I had some serious jitters the night before the surgery, so that made me worry how I would feel when I woke up the next day. But I was relieved to feel confident and positive. I didn’t sleep much, and was up very early. My husband drove me in to the hospital, and once there we went to the Day Surgery Unit, where all surgery intakes are done. I was taken to a little cubicle, where I was told to take off all my clothes, put on a hospital gown and lie down on the bed. The transformation into a person about to be operated on. That makes it real!
I could hear different people on either side of me being processed for surgery, all there for different reasons. The person in the bed next to me was having bowel surgery, for example. I was there having surgery, but I wasn’t worried about any sickness, and that made a difference for me as I was lying there. I wasn’t there because something was wrong, or out of place. I was there because I chose to be there.
The first question the nurse asked me was “What are you having done today?” I told her that I was donating my left kidney. She looked at my chart and remarked on my being an undesignated donor, but only in passing; the majority of our chatting over the next half hour as she did various tests revolved around the fact that she grew up in the town I live in now, so we were comparing notes as to whether we knew the same people. She took my blood pressure, temperature, put an IV hookup in, asked me whether I wore dentures, have a pacemaker, and various other questions.
When all that was said and done she told me my husband could come in and wait with me for one of the doctors to come and check me, and then I would be taken to the operating room.