When the nurse told me the protocol this morning during my pre-admittance blood work, the surgery seemed much more real - and impending. "When you report to the waiting room, we will take you to the back and you put on a gown and get on the stretcher. We'll start your IV. We'll then wheel you down to the second floor, where the OR is located. You'll then meet with your anesthesiologist and then briefly with your surgeon. You won't remember anything after that point."
"You look scared," she said. I am. None of this is new, but when I spoke about surgery before it was just that - surgery. I had a lot of jitters, mostly about my future battle with Crohn's and more immediately, the pain involved. But now I'm just...shallow breath nervous. The countdown is here. I'm already not taking anything that can cause blood to thin, as dictated by the surgeon. I will have surgery in nine days.
When it comes down to it on the day of the surgery, you are alone. It's just you, your body, and the medical team in the OR. And when they put you to sleep and make that first incision, I'm not Kathryn, who asks neurotic questions and writes a silly blog, but Patient X who has fluid-filled intestines, a stringy fistula and a stubborn abscess.