#69. Warm people in a cold room - October 2012

The nurse who came to get me and wheel me into the operating room was very friendly and warm. It’s amazing how her tone of voice reassured me.  It didn’t help though that the operating room was freezing.  They had me wiggle over onto the operating table which was so cold on my bare back that I felt like I was lying on the counter in a Marble Slab Creamery Ice cream Shop.  I started shivering uncontrollably and my teeth were chattering.  Jittery as a bodily state, and not simply just a state of mind.  But the nice nurse showed up with heated sheets to help with that, and I lay there waiting as people assembled.

I had a chance then to look around the operating room.  A young friend who has had brain surgery suggested that once I get to the operating room I should only look at my feet, because it is all too scary to look at  the  surgical instruments.  But I am very nearsighted, and they had taken my glasses, so I couldn’t see any detail, so I wasn’t scared to look around.  What I was struck with was how many screens there were.  They were big and they were everywhere, facing in every direction. I knew the surgeon would have a screen because it was laparoscopic surgery, but it appeared everyone would be seeing inside me in a very macroscopic way.

I was very relieved to recognize the familiar face of my surgeon as he came into the room, which was pretty filled with people milling about.  He came right over to me first thing and squeezed my arm in greeting and he announced to the group of people that was assembling for this operation that I was doing this surgery not because I had to but because I wanted to.   That I was doing this to help people I didn’t even know and that he thought it was a great decision.  He leaned in and he told me that they were going to take very good care of me, and that everything was going to be fine.