I'm in good health for someone edging up to age 72, and most of the time, I am just plain grateful to be here.
But even with an incredibly able surgeon in a top-ranked hospital, and a not-so-dangerous operation, I was not a happy camper as I waited for my parathyroid surgery last Thursday. Except during a couple of pre-op appointments, I had managed to avoid thinking about this unwelcome event until I left work the evening before. I told my assistant, Margaret, that I couldn't wait to see her again. For her, the next day would be normal. Not for me.
Over the years, I have had a handful of successful surgeries for fairly generic things like acute appendicitis and a knee replacement. I am good at recovering. But still, surgery is surgery, and it is never guaranteed that nothing will go wrong.
I find that once I am alone in the hospital, I retreat into my own zone. It's just me, the doctors and the nurses. I am completely in their hands. I don't think about anything except getting through the surgery. I know I will feel worse when I leave the hospital than when I came in, but I just hope to leave on my own two feet.
And I did feel worse when I left the hospital eight hours later. A sore throat from the breathing tube, sort neck from the surgery, and lightheadedness from the anesthesia.
Now, a week later, I'm back to not thinking about my parathyroid. I've checked surgery off the "to do" list, and I am ready to move on to the next challenge.
Hopefully, it won't be in a hospital.