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I would rather die than have surgery again. : nosleep

I would rather die than have surgery again. I know, that sounds a bit much but you don’t know what I experienced, and I’m going to tell you so you can understand.
I’ve never had surgery before so I was a bit nervous when the day for it came around. I got up early, showered and then had my girlfriend, Kelly, drive me to the hospital. Everything went smoothly at first, the nurses were nice enough and explained how things would work. I met the doctor that was going to preform the surgery for the second time and he went over everything again.
“All right, so do you have any questions for me?” He asked and looked between Kelly and me.
“How high is he gonna to be when he comes out? Do you think I can get him to believe he’s a chicken?”
The doctor laughed and I glared at her. “No, I don’t think so. He’ll be completely aware by the time he shows up back here.”
She pouted. “Damn. He did that to me when I had my wisdom teeth out.”
“That was your brother, not me.” I said in my defense.
“You gave him the idea, you jerk.”
“Well, I’ll see what we can do. Anyway, anything else?” He asked and we both shook our heads and said no.
“Great, well, good luck and I’ll see you in the OR.” He paused and looked at the chart on the table beside me. “Oh, the anesthesiologist hasn’t been in yet. I’ll let her know that you’re waiting.”
“Thanks,” I said and watched him leave and then looked at Kelly. “Really? You had to ask that?”
She shrugged. “What? I’m going to get you back at some point. Besides, I gotta have some fun to make up for you killing my week.”
“I’m so sorry that my surgery is inconveniencing you.”
“You should be.” She grinned at me. I laid back on the bed and tried to get the butterflies in my stomach to stop their Top Gun training. I’ve been through a lot of different painful procedures, but I don’t mind admitting that I was nervous as hell in that bed. I couldn’t tell Kelly that as she would never let me live it down. Oh, she’d care and tell me it would be all right and all that, but as soon as I was better it would be open season. I kept my concerns to myself.
The anesthesiologist came in a few minutes later. She was a tall, lanky woman with blonde hair in a tight bun at the back of her head. She had a slightly round face and when she smiled at me I couldn’t deny that it was kinda captivating. But only for a moment as I could see Kelly glaring at the woman from her chair.
“Hi, I’m Dr. Rendall, I’ll be the one putting you out today.” She offered her hand and we shook. “Have you ever been put under before?”
“Nope, first time.”
She grinned. “Really? Well, then this should be a treat. So, what happens is in the OR I’ll put a mask over your nose and mouth and then push some drugs through your IV to put you out. Next thing you know you’ll be waking up in recovery.”
“Sounds kind of nice.”
She nodded. “It is. I’ll be monitoring you throughout so there will be nothing to worry about.”
“Great, thanks.”
She opened the chart beside me and filled in a few things. “Okay, then I’ll see you in a bit. Do you have any questions.”
I said no and she left. Kelly turned her glare to me and I just continued to stare at the ceiling until the nurse came and got me. They wheeled me down a long hall and then into the OR.
If you’ve never been in an operating room it’s pretty much what you see on TV, give or take a few feet. Music was playing on speakers somewhere. There were people in blue scrubs all around, talking amongst themselves as they worked. In the center stood a large table with arm restraints. It’s safe to say my nervousness hit an all time high.
They rose the bed I was on and then I moved over to the bed. I laid down and looked at the ceiling for a moment before Dr. Rendall’s face filled my vision. “How are you doing?”
“Okay.” I said, not sure how else to respond. She smiled behind the mask she wore and moved to the side of the bed. She put up another arm rest and then started strapping me down. There was no getting out now, I thought and Dr. Rendall finished strapping my arm and asked me what I did.
“I’m in college, studying English.”
“Oh, big reader?” She said as she moved behind me and I heard a machine beep.
“Yeah, going for my masters and maybe one day I’ll be a writer.”
“A writer? Don’t get many of those in here.” She laughed as she rolled over on a stool and lifted the tube on my IV. “You think what happens today may end up in one of your stories?”
I shrugged and then hissed through my teeth at the sudden stinging sensation that rushed up my arm.
“Sorry, sorry, forgot to mention that could happen.” She said and rolled back out of sight.
I took a deep breath as the feeling subsided. “Anything is open for material.”
“Well, I’ll try to make sure you have something good to write about.” She came back over and placed a mask over my face. “You publish anything?”
“A few stories, nothing big.“
“I’ve always admired people that could write well. It isn’t easy.”
“No, it’s not nearly as easy as it seems and—“ I was out, at least for a few moments.
Then slowly I swam back to consciousness, but all I could see was dark. I could hear voices, beeping of machines, but it was strange, like they were in a different world. Then I heard a female voice right next to me.
“They’re about to start.” There was a small giggle in her voice. “You won’t be able to move, but this should make for some good material. Don’t worry, I’ll be here the entire time making sure you’re aware the entire time.”
A shock of pain rushed up from my stomach, a pain that sent a cold shiver across my body. And then it grew larger and larger until it was all I could think about. I wanted to scream but nothing came from my throat and I could feel something lodged in it, the breathing tube. The pain turned to terror as I felt things push their way into my abdomen, shoving aside my organs and I felt like I would throw up from it.
I struggled to move, struggled to open my eyes but nothing I did mattered. They were talking and I tried to focus on it instead of the pain that seemed to increase by the moment.
“Carly is going to kindergarten next month.” A slight pause. “Clamp, please.”
“Really? They grow up too fast. I remember when James went off. I cried my eyes out that morning.”
“To be honest Cindy and I are pretty happy about it, it’s going to save us a ton of money… hey, Rendall, his heart rate is pretty high.”
“Yeah, but still in range, I’m watching it.”
“You sure he’s fully under?”
“Positive.” A new shock of pain. A new wave of terror. For what felt like years they worked shoving my body around, cutting and tearing. I could smell burnt flesh, could hear plastic crinkle and more every day conversations between the doctor and nurses. I screamed in my head, wishing for it all to stop.
I woke in recovery. There were beds in a line across the back wall and a nurse greeted me when I looked over. “How you feeling?”
“I…” I broke down in tears, the memories were phantoms at the time, but I still could feel the terror. I knew at the time something happened, but I couldn’t quite piece it all together until later. The nurse scrambled for the syringe with the pain meds and the terror subsided enough that I could get myself under control. She patted my arm and left for a few moments and then came back with some ice. She handed me the cup. “Try a bit of this. Are you feeling better?”
“I was… I was awake.” She stared at me.
“I very much doubt—“
“I was awake. Don’t tell me I’m wrong.”
She nodded. “I’ll get Dr. Rendall to come speak to you.” She left before I could tell her that I didn’t want to see that person again. I sat back and stared at a water stained tile and cursed everything.
“How are we feeling?” Dr. Rendall asked as she came to my bed and rested her arms on the rail. “The pain medication does wonders, doesn’t it?”
“You… you kept me awake…”
“Did I? Why would you think that? I watched your vital the entire time, you were under.”
I was shaking with anger but she merely smiled. “You told me you did—“
She shook her head, a sad look on her face. “The drugs cause memory loss and sometimes the brain can piece together different information into what seems like a logical series of events, but it’s just like dreams. You can sometimes hear things in the OR, but with the amount of medication in you there is no way you were awake. You were under and I never said a word to you.”
“Whose—whose daughter is named Carly? She’s going to kindergarten.”
She stared at me, eyes wide. “It’s impossible that you heard that.”
“I heard it.” I said and felt tears well up in my eyes. “I felt it all.”
The shocked look on her face softened. “Well, on the bright side, you have something new to write about.”
She patted my arm and left.
I was discharged a few hours later. I told Kelly everything, and while she was supportive I don’t think she really believes me. It’s just too much to grasp: that a doctor would keep a patient awake on purpose… but I can’t even confirm that was the case.
I’ve done a lot of research and I’m not the only one that has experienced something like this, doctors don’t really understand all that happens to put someone under, it’s not an exact science and it’s possible that I was in and out and it was like Rendall said… my brain created a narrative to make sense of everything.
I don’t know. But I won’t be getting surgery again, not with the possibility of there being doctors out there like Rendall… people that would keep you awake during surgery.
jp
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