Well for those of you interested in the rest of the story, let me begin by stating the original directions of the doctor. He said on Monday morning, no food or water by mouth after midnight because I would be set up for 7AM check in, 9AM procedure on Tuesday. (Well folks to begin with I SURE didn’t plan on taking food or water in any other manner!) He then says if nothing is wrong, fluids by dinner and you’ll be home easily for supper.
Then the hospital calls in the afternoon and says things have changed, be there at 9AM for an 11AM procedure. I am beginning to see a pattern here designed to starve me. But I comply and show up at the proper time hungry, thirsty and ready to get the procedure done so I can EAT.
9:00AM The little aide brings me the famous back-less gown for me to put on. (As I strip to my underwear, she explains how shy she is!!!!) The pre-op nurse comes next to ask all the questions that I have answered in the afore mentioned meetings and to tell me about the procedure and what to expect.
4 little incisions two just above my belt line and two just below my ribcage. She explains how they will fill the cavity with gas so they can work. I explained if she would just bring me a plate of beans and cornbread, I’d make my own gas and save them the trouble. (She apparently wasn’t the humorous type cause she didn’t grin.)
Next she puts in the inevitable IV in the back of the hand (someday I suspect they will just have the admission receptionist start those dang IV’s so you can wear them longer!). The vampire nurse shows up drooling for her blood samples. And the aide now offers me a remote to the TV to pass the next hour and a half.
10:30AM The little aide stops by to inform us they are running a little late. I have already channel surfed the TV completely. (The only interesting channel is the "in house health" channel which has explained many interesting facts, such as blood pressures, cholesterol levels, defecation and urine volumes!)
11:45AM The little aide says only one more before me and we will be TAKING him down sometime soon. (By now I am getting bedsores and my mouth is so dry I can’t even form spit. I am beginning to plan on how to unhook my IV and just drink straight from the bag,)
2:15PM The little aide shows up with a nurse and orderly in surgical greens and a new gurney. As I climb onto the new gurney, the nurse in greens says, "Sir you will have to remove your underwear."
"Why?" I ask in astonishment, "You are only going to work above the belt line!"
"We have to prep you for surgery, sir."
"Well just make DANG sure that you are very careful with razors and scalpels then!" I caution. (She apparently wasn’t the humorous type either.)
The green nurse then pulls out her clipboard and begins the questions, AGAIN. By now I have them memorized and just answer: no, no, no, yes, no, 11-26-51, oral surgery only, 1999, no, no, yes and no.
"What’s that?" she ask.
"The answers to the questions!" I shoot back.
"But I haven’t asked them yet" is her reply. (It seems they just like to ask the questions.) She then reads my wristband and asks if I am Dennis.
"Well yes!" I say answer emphatically.
"We just have to make sure, sir" she responds. "Just a safety precaution. There is a lot of identify theft these days you know!"
"You mean you have problems with people stealing arm bands and sneaking in for surgery?" I ask quizzically.
"You know what I mean!" and we begin our journey to the operation room to meet the anesthesiologist. This guy begins explaining in depth the procedure and medications he is going to use to put me under. And then explains in depth the process of waking me back up. All the while he is explaining, he is beginning to inject some sort of fluid into my IV. A nurse on the other side explains that he really just bores people to sleep and it must have worked because that is the last I remember.
More to come later, but right now I’m tired and you are probably thinking I could take the place of that anesthesiologist.