Lim: O.R. recall

AS they wheeled me into the operating room, my blood pressure shot up. Can you blame me? How would you feel if you knew that in an hour, you’d be put to sleep and sliced open? I guess it’s a matter of opinion.

My sister says she doesn’t care so long as she’s asleep. But I’m the girl with a column called “Wide awake.” Deduce from that that I’m a complete control freak. And this was going to be a moment of utter and absolute surrender to mortals who I hoped knew what they were doing.

My anxiety levels were understandably up but they were ironically mitigated by the lack of sleep I had the night before. It wasn’t anxiety that kept me up. It was actually “someone’s snoring” that kept me up all night. I almost wanted to move to another room.

But I figured that since I was going to be lying in the operating table doing nothing anyway, I shouldn’t lose sleep over not getting enough sleep. I was not the one performing surgery the next day, anyway.

And I’m not a morning person—unless I’m on vacation. And this, of course, was no vacation. At 4 a.m., the nurse woke me up to get me into the surgical gown and to attach the hep-lock. By the time they wheeled me into surgery at 6 a.m., whatever energy I had left had been completely depleted.

I normally have boundless energy for all kinds of activities—well, not this one. But this may also be because I’m usually always an active participant. I’m rarely in a passive role. This is why I don’t watch sports. I don’t understand the fun in just sitting on the couch or on the bench.

But I wouldn’t even be sitting on a bench. I would be lying on the table, completely knocked out. How much more passive could this role be for me?

As I lay on the operating table, tired and sleepy, I remember still assessing the condition of the operating room and mentally telling myself, “Hmm…seems clean and sterile enough but it could do with a bit of sprucing. A renovation would not be a bad idea.”

When the resident doctor tells me that I would be undergoing General Anesthesia, I wanted to chide him. The night before, I’d been told otherwise. I sorely wanted to say, “Are you coordinating with each other here?” But I held the bitch mode back and dutifully nodded.

It’s normally hard to put me down or shut me up. But General Anesthesia worked beautifully for me.

I almost had a heart attack the night before when the surgeon walked into my hospital room and asked, “Was it the right or the left kidney?” Was he messing with my mind, I wondered. Minutes before, I had asked his resident to get a Sharpie and mark my right kidney to make sure they operated on the correct kidney.

Sorry, guys, I couldn’t help co-managing. I hope you were just playing me. At any rate, I have no hard feelings. You did a super job! Still, I have no plans of returning to the O.R.
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