On November 21, 2013 I was scheduled for my knee surgery. The night before we drove to the hospital and stayed in a hotel close by, since I had to be at the hospital at 5:30 am. We went to dinner that night and hung out in the hotel before we all went to sleep. I knew that tomorrow would be a long day.
At 4:45am my mom walked into my room and woke my sister and me. We had connecting rooms so when I heard a loud slam of the door connecting our rooms I thought, “oh shit”. My mom could not get back into her room. Not only were the car keys, notebook, and all my information in that room but so was my special hospital bracelet. When I went for my pre-surgery testing they brainwashed me not to forget this hospital bracelet. This special bracelet indicated that I already had blood work done. They basically told us if I didn’t have this bracelet they wouldn’t do my surgery. I am pretty sure my surgeon would disagree with them. It wasn’t like I was going for a ride at an amusement park where if you don’t have your ticket they won’t let you on the ride. Removing a cancerous tumor is a little different.
After my sister frantically ran to the front desk of the hotel to get help and after countless attempts to open the door, we finally got into my mom’s room. It was 5:25 by this point so my mom sent my sister and me to the hospital to check in. We power walked to her car and quickly drove to the hospital. My sister proceeded to drive quickly around the hospital and go through all the stop signs. It wasn’t until we reached the parking garage and parked the car that I saw the security car pull up near us yelling, “excuse me” to my sister. At this point it was 5:30am and there was no way in hell I was stopping for hospital security. I started power walking away while he was trying to talk to my sister. I am not sure what she said to him but within seconds my sister was walking next to me. If you know my sister you can only imagine what she said or did to get him to leave us alone.
I arrived in the pre-surgery check in area and was greeted by a long line. The room felt like it was 1,000 degrees and there were people everywhere. By the time I got to the front of the line, my hat and extra layers had been removed. I went back into a room where they weighed me, checked my vitals, and gave me a buzzer type thing to hold onto. It reminded me of the thing they give you in restaurants to hold onto while you wait for a table. I asked the lady if she wanted the special bracelet I was given a couple weeks before and she said I didn’t need it. Apparently the bracelet wasn’t the deciding factor if I would get my surgery!
After waiting a little while my buzzer thing went off and I went to the desk where I was told to follow another person to the pre-surgery area. I took my mom with me and we went into a room with tons of hospital beds. I was ushered into one of the small areas and told to put on the hospital gown and let them know when I was ready. I quickly changed and got onto the bed. Then the woman came back and hooked my gown up to this machine that blows air into it. What she forgot to ask was if I wanted it warm or cold. By this point I was so warm and nervous that I wanted it to be cold. However, the woman decided to turn it on high heat and all of a sudden I felt like I was in a sauna. Every time I tried to change it or shut it off she would somehow turn it back up.
By the time my orthopedic surgeon came in to mark my tumor he could tell something was up. Not only did I have the hot air situation but my arms were wrapped in warm towels to help the IV people find a vein. He politely told the hot air lady to leave me alone and then introduced me to the anesthesiologist who decided that they would put me to sleep before sticking me anymore. I was handed a small cup filled with pills to take before we went back. Then they started wheeling me away after I said goodbye to my mom.
I was wheeled down a long set of hallways that felt like a maze. However everything was blurry since they took my glasses away. We went through a set of doors where I was greeted by a sea of people in surgical gowns. I looked up at the wall and saw the MRI pictures of my knee that showed my tumor. Then all of a sudden they put a mask over my mouth and told me to breathe deeply. Within seconds everything went black. The last thing I can remember was thinking I hope I don’t end up like Michael Jackson.
Over five hours later I woke up in the recovery area. I had no idea what had happened but quickly realized I had a huge bandage type cast from mid thigh to ankle. I couldn’t fell my right leg thanks to the nerve block. I was also in a completely different hospital gown. I was falling in and out of sleep and couldn’t see anything since I didn’t have my glasses. My surgeon and his PA came by a couple times to check on me and see how I was doing. I eventually got my glasses and could finally see. I stayed in that area for a while before I was wheeled to my room. When I got to my room I was greeted by a large star that my sister got me to use to decorate my room. By the end of the day we all were exhausted and laughing about what had happened that morning with the bracelet that I didn’t need!