First of all: I had the fortune of being accompanied by my girlfriend throughout the ordeal. Thank you for being with me; Mette! Love you hon! We got up at 0530 in order to be present at the hospital no matter what at 0700. This was the day I had been waiting for for 4 years!!! No food and no liquids for me. No traffic, smooth, unstressed morning. I was a little nervous and scared. Found great comfort and support in you, Mette!
Upon our arrival 20 minutes early, the halls were empty, the light over the reception desk was turned off. It looked like the hospital was closed! Hmmm :-) We walked a bit, aimlessly, but soon enough, hordes of hospital employees began to arrive in groups as buses and trams offloaded just outside. The hospital slowly became more and more busy. We were greeted by a nurse who gave me a bed, a hospital shirt and 4 pills. I changed into the shirt and swallowed the pills right away. Good boy 🙂
Wham! It took me 10 minutes to loose consciousness, right in the middle of writing a text message on my mobile (I found it in the Drafts-folder later :-) ). My memory has failed me from this point onward. Luckily my girlfriend was there and has “recorded” all important information. However, she didn’t like it when the pills forced me down. “It was as though you died”, she told me… I can’t even remember meeting the surgeon, whom I had looked forward to talk to about several things. All I had in my mind while trying to fight my painkiller/valium-induced sleepyness was how long it would take before I could go splitting logs of wood!!! (I even asked the same question the next day upon waking up from the narcosis). We had a few laughs over that one 🙂
I have a flash of memory arriving at the OR, shaking hand with the anesthesiologist. A huge operating lamp looming over me… And a nurse preparing for the procedure. I said something, but can’t remember what. I was really far out there even before the narcosis. Tuned out.
Then the post-op awakening… I couldn’t believe I was already through it. For me it felt like I just dozed off from the pills. But I was gaining consciusness so slowly that at some point it dawned on me and I just felt relief.
The nurse asked me about pains, and suddenly I noticed I had my hearing aid and glasses on, just as I had asked for before dozing off earlier that morning. That was nice :-) I could understand the nurse, even though she was swedish. Lucklily I have spent many summers in Sweden throughout my life, have no problems understanding it. Well, the nurse asked me about the pain, and yes I was in pain. How much pain, she wanted to know… On a scale from 1 to 10… I answered 4, I think. It wasn’t bad, but I could definitely feel pain.
She then injected that nice hospital dope… And my pain was down to 1 or 2… No problemo 🙂
I sat up a little bit, and less than one hour after (my bloodpressure was taken automatically every 15 minutes, and I counted three of them) I was clear enough in my head and needed to see my girlfriend badly 🙂 I was wheeled out and returned back to the the same room I was given that morning. And no girlfriend there… As I immediately asked after her, she appeared in the door. A lot of emotions flowed through me at that moment. A lot of relief, gratitude and sheer great love… A nice looooong hug…
The surgeon came by a little later, and in my memory that was the first time I shook his hand and saw what he looked like. A very mild and friendly gentleman by the name of Prof. Claude Laurent. To whom I’m forever grateful for his professionalism and expertise!
The surgery had taken 4 hours, even though they had booked the OR for 2 hours. I have not as yet queried upon the reason for the prolonged surgery. My girlfriend was a little worried, but luckily they assured her that it was a common thing for surgeries like mine to drag out an hour or two. She had a long, boring day.