My surgery is just over a month away. I keep telling myself not to start stressing over it yet, to wait until the week of my hysterectomy. But…I have never had surgery before. The only time I have been in the hospital was to have my son and that was in Montana. A much smaller, friendlier city than where I am now.
Despite my admonishments to myself, once in awhile I start to wonder exactly what it is going to be like. I have to be there at 5:30am and I picture myself shivering with cold and fatigue and wandering around lost in a huge hospital. I have a terrible sense of direction under the best of circumstances and it would be foolish to think I am just going to waltz in the correct door and find my way without any issues. That isn’t how my life goes.
Oddly enough in my imagination I never get past the point of trying to find the admissions desk. I suppose wondering about the rest of the day will come later.
Today I am writing out my fears in this week’s flash fiction challenge from Carrot Ranch. The theme is about the works of many hands. There will be many people involved in my surgery, the list has already begun with the scheduling and insurance work done. I am thinking I want to try and keep count of people the day of. I am curious as to how many people I will actually interact with that day. It may also be a good distraction from my fears.
All that said, I hope this tale remains fictional! I had to make it a two-parter, my worries couldn’t be contained in a mere 99 words. I needed to see it through to the end, couldn’t leave myself stranded in an empty hallway.
“First Time Surgery”
First I couldn’t find the right entrance:
Staff Only? No.
A kindly passerby asks if I need help.
The admission’s clerk hands over a stack of paperwork.
“Take the elevators on your left to the 4thfloor and follow the blue signs.”
I turn around and take the elevators to the right (that are now on my left.)
Fourth floor, I see only orange and yellow signs.
I stand in the middle of the hallway bewildered.
Lost again. No help in sight. I shiver.
How many people does it take to help me find outpatient surgery?
A young woman touches my arm. Do you need help?
Go down this hall to the end, take a right and go across the walkway and follow the blue signs.
I see blue and green signs. What color was I supposed to follow?
I am panicking, flustered, aware of the ticking clock.
A man in scrubs stops. All my fears come bubbling out.
I cry and babble. He takes my arm and leads me to the check-in desk.
A nurse looks up and nods to the man in scrubs and hands me a tissue, “You’ll be fine ma’am”.