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Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Surgery Day-Ready, Steady-GO!

One of my porters...ok not really.
6:30 AM. The sun was up (it was still overcast but definitely light out).  My teeth were brushed, my face was clean. I had been told I'd get about a 10 minute warning that the porters were on their way for me, likely around 7AM. I was thirsty and pretty hungry. I was still in my pj bottoms with my shirt from yesterday and my bra half on. I was feeling a little tired which I think was helping with my numbed calm feeling.
I was considering calling my Mom or Charlie when the curtain by the door of my room started twitching. Two ladies came in. I recognized them as being nursing assistant or something. The told me someone would be coming to get me soon and and asked if I needed to use the washroom or anything before they locked me up in the bed. I said I did and started to get out of bed.  it was at that point that one of them noticed what I was wearing.

"Why don't you have a gown on?" one of them asked. "because no one has given me one yet". They seemed concerned with this and one hurried out of the room to get a gown. She came back and handed it to me. I gestured towards the IV tubing and asked her how I was supposed to get the shirt off with that on.  She seemed more irritated and said she would go get a nurse (they are not allowed to unhook IVs I guess-makes sense). Within moments the nurse rushed in, quickly unhooked my IV and I scooted into the washroom to suit up. I forgot how complicated hospital gowns can be! Its amazing how quickly you can feel inept trying to get one on. I was amused to see that the "designers" of gowns have still not figured out how to adequately cover the butt region.  One day they will get it I'm sure!

No sooner was my half covered butt in bed when the porters showed up. At Foothills they are all dressed in the bright purple that made me envision two Barney the dinosaurs pushing me down the hall (remember I was a little tired). I giggled outloud but I don't think anyone noticed. There was some commotion as to where my chart was, who had it and who was going to get it.

This was the moment in my hospital stay where I think I ceased to be Lauren, the person, and suddenly became a nameless patient. The purple porters looked right through me. They conversed over me like I wasn't there. Just as we were about to leave the room,  the louder, more flamboyant one of the two noticed I had my glasses on still. She said to the other porter "Wait - I have to take the patient's glasses of so they won't get lost". Once she had done that, off we went. The bed was pretty large and I can only imagine it was heavy...they struggled to steer it around a few initial corners.  I felt a little strange having two women push me in this giant bed, especially knowing we had a fair distance to go. The OR area I was heading to was on the 7th floor of the main building. I was a little surprised to see there wasn't a patient tunnel or something between the buildings and that patients were transported through that same bridge walkway I had navigated the day before.

The purple porters got better with the steering as time went on. I hated not being able to really see what we were passing, the faces of people we passed or where we were going.  I think there should be a way patients can wear their glasses to the OR. Anyway we eventually made it to our destination.  I was wheeled through a large set of doors into a holding type area where there were about 12 chairs, sporadically filled with patients and loved ones. There was room for two beds. They parked my bed (of course not saying anything to me) and a nearby patient in the chairs asked me why I was so special that I didn't have to walk in like they did. I just smiled and shrugged.

I saw the the purple porters had headed over to a sort of office area with a window.  it looked like some kind of coordination office for the operating area. The louder porter told the lady behind the window that I was there (referring to me by ward and room I believe) and that she was going to get other patients that were next on the list, identifying them in the same way. The lady behind the window quickly told her she couldn't do that yet, not for about another 30 minutes. I thought I heard her say something to the effect of me needing to be gone. I figured they must be talking about my recipient. In a donation like mine we need to be separate ahead of time lest someone change their mind and because of course they want things to be anonymous. If I wasn't sure they were talking about me I certainly was once they all looked over at me at once-hello!! I can see you staring (sort of...blurry but still)! It was a weird feeling being talked about like I wasn't there or I couldn't hear. They nailed down their patient logistics, wrapped up the conversation and off they went.  I tried to get comfortable and waited to see what would happen next.

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