I’m sitting in the waiting room and suddenly the big door on my right opens. Everyone in the room looks up, hoping that their name will be called, except for me. I’m signing the agreement, amused by the demand that my nail polish must be removed prior to the surgery.
Surprisingly, a voice calls my name and I get up, looking at the bright red polish on my nails. People look at me with mixed feelings on their faces; some are sympathetic and other are angry because I’ve just came to the waiting room and I’m already being admitted.
I walk into a room where a young woman cries and moans uncontrolably, obviously still affected by anaesthesia. Two nurses are standing at her bedside and are desperately trying to calm her down, unsuccessfully.
“It’s not that bad“ one of the nurses says and looks at me reassuringly. I nod and swallow a mouthful of saliva, probably looking scared like a little girl even though this is not my first surgery under general anaesthesia.
In the next fifteen minutes or so a bunch of people come and ask me a lot of questions. Will this be your first surgery? How much does it hurt on a scale from one to ten? When have you last eaten? Do you smoke? I patiently answer all their questions and after a short consultation they decide that it really is necessary for me to be under general anaesthesia; the removal of the infected wart on my heel would be too painful if they’d use only local anaesthetics.
The last thing I remember is me lying on the bed in the big white room, with an oxygen mask on my mouth.
“You’re not holding the mask properly“ I say, being the control freak that I am.
“Don’t worry, everything is just fine. You’ll fall asleep now“ the anaesthetist says and a cold liquid sprinkles my feet.
“Hey, don’t start just yet, I’m still awake…“
A pecking pain in my heel wakes me up and I realise I’m lying on the same bed where I answered all those questions. The surgery is already over, judging by the bandaged leg. And the pain.
“How do you feel sweetie?“ a nurse asks.
“I’m great but it hurts quite badly.“
“We can give you more painkillers but in that case you’ll have to stay here for at least two more hours.“
“When can I leave otherwise?“
”In about half an hour if everything’s ok.“
”No painkillers then, I want to go home as soon as possible.“