 1st injection of Heparin. Heparin is to help thin my blood so I won’t form blood clots, which can be extremely dangerous. After the injection I settle in and wait some more. Sam and my sister in law, Carolyon, take turns coming back to see me and keep me company.
A young woman, Michelle, who was to be first up is still here in Pre-Op. She was scheduled at 7:00 am and by then it was way past 7:00am. I figure my surgery is going to be late…I doesn’t surprise me. The way this whole journey has gone for me it just wouldn’t seem right unless there was a bump or two along the way.
Doc finally rolls in around 9:00 am. He has been caught up in a traffic jam for hours. After he see's Michelle he comes over to me. He smiles and makes his apology for being late. He then asks the question I have been waiting to hear. "Are you sure this surgery is what you want and are you willing to make the life style changes necessary to make it work." I tell him, " Yes Sir". He gives me the chance to back out with no questions asked. There's no way I'm backing out! He reaches out and shakes my hand and gives me a big smile. I want this surgery very much and I'm willing to put my life in his hands to prove it. Will I make the lifestyle changes? With God's help and determination I am going to do the very best job I can.
Doc leaves and is followed by two other doctors and the air in the Pre-Op room is suddenly full of energy because Doc has arrived and is ready to go to work. People are suddenly busy and things pick up their pace.
About fifteen minutes later, there goes Michelle, she’s on her way to surgery. I yell “Good Luck” to her and whisper a prayer for her. I figure I have a few hours to wait and since I had to get up so early I doze off.
After about two hours or so two of Doc's surgerical crew come in to see me. They are so nice and very comforting. They explain what is going to initially happen to me when I first go into the operating room. Their compassion means so much to me. They realize how very scary any surgery is and how much I am depending on them all to bring me thru this. They explain that the anesthesiologist is going to be coming in to see me soon and asking some questions so he will know what meds are needed to send into La La Land. After he leaves they said it won't be long then before it will be my turn.
Well, here we go. Those two doctors are back and they’re ready for me in surgery. I am given a little green paper cap with elastic band for my hair…not very pretty but what the heck! Brakes on the bed are released and out into the hall we go. Past Sam who I throw a kiss and wave to, pass my in-laws and friends and straight on into my future. There are lots of folks praying for me. Those here with me as well as family that couldn't be here today. Friends left back home in Bullhead City and in Garden Grove, CA where we used to live.
God is present here today, I can feel Him.
When we reach the operating room I am cool, calm and collected! Where is this calmness coming from? My Pastor concluded that it was God's gift to me. There are so many people! Everyone is gowned and masked. I am still calm and this may be hard to believe, but I am enjoying this adventure. I am asked to slide over onto the operating table. I turn my head to the left and take a look at this table and almost say outloud, " You have got to be kidding" The little thing couldn't be over 18 inches wide and they want fat me on that thing! Well, with some pulling and pushing from the gowned and masked, we all manage to slide fat me over on to this "two by four."
The anesthesiologist asks me to put my arms on some extenders, I hear someone say “I’m here.” and that’s the last thing I remember, until Tuesday morning.
|My Big Day - Surgery|