Fever’s down… swelling from the phlebitis in my wrist is down… and I’m all set for surgery. Now, we’re just waiting on word from the doctors on rescheduling that bypass surgery. Could be tomorrow (increasingly unlikely as today marches on…) or Thursday, or Friday, or sometime next week.
It’s odd to think that, aside from being tired, and having the occasional scary rumble in my chest, I feel fine… but if I go in for surgery, say Thursday, I will be feeling very far from fine this weekend… and for awhile thereafter.
Also, all this time has given me some opportunities to think. Thinking is not necessarily a good thing, either. Not long ago, I saw one of those old classic death row movies — and I keep picturing the morning of surgery as being similar:
At some point, an unsmiling uniformed person will come into my room, and sadly intone, “It’s time.” Then I’ll be shaved in all the appropriate spots, and a small procession will head down the hallway, with me on the gurney. That’s where the similarity ends. I don’t imagine there’ll be an Irish priest sadly chanting prayers for forgiveness. And, of course, I’ll be really alarmed if they ask for my last words.
Another thing I’ve had a chance to think about is the rather astounding fact that for the first time in my nearly 57 years on this planet, my heart will stop beating for the duration of the surgery. I have every faith that they’ll be able to get it started again — otherwise, what do they do? Run over to AutoZone for a new battery? That’s what my wife had to do when her battery died in the hospital parking garage last week.
I really appreciate all the encouraging messages. A great many folks have told me about their brothers, fathers, cousins, and co-workers, who had this surgery, and a few months later, felt stronger and more energetic than they’d felt since childhood. I’m looking forward to that.
On the other hand, I don’t appreciate the stories about relatives and friends who awoke on the operating table, and could feel every scalpel cut, bite of the saw, and suture — but because they were paralyzed by whatever paralyzing agent they use to keep
victims patients from thrashing about during the procedure, they were unable to cry out — and suffered in horrifying agony.
Yup, that’s just the sort of story I’d rather not hear.
Anyway… I’m ready to get this over with. I’m taking along a roll of duct tape and some lengths of garden hose, just in case the doctor needs them. Doesn’t hurt to be prepared.