Saturday, April 21, 2012

Don't wear undies in surgery

REM sleep in under an hour Yep, I timed it. Does that mean anything?

I did take a nap. Okay, I took two. but the first one was so detailed it surprised me. Adam Ant was in my dream, poor guy. But really, it was just one of those "look who you run into in an embarrassing moment" situations involving a department store bathroom. Lol. It was totally mundane, I assure you.

I do recall that I was being prepped for a kidney donation. And the longer they kept me waiting, the more I began to doubt the confidence of the surgical team. It wasn't a sterile room, it wasn't secure, and they kept bringing injured people in for me to watch over while I waited.

Oh excuse me, you're not doing enough by giving a stranger your kidney, now be a good girl and take care of these folks too.

What am I, a babysitter? I remember wanting to sleep in my room but they wouldn't let me.

Hey, during my surgery in October I learned something, and it is knowledge which I feel compelled to impart to you. (Had a tumor removed.)

I had to be at the surgery center at 6 am for preparation. Naturally, I couldn't eat or drink anything the night before, and I was pretty much empty the next morning.

They told me to strip off everything but I could keep my socks and underwear on as long as they were 100% cotton. (I presume that rule comes from the possibility of synthetic fabrics causing friction sparks, in an environment where the patient is given oxygen.) I was happy because not only does Miss Modesty here get cold feet easily, she doesn't relish the though of being unconscious and totally naked when it's her upper neck being operated upon.

My surgery was supposed to be at 7:30. I got really bored trying to watch tv without my contacts in, being news-only anyway. I wasn't sleepy but I closed my eyes anyway and tried to sleep because I was so bored.

At sometime around 11, they came in without warning and woke me up as they whisked me to surgery. I don't remember much of it because they turned on my anesthesia along the way.

Then I remember some twilight awakening, me feeing the desperate compulsion to sit up, and a panicky nurse running over to tell me, "Oh no, honey, you shouldn't be waking up YET! Go back to sleep!" (I couldn't sit up anyway, other than lifting my head. I'm pretty sure they had me strapped into that gurney.). I think they had just take me out of the OR because I was in a different part of the room then. But I wanted to be a good patient and let sleep take me again.

When I was finally allowed to start waking up, I was in a curtained cubicle of the same room, away from the OR doors. My nurse went to get my dad and start the Sprite for my poor torn up post-intubation throat. (several days for that to heal).

My point, and I do have one: at some point I realized my underwear was missing. Turns out it was in a bag under my bed. Wet. Oh, I was mortified! But the nurse told me not to worry, because it happens lots of people and they never know because they get cleaned up before they awaken. I knew because I'd been wearing my underwear.

You know, if they had just let me go to the bathroom before surgery, I would have kept my dignity intact. Lol I'd been waiting 5 hours by then, though.

So... don't bother wearing your underwear in surgery. Your modesty and best intentions don't stand a chance when the anesthetist juices you with a muscle relaxer and knocks you out cold.

It's a little funny. ;)

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