I woke in a puddle of steamy dread earlier, realizing “It’s today! I have to get up and get ready for my surgery!”
I grabbed for my phone to see why the alarm hadn’t gone off. 3:46 a.m. That’s why. Because time is linear, and I wasn’t there yet.
I tried to settle in to fall back to sleep, but I had a feeling that wasn’t going to work out. After all, it’s surgery day. And I’m just a little bit afraid.
The last time I had surgery was nearly ten years ago. I had an accident on an ATV and broke my nose. A few weeks later I was having surgery to have it reset.
I remember lying in the pre-operation room where the nurse was going over some last minute things. She was about to give me a shot of something. I forget what. And I noticed a few bubbles in the syringe as she moved the needle toward my arm.
“Oh, wait!” I said, pointing them out helpfully. “Aren’t you supposed to do that… tap tap… squirt thing? To get the air out?”
She laughed patiently. “No dear. Bubbles only kill people on TV. In real life, people die in ATV accidents.”
I’ve told that story to a few nurses over the years and I always get a big laugh. Good lesson, though. And a good reminder. Statistically speaking, I won’t die in surgery today. It will be the next ATV-like thing that I didn’t take as seriously as an operation that may kill me. Or, if I’m lucky, just send me back into surgery.