Who is the Patient?

Yesterday my husband had a minor medical procedure with anesthesia so he needed me to drive him to and from the doctor. No big deal. I brought a book I can’t put down and before I knew it, my name was called to go to the recovery room.

I followed the nurse down the hallway. Curtains separated beds and there were loud beeps, wheelie chairs, and squeaky shoes. It was a completely different atmosphere than the calm waiting room. The nurse pulled the curtains back and there he was, definitely unconscious still. The nurse chuckled and tried to wake him up gently.

“He was just awake talking to me.” She remarked. She kept shaking his shoulder, a little more aggressively now.

The beeping next to him was steady, but I didn’t like seeing him unresponsive. The nurse kept looking out into the hallway. To me it seemed like she was searching for an answer.

Suddenly she said, “Why don’t you try waking him?”

Me? I thought. I’m not a nurse! I know he’s fine, but why isn’t he waking up?

Just then he opened his eyes and the doctor came in and told him that the procedure went well and he is totally fine. The doctor then turned to me and that’s when I noticed I was SO hot. I couldn’t focus on what he was saying. Then the ringing in my ears started and the doctor’s voice sounded echo-like and far away. Uh oh I thought. Just breathe, it will pass. I continued to nod at the doctor and then the room seemed extremely bright, then blurry. No. No No.

“I AM GOING TO PASS OUT!” I interrupted. I sat down, put my head in between my legs, and waited for my body to surrender. My shirt grew wet with sweat and I felt horrible. Please don’t vomit I thought. I heard the nurses chuckle to each other before they brought me my own Ginger Ale.

An hour later, my husband said, “Wow I didn’t expect my post-op would take longer than the procedure.”

“Um, I actually think they were waiting to make sure I was ok,” I said slowly.

“What do you mean? What happened?”

“Oh nothing.” I replied. For a moment I thought, maybe I’ll just leave out these details and it will just disappear. On the other hand, it is a great story.

3 thoughts on “Who is the Patient?

  1. Oh no! What an experience! You did a great job contrasting the waiting room with the recovery room, especially with the emphasis on those sounds. I hate the sounds of hospital machines! Remind me to tell you about the time I was at someone’s birth and trying not to let anyone know that I was close to passing out. Horrible feeling! Glad it all went well for your husband though and that you were able to get a slice out of it. That should be a motto or a bumper sticker, shouldn’t it? “Well, at least I got a slice out of it!”


  2. I once fainted visiting someone in ICU. I don’t like hospitals. It was winter and I was wearing my winter coat and the ICU was very warm. I think it all combined to make me woozy. Glad to know both patients are doing fine.


  3. I agree with mbhmaine… you captured the contrast between the calm waiting room and the beeping recovery room so well. I’ve always found hospital lighting harsh too. Hope you both continue to have a speedy recovery!


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