Wednesday, June 9, 2010

A Day in the Life

I feel the need to recap my experience in the hospital before my Vicodin kicks in. Let's just say I have a new appreciation for post-op nurses.

When they wheeled me in to the operating room, it felt like I was pulling into a pit stop at a Nascar race. People were taping things to my arms, putting stickers and attaching tubes to my chest, strapping circulation sleeves onto my legs, tying huge chunks of foam to my right arm (I still don't know why), and injecting drugs into my IV...all at the same time. It was hilariously comical, possibly because I was enjoying my IV already. I felt the need to remind them that I was only having surgery on my vocal cords, but they had already tied an oxygen mask to my face. The last thing I remember is the nurse/doctor/mechanic saying, "think of a happy dream..."

When I woke up, I was pretty lucid already. They hadn't given me any painkillers, and the anesthesia was minimal since it was only a 30-45 minute surgery. So I was doing okay, and as a result I got to listen to the entertainers that were my wardmates. The guy next to me was moaning and buzzing the nurse like, every two minutes. The nurse kept yelling at him for taking off his blood pressure cuff (which also signaled the nurse), and they finally, thankfully pumped him full of painkillers and he started snoring. But the guy across from me, oh...the guy across from me. I didn't know whether to laugh or say prayers for him.

When you come out of surgery, they ask you questions to make sure you're oriented to the proper time and place (I didn't have to answer these for obvious reasons). This poor guy had no idea he had even had surgery.

Guy: "My f***ing neck hurts!"
Nurse: "Yes sir, you just had back surgery."
Guy: unintelligible mumbling
Nurse: "No, you're not naked. See, you have a gown on. Do you know where you are?"
Guy: more mumbling
Nurse: "No, you're not in a gas station; you're in the hospital. You just had surgery."
Guy: "I'm in the gas station!"

Granted, he sounded crazy, but after my experience in the operating room, I can understand why the guy thought he was in a gas station. Or at least a car repair shop.

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