The night before surgery is, I’m discovering, pretty stressful. All my darkest fears, held at bay, keep trying to nudge to the front of my consciousness.
Will I be paralyzed? Is this surgeon as good as I’ve been told? What if I don’t wake up from the anesthesia?
All ridiculous, I know… but they’re circling around in there nonetheless. I keep kicking them back down where they belong, and eventually they’ll take the hint and stay gone. Because I know this surgeon is as good as they get. And I know that I won’t be paralyzed, because the location of my injury is too low for such an outcome. And I’ve been anesthetized before and woke up just fine!
So there! Begone foul thoughts!!
Ha. Easily done. Less simple, though, is the looming midnight deadline.
#1 — Do not eat or drink after midnight”
It’s 9:02 as I write this… which means that I have only 2 hrs and 58 minutes to slake the coming thirst.
9:03. My lips are cracking, and my throat is raw. I’m so thirsty!
Seriously. Food is no problem. I’ve been eating like a bird for 3 weeks. But the mere thought of having no water at all brings visions of sand… hot, arid, windy…. I’m parched…. Must. Have. Water!!!
9:05. I can feel the cool water sliding down through my throat.
Why do they do this, anyway? I’m sure there’s a great reason, but it’s absolute torture to contemplate. I just know I’ll be dying of thirst by the time I get there tomorrow.
On the good news side, thinking about how thirsty I’m going to be has taken my mind off all the dark scary thoughts that have been tormenting me. So I guess there’s something good to be said about the thirst-tease after all.
9:07. In 16 hrs, I’ll be in the operating room. In 17 hours I’ll be in recovery — just that quick. In 24 hrs, I’ll be hopefully sleeping soundly, without searing pain down my left leg, for the first time in weeks.
I’m dreading tomorrow. And I can’t wait.