What Is and What Is Perceived
Life is a strange bag of experiences. I have come to a point where I have learned to accept certain things no matter how frustrating, and go with the flow. Trusting the process is never easy but life is like that.
I have been dealing with a few medical issues of late – nothing debilitating but serious nevertheless. In the process I have had to undergo procedures, get on and off medications and recently I had to undergo a procedure under general anaesthesia. It’s not something new to me but I had forgotten how lonely it can be. Yes, I had a person with me but you are fasting, you are expected to prep in many ways – no nail polish, no jewellery, no underwear – and dehair yourself if the procedure requires it. No one really tells you these except for random nurses and doctors dropping in. My procedure was scheduled for the evening but my prep began at 10am. I was finally taken in at 4.30pm and between been given a mask, a cap for my head, a prick to check my blood sugar levels and been wheeled into the pre-op area on a gurney, I had told about 4 people the reason for my procedure, why, who and when. Waiting in the pre-op area was a good 1.5 hours till the doctor came. In the meantime, the anaesthetist came along and briefed me. Luckily, she was very nice. I knew I had to deal with a canula at some point and she explained what she would do. Those 1.5 hours had me thinking of random things, nodding off to sleep while thinking of food coz I was hungry by this time and just wondering what those monitors were used for. There was another woman next to me and she was going in for a fibroid removal. I was glad I was not her – she was younger than I was.
When I was finally wheeled in past many doors and cupboards full of gadgets, I was told to stay covered because it is cold inside the theatre. This theatre was not very cold – I have been in colder ones. The assistant to the anaesthetist put a tube of warm air inside my covering sheet which was nice. And so I waited for the doctor and I questioned them about the theatre, the gadgets in there, how they ensured no bacterial growth and infections etc.
The anaesthetist put in the canula which hurt a bit and then after a point told me not to be scared and I said I am fine, I am getting an education on the theatre and she laughed and said that’s good. The doctor came in soon after and she briefed me on the procedure and then the anaesthetist told me she will inject me and it will sting a bit but not to worry. And as she did this, I was given an oxygen mask and told not to close my eyes and the doctor and anaesthetist questioned me till I nodded off to la la land.
When I woke up I was again in the pre-op area and I was drowsy but ok. The anaesthetist came in and said I am fine and then she went off.
After being wheeled to the room I got onto the bed and I was with my friend and briefed her on why the delay etc. My throat felt wounded and I suspect it was from the oxygen tube. I ate a bit and then once the doctor debriefed me, got discharged about 2 hours later.
The insurance did not cover my full procedure because they clearly don’t understand medical procedures. I anyhow told my friend let’s go and get something to eat coz by the time we left it was almost midnight and we were both hungry.
So we went to a coffee shop and ordered food, coffee and tea. We took pictures of the waffle with Nutella and whipped cream and our coffees and tea and this is the memory we had from that day. I shared it on Instagram the next day and thought to myself the bloody irony of it.
There was I after a full day of medical procedures, having something nice at midnight and all people would see is that. They would not know my angst in waiting for the procedure, the uncertainty of my future coz my medical stuff ain’t over yet -my worries about recovery and how I would deal with work etc.
No. No one knows from a bloody picture on social media. But we assume and presume and we portray that which we only wish to. I certainly was not going to be taking selfies in the hospital or air my medical history to all and sundry. But it is very much a huge part of me. And though the midnight food and coffee was nice, it is in no way able to capture what was felt and endured.
This is how so many assume others to be – happy, content etc. And deep down there are oceans and rivers of experiences we do not know or see. Which is why looks and social media, are so deceiving.