Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Can a procedure change your outlook of life?

It is said that doctors and caregivers make lousy patients. Now I know it is true.

Yesterday I was a patient. Apart from giving birth, ( which was a traumatic experience) I have never been a patient.
However I have been a caregiver for 17 years and I have been in hospitals and O.R's countless of times. In Denmark it is allowed for a parent to go into the pre-op to stay with the child until they are asleep.
Every time Martin had go through operations, I was the last person he saw before he was put under general anesthetic,  and when he woke up, I was the first he saw. I believe that made it a little easier and less scary for him.

I had done so many times, that it was just a normal part of life for me. 

Suddenly it was different. I was the patient.

There is colon cancer in my family, so even if I am not yet 50, I asked my doctor if I should be tested. I was told that if you have colon cancer or polyps in the family, you should start being tested at 40.

So yesterday was my time to be a patient. I had to have a colonscopy. 

I must admit, I was scared. I don't like anything that messes with my head and making me give up control. Knowing that I had to have a general anesthetic didn't make it better. 

Mike drove me to Plainville and on the way I tried to breathe deeply and relax. Didn't really work. But I had also asked for angels to be in the room with me. Turned out, they were all angels.

After checking in, I was met by a nurse who took me to a very small room, where I had to change into the very non -sexy hospital gown.

While sitting there waiting, I couldn't stop thinking about Martin and I just started crying. I thought of all the times he was been in hospital, going through so many kinds of procedures.
How scared he must have been.
It all came back to me and I was crying more for him, than for me being scared.

The nurse came back in and tried to calm me down. I told her what was wrong, when asked.
It turned out that she herself had lost a son and for that we had an instant connection.

I was put in bed to wait my turn.

 I was cold and my headrest was to high, 
Last time I was in a hospital bed was during the delivery. I remembered how I wanted to press the button to call the nurses, but didn't.
I waited a little too long before I called the nurse, but I finally did and I was proud of myself. Small step for others, giant leap for me.

I waited about an hour before anesthesiologist came to me.  She was so beautiful and very calming. She told me that I would be given propofol, which made me think of Michael Jackson. It was pretty clear to me, that I was not the first to make that connection, but she assured me that it was safe and got a bad reputation, because of what happened with Michael Jackson.

I was wheeled in and they all did what they could to make me relaxed. Knowing I was surrounded by women helped.

The anesthesiologist told put in the propofol and literally 3 seconds later I was out. Actually felt quite nice.

All of a sudden it was all over and I was in the recovery room . Don't remember how I got there.

I got some crackers and juice. I heard Mike's voice and that felt good. That meant I could go home shortly after.

I got dressed and was helped to the discharged chairs.  The doctor came in and told me that all was well and I don't have to be back for 5 years. Then I was discharged and went home.

I feel this was a turning point for me in many ways.  It was like a surrendered to the procedure and for the first time since Martin's death, allowed myself to just let go and be vulnerable.

I don't have to be only the strong one or always being right.

So in more ways than one, this was a good procedure to go through.


1 comment:

  1. Anette,I am happy you had such a good experience with the doctor and the nurse.
    Stay well and have a great day.