It was strange how I woke up before the gentleman arrived to get me organised for the morning’s events. As he walked to the door and turned on the lights I was already awake and on the phone texting my wife.
His arrival marked the final stage for me. Packing away my goods, showering in antibacterial wash and putting on my theatre gown. This was really happening. In under a matter of hours I would be having my chest opened, my heart stopped and going on the heart lung machine.
I remember returning to my enclosed bed, hiding behind the curtains, sporting my lovely operating gown, and the terrible realisation that I was heading for open heart surgery and there was no stopping it. This was bloody serious.
In those moments while I sat there waiting for the gentleman to return and take me on, there was a terrifying feeling of my own mortality. I started to think about the chances of dying and that absolutely anything could happen from here on. I felt I really could fall asleep and then never wake up.
I was put into the bed in full operating dress, including a hat, which seemed utterly useless considering I had just shaved, and then headed off with the big guy who was making sure I was prepped and delivered.
A surreal trip through the hospital followed, reminding me of every hospital scene in every television series or film show. Soft lights floating by my head as we rolled on, taking each corner and passing gowned nurses, doctors and random people. The gowns became more prevalent as we approached the operating theaters, and as I entered I saw the women who I saw being admitted that first day along with me.
Then it was a quick chat with the surgical staff, a passing view of my surgeon as he raced past, then nothing.
Next thing I remember is being woken up to have my tube in my throat removed. Strangely I dont remember it actually happening but I do remember the process being done.
I remember bits and pieces, fleeing moments of bed baths and such, and the magical although painful feeling of being alive.