February 22, 2006
Experiencing deep emotions: sadness, anger, guilt and shame.
The dreaded surgery day
... The dreaded moment finally arrived and after religiously following the pre-op instructions, we departed for the hospital. Once there, we were directed to the surgery room's waiting area where Louise was prompted to don the customary hospital gown. For some unknown reason, she also had to wear these long tight white stockings that looked downright uncomfortable, and they were as it turned out , according to Louise. She had been fasting since the night before and looked pale and feeble. The operation was scheduled for 1 p.m., but we were to arrive at 11 a.m. The wait would be long and I was concerned that Louise would collapse out of weakness. The chairs in the waiting room which we shared with what seemed like a million other people, felt hard and uncomfortable. Once in a while the name of a patient would be called out and a woman would disappear through a door into a mysterious room to the left. After some time, accompanied by an orderly, she would reappear and would be rolled out of there lying on a gurney en rout to one of the surgery rooms. Resigned to an uncertain fate, the patients all had that same kind of worried and anxious look.
This went on for over two hours and Louise was starting to show various signs of fatigue. Without nourishment for the past 18 hours, she was very week, dizzy, and nauseous and was seeing kaleidoscopes. By the time, the waiting room had cleared up a bit and I made her lie on her side on two chairs. Needless to say, I was on the verge of making a scene when finally her name was called out. Never in my life will I be able to erase the painful sight of watching her stumbling along on shaky legs and barely making it to the famous prep room door.
Again, one more time as I write these lines, I shamefully ask myself why I did not disobey the hospital's strict directives and escort her into the damn room. Anyway, after what seemed to be like an eternity, she was finally rolled out on a gurney and as she passed in front of me, she smiled softly, trying unsuccessfully to hide her worried eyes. I stared at the gurney as far as I could see it, and when the door to the operation room finally closed on her, a horrible sense of dread overcame me as I realized that I may not see her alive again. The protective numbness that I had been engulfing me for a while now instantly dissipated and I was massively overwhelmed by a sense of trepidation that would not me for days to come...
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