Originally posted on the
Health Online forum
am laying on the surgical table, waiting
for the anesthesiologist to arrive.
Nearby, a surgical nurse is looking at my chart, making notes. "We need to check one more item," she tells me, as she slips
a stethoscope beneath my right breast. She frowns as she
"Is something wrong?" I ask.
"I'm not sure," she says."Let me go find the doctor's
Moments later, an obscenely young doctor in full Doogie Howser regalia
is poking and prodding my breasts. I ask him to tell me
what's going on -- why all the Frowny Faces, all
of a sudden? -- but he doesn't respond to any of
my questions. I feel myself starting to panic.
glance over at the far corner of the operating room, where my entire
school graduating class (Go Glacier HS Class of '76!) is sitting in the
observing the proceedings. ("Gimme a G!" I say to them weakly,
attempting humor. No one responds, although Becky O'Brien
me that I still owe $5.73 in library fines.)
Finally, Dr. Doogie stops poking and prodding."I'm very
sorry, Mrs. Rafter," he says. "We're not going to be able to
perform your surgery after all."
I am absolutely devastated. After decades of waiting, after all of the
expense, the worry, the anticipation, it's suddenly being called off??
"PLEASE tell me you're kidding," I say to him. And then I burst into tears.
End of stoopid dream.
... I had my first fullblown Anxiety Dream
last night. I woke in a panicky cold sweat, sometime around 4 a.m.,
never really fell asleep again afterwards. This morning it
has taken not one but THREE forbidden cups of coffee to keep me
vertical long enough to make it to the office.
And it's only 9 a.m.
I would say that I am probably Officially Freaking Out at this point.
My co-worker Barbara is helping me to keep me sane this
morning. I was talking to her earlier, about how my biggest
fear is the anesthesia ... the possibility of
going to sleep and never waking up after.
"Give your husband something to hold
just before the surgery," she said. "Tell him that he needs
to hang onto it for you, and then he can give it back to you after you
I glanced down at my engagement and wedding rings.
"Those would be perfect," Barbara said. "Let him hold
The idea seems so lovely ... so completely fabulously
appropriate ... that I actually started to cry, right there at
my desk. She hugged me, and told me that everything was going
to be 'fine.'
And I know that it will be. The smart
part of me knows that the anesthesia is going to be the easiest
part of the surgical process. It's getting through today (and
tomorrow, and the day-after-tomorrow) without going stark raving
BONKERS that may be the real test.
to throw a rock?