I didn’t dream under anaesthetic

I went for (minor) surgery yesterday; I was so scared. As it is, I suffer from anxiety, and this felt like the end of the world to me. Some people will breeze through it and take it in stride easily. But for me, this was emotionally draining and traumatic. I cried every night of the week leading up to the op. Poor K has been a trooper, making the right moves, noises, etc.

KB was with me the whole day, except for when I went to theatre. He was a great source of comfort and distraction. And I am eternally grateful to him for keeping me sane and on this side of hysteria. He brought his work to my hospital room, conducting business while holding my hand. I told him to go home, the hospital will call him when he can come and get me, but he refused to go – he’s a keeper!

Ladies, it is so important to know what’s going on with your “working parts”. As I understand it, identifying and treating abnormal cells could mean the difference between life and death, literally. My papsmear showed abnormal cells so my doctor requested that I do a “typing test” to see what type of HPV is causing the abnormal cells. The test results weren’t great and she then referred me to a gynaecologist. Long story short, the gynae advised that we remove the cells as they are pre-cancerous, i.e. it’s likely they’ll progress to cervical cancer over time if left untreated, as the Human Papillomavirus (HPV) that I have is of an aggressive nature (the gynae told me there are around 250 types of HPV and they are not all scary/aggressive). In fact, pretty much anybody who is sexually active is likely to have contracted the virus at least once in their life, however, usually our bodies naturally fight the infection (unless, like in my case, it’s an aggressive/scary type of HPV).

The first time I met the gynaecologist, I thought he had the personality of a cabbage, but he was lovely yesterday and I saw a more humorous and relaxed side to him – which I thought odd, but perhaps he is more at ease in the theatre than in his doctors rooms?!

Let me tell you, the hospital gown they make you wear really does leave your ass hanging out, but don’t worry, they give you these real sexy hospital undies (that would fit a hippo) to help keep your dignity intact. Classy.

This was not “major” surgery, but it did require me “going under” i.e. being put to sleep. I was terrified, but the anesthesiologist was so sweet. He told me not to worry “the worst part of the surgery is this bit” – where he had to put the drip in. He held my hand the entire time and told me “you’ll start feeling sleepy” … and the next thing I knew, I was waking up with a nice theatre sister telling me I’m alright and everything went well. She asked me how I’m feeling and the first thing I said was “I’m starving, but I feel ok, thanks.” She just laughed … Those who know me, know that I’m all about the snacks and the food! I must say, I was a bit disappointed that I didn’t get to count backwards from 10, like they do in the movies.

The night before the surgery, I said to K, “I wonder if you dream while you are under anaesthetic?” Turns out you don’t, bummer (or at least, I didn’t.) All in all the surgery was fine – I didn’t feel a thing and the recovery is going ok (I won’t go into the gory details of what’s going on, suffice it to say, I’m ok and taking it easy.) The thing that freaked me out though, was that I went to theatre wearing my jumbo hospital panties, and came out wearing none (TMI? Sorry) and that freaked the hell out of me. It made it real and made me cringe on the inside all over again. Best of all? I found the jumbo panties that they had cut off me neatly tucked under my pillow – um, thanks, but I don’t think I’ll be wearing those again! My bestie tried to put me at ease over email before the op telling me “they work with lady bits all day” and I’m like, yes, but these are mine! I die a little inside when I think about what went on in that theatre.

This whole experience has been stressful for me. So much so, that I didn’t even want to talk to my mom or my bestie about it; I just wanted it to be over. And now it is, so onward and upward – hopefully the biopsy is good news and I can exist quietly for the next few weeks, without having total strangers all up in my junk!

If you haven’t been for a papsmear lately, go ladies, go now. Just do it, make the appointment – it could literally mean the difference between life and death.


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