Q: What is the difference between a spa treatment and an operation.
A: In both instances, you lie near naked on a bed, covered by bedsheet. But you wait to be poked and kneaded in one and wait to be poked and needled in the other.
Which is is which though?
Actually, I'm pretty pleased with myself for having coming up with the above...whilst lying near naked on a bed, covered by a bedsheet and waiting to be poked and needled.
Obviously, it was no spa treatment.
On Wednesday night, I checked into the hospital for what I naively thought would be a minor surgery. (Well, in relative terms, a laparoscpic surgery is minor). I supposed I should have find out more what it entails but I figured I'd get even more frightened that way. So I decided I should leave it to HIM. I packed a small bag as I thought I would be out the next day by lunch time (optimistic right?), went for dinner at my favourite prata shop and then went to get myself admitted.
The whole thing was very surreal.
I don't think I was really frightened but I certainly felt every alone as I watched hubby drive away and I had to take the lift up to the ward by myself. This would be the first time I'm in a hospital...unless of course you count being there when I was a baby nearly 40 years ago.
There was nothing much to do except watch TV and read my magazine. The joke was that I had actually brought my laptop along, thinking I could use the 'spare' time to catch up on some blog reading. The nurse quickly dispelled that idea from my head and hubby had to lug my laptop home.
I eventually fell asleep at about 1.30 in the morning. My surgery was at 8.30am.
Needless to say, I woke up a few times during the night, twice to some PA announcement abotu a code red and a code blue in some ward.
At 6am, the lights were switched on and there was a bustle of activities with the nurses coming in. I was told to take a shower. Bleah.... I hate taking shower in the morning.
And then strangely, the lights were dimmed again and so I went back to bed after my shower....
I was woken again later by lights and noises. Ahhh... seems the hospital is really awakening this time. Nurses came in and out, checking temperature, blood pressure and names. Hospital helpers (?) came in and out, bearing breakfast and medicine. Workers came in and out offering to change the bedsheet and sweep the floor. Teams of interns made their round. Doctors made their round.
That's when my doctor told me that my surgery would be at 10.30am instead of 8.30am.
Sigh.... so much for my plan and hope of going home that day... as I was duly informed that I would only be discharged the next day.
So it was back to bed again. Hey, don't blame me. What can I do when I wasn't allowed to eat or drink? I had been fasting since midnight. Good way to loose weight and catch up on my sleep.
By 10.15am, I kept looking anxiouly at the clock. Surely, they haven't forgotten about me? Maybe they assumed I have already had my surgery. I conptemplated calling one of the nurse to find out but just at that moment, one of them walked towards me and said: "Time to get ready. Change into this and I'll bring you downstairs into the operating theatre."
Well, that was it.
Wearing pretty much nothing except for this flimsy gown that was tied round the back, I sat in the wheelchair and I was wheeled out.
It was most strange. I wanted to tell the nurse that I was very capable of walking on my own and if I could just walk down together with her but thought the better of it.
Once downstairs, I was transferred onto a bed in the 'waiting room', whilst I wait for my turn.
And for the umpteenth time since the night before, my name was verified, drug allergy checked etc. Well, these was normal.
What I did find strange was the question if I had dentures (I found out that this was important as a breathing tube would be inserted into my mouth and they had to be careful not to pull out my dentures or crown. Horrors!)
And if I had any nail polish on (apparently doctors checked to see if you are ok my seeing if the nails have turned blue or are still a healthy pink. Hmmm... interesting).
From the waiting room, I was wheeled out (on the bed of course). Along the way, I passed by some pretty colourful corridors and saw staff having conversation along the corridors. If sitting on a wheelchair was strange, then being wheeled into a operating room, on a bed, whilst conscious of everything was even a stranger sensation.
Finally, I arrived in a small room, but it was not the operating room. It was the room before you enter the operating room.
It was 11.15am.
And there I would lie in wait near naked, twiddling my thumbs under the bedsheet as I waited and waited for the next hour and-a-half. I couldn't get up, so all I could do was stare at the ceiling, look at the walls, check out the doctors and nurses who were coming in and going out and tried to think of something cheerful. It was no use.
Seems the patient before me got rather complicated.
The nurses apologised to me.
The anesthetist apologised.
My doctor apologised.
All I could do was smile sweetly and weekly and mumbled something like 'it's ok'. Which of course, it's not ok but really it's not their fault right? It's nobody's fault. It's just one of those things.
At one point, the anethetist, noticing that I was staring rather blankly at the wall, said: "Take a little nap. Relax."
I'm sure she meant well. It's meant to be comforting.
But err... Relax????
You know what? Strange as it may seems, I actually did fell asleep.
The white ceiling and walls do get a little monotonous after a while.
Suddenly, I was woken up.
"Ok, it's your turn."
And then I was wheeled into the operating room.
A couple of tubes were hooked onto me (hey, just like hospitl drama). And then a breathing mask was put over my mouth. I was told it's oxygen and to breathe deeply.
But they bluff me though.
Coz I started smelling some chemical and before I can count one-two-three, I was gone.