Friday, December 17, 2010
(Jude, the stuffed santa hamster my husband Dave bought me at the hospital gift shop last night)
Yesterday, I went into the hospital for what they term a "minor procedure." It was scheduled as an outpatient surgery, and they said it was no big deal. The risks, overall, were minor, and the surgeon has done thousands, I'm sure. And as I prepared for the "procedure," I was a bit nervous but not terribly upset about what I was having done. I was, however, concerned about how I would react to the anesthesia.
Turns out, my premonition was dead on.
When they brought me out after the short procedure, the first thing I did was throw up. That was unpleasant enough, and I did it twice. This was still in the OR. Then they wheeled me into post-op recovery, where they removed the oxygen and tried to get me coherent. At this point, I could not move my limbs and could not control my muscles to draw a breath. I was not getting air. Most frightening, however, was that I could not tell them what was going on, as I had no bodily control. It took them a moment to realize what was occurring.
In those few moments, so many thoughts were racing through my head. For one of the few times in my life, I was actually contemplating the reality of death head on.
You know how they say your whole life flashes in front of your eyes when you face "the end?" That's not quite true, at least not in my case.
My first, and most important thought, was of my wonderful husband Dave. He consumed my thoughts at that moment. In fact, I can't remember thinking about anything else.
They had me flat on the bed, and had to reintubate me with oxygen. Slowly, they were able to reverse the effects of relaxation drugs in my system, and after about 20 minutes I guess (time is vague), they took my off oxygen. Once the panic was gone, my mind was clearer, but it still focused on Dave.
It has been a tense and stressful year for me this year, with much to think about and much uncertainty.
The one constant, however, is and always has been My Dave. And for that, I am truly, truly grateful. With Dave (and our pets) in my life, the rest are all minor speed bumps to be negotiated along the way.
Love, family, friends. This is what is truly important. And what better time to be reminded of the basic important things in life than now, in the midst of all of the holiday frenzy.
I made a vow, last night, to take a moment (or 20) every day not only to recognize what is truly important in my life, but to let them know it as well.
Oh, and "Jude," the santa hamster, is named for a reason. Jude, of course, is from a Beatles song, but also is the patron saint of children. And are we not, all, children at heart?
So Jude now has a position of prominence on my desk, and is watching as I write this.
Here's to what is truly important, and may I continue to be blessed with the love and caring that surround me at this moment.