The other hand

Having had surgery on my left hand a few years ago it was decided that I now needed to get the other hand done. My finger had become ‘L’ shaped and kept getting in the way. Also, the Doctor needed another holiday in the south of France.  

I was waiting for an appointment and sure enough, they called while we were in Prince George last Tuesday. “We’re sorry this is such short notice, but could you have the surgery on Monday next”. Flustered and a little panicked because I didn’t have my calendar handy, I agreed to get it over with.

When we got home the next day, I got the ECG and blood work done and settled in to wait for the surgery time. On Friday they called to let me know that it would be 9:14 am. Not bad, I don’t have to get up too early. then they sprung it on me to be there at 7:45. I protested that I was retired and didn’t do that early, but to no avail.

The process of getting prepared involves buying a couple of antiseptic sponges and scrubbing from head to toe the evening before and the morning of. Every inch of your body has to be done, so as I couldn’t reach all the places Rosalie had to become involved. She only had to do my back but her hands kept wandering and I could see I was in for a trying couple of weeks.

Rosalie dropped me off at the hospital and made her get away. I got checked in and received some bling in the form of a paper bracelet. Next, I had to take the elevator to the second floor and follow the yellow dots. The coloured dots area is a great idea but Rosalie still seems to get lost somehow.

I arrived at the desk, presented my paperwork and was told to wait. A few minutes later my name was called and my ordeal began. 

I was taken into a small changing room and told to put on some PJ bottoms, a classic backless hospital gown and a dressing gown. I was also issued with some cute little paper booties and a paper hat. They told me not to put the hat on right away which was a bit of a disappointment as I wanted to make a fashion statement.

Next, the interrogations began. I was asked all the questions that I’d previously answered at reception. They asked name, age and what was I in for? I was tempted to say armed robbery, but the moment passed. Then, I was told to go back to the public waiting room until called. So, there I was in all my hospital garb for the whole world to giggle at. I know it would have felt better if I could have put the hat on.

Soon my name was called and I went and got into a bed. I had to give up my booties, dressing gown and pant bottoms but was rewarded by being allowed to wear my hat at last. They covered me with a heated blanket (ooh! snuggy) and whisked me of to the surgical area. 

I waited there for a while studying the ceiling looking for dead flies when a young nurse introduced herself and asked me all the same questions that had been asked before. She also piled on more warm blankets. Next, a cute 16-year-old woman stopped by to tell me she was Dr. Wong the anesthetist. She asked me all the questions again. By this time I just wanted to answer with name, rank and serial number.

Finaly the doctor showed up. He asked how I was doing. I said I wanted a coffee. he said “‘no!” He then drew a map of the London Underground on my hand. He told me there was lots of work to be done on the hand and toddled off to the doctor’s lounge for his coffee.

eventually a nurse came for me, put a fresh pair of booties on my feet and made me walk into the operating room. I walked in clutching the back of my gown with as much dignity as I could muster. Of course, the room was full of young females waiting for the doctor to finish his coffee and I’m sure I heard a few giggles.

I hopped onto the bed and they made me comfortable by snapping cold tapes to my body and sticking IV feeds in me.

The doctor made his entrance and asked again my name, age, and why I was there. I thought “If he’s forgotten already I’m in big trouble”.

They clamped a mask to my face told me to take four big breaths (I only managed three. I hope they didn’t get too mad at me) and away I went.



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