UNDER THE KNIFE
I checked in to Blackrock clinic on the night before my operation. At this point, I hadn’t really experienced much anxiety. I’d managed this, I think, by focusing on the good points. There were a few, believe it or not!
First of all, my family and friends were really supportive of me. For example, at school, I’d felt worried for a while as most teens do about not having very many good friends. I realised throughout this experience how many people were there for me. From people at school wishing me well, to my close friends looking after me, to even having a mass said for me—it doesn’t matter what your religious beliefs are, having a church full of people who care about you can’t be a bad thing. Not to be too materialistic, but the “good luck in hospital” presents were pretty nice, too ;)
Along with my prezzies, I had a gift card from school for being a smart cookie in my exams the previous year, so I splurged on lots of books to keep me busy in case I got bored in hospital. However, in hindsight, I’d advise against this. There’s really no point: you think you’ll be bored but for a long time you’ll be too tired to do anything. I’ll get to that part later.
I also looked at my hospital stay as a holiday—yeah, I’ve always had a big imagination. I’d be having time off school (which had been really stressful at that time), and my room would have a TV. I’d also heard the food was good. When I saw my room, I noticed you could see out the window and in to a school where I could watch people getting in trouble and see what really goes on behind the teacher’s back... so snooping was kind of fun.
By focusing on the positives, I was able to keep most of my nerves at bay. I'd recommend not watching your operation on youtube though... I saw a few seconds and it didn’t help.
Anyway, once I was settled in to my new room and had played with my remote control bed for longer than I’m proud of, it was time for mum and dad to leave me. They were staying in our cousins’ house close by and would be back in the morning, but I was still a bit nervous about them leaving. Luckily a lovely nurse came in who’d be responsible for me before my operation. She gave me some weird pink soap I had to shower with to make sure I was completely clean for the operation and said she’d wake me in the morning.
Another carer then came in with some toast: “I know you won’t be able to eat anything tomorrow morning.”
I’s just like to say at this point, and I will again I’m afraid, how unfailingly kind most nurses are—it’s a true vocation, something I could never do, and you can really tell who’s been called to it.
The next morning I was woken by the nurse and saw Dr. Sheehan again. He would be anaesthetising me for the operation, but offered me a tablet to calm me down. At first I said I felt fine, but I think we both knew it was a good idea. After I took the pill, I’m pretty sure my arms were floating like Will’s in The Inbetweeners, but that might just have been me.
My parents arrived to give me a hug and the last thing I remember is being wheeled in to the lift and dad saying something before I fell asleep.
I’m glad I didn’t notice anything after that!
Read part 4 here.
Read part 4 here.