Thursday, July 7, 2011


If we're friends on Facebook or you follow me on Twitter, you know I had a relatively minor surgery a week ago. My gall bladder was finally removed after almost weekly attacks and a being a nearly daily nuisance for nearly a year. 

You might have read my posts about my anxiety before the surgery. You might have even thought to yourself that I was overreacting. After all, a simple gall bladder surgery isn't a huge deal. 

I have to admit I was extremely nervous. I wasn't just afraid of complications. I counted on them. While I was told 95 percent of people were able to leave the same day of the surgery with only three or four small incisions, I counted on being in that 5 percent. 

This was partly because of what happened with Cora. When I enter a hospital, I always think about that last night with her. Sometimes I even replay the night in my head. I'm right back there. Cora was not healed in a hospital. They will always be related in my mind to death and dying. 

A few months after Cora died, my husband broke his ankle really badly. We were out of town and taken to the county hospital in a large urban area. The next almost two weeks were torture. The staff was rude. The hospital was dirty. His roommate was a stabbing victim that came and went from his room like it was a hotel. We were told a new story every few hours. At one point he was taken back for surgery and because of a communication break down, I eventually thought he died and was bawling in the hall way. We eventually checked out against medical advice. 

The hospital where I had my operation was the county hospital here. I flashed back to that experience and thought it would be repeated. I'd be left in pain for hours. My husband would be scared and in a hot packed waiting room. Besides also being a large county hospital, this hospital has other things in common with the hospital that mistreated my husband. Communication before surgery was extremely poor. I'd spent hours and hours in waiting rooms with broken air conditioning. The hospital just looks dirty. I wasn't confident in the surgeons I met. 

I was so petrified of being operated on there. 

We arrived at the hospital and after being admitted were lead to a nearly deserted, well air conditioned, and relatively comfortable waiting room. When I went back for the surgery, I wasn't alone until I went home for more than a couple minutes. 

It was like a new hospital. I liked all my doctors. Their bedside manner was so much better than any I'd met in clinic. And, there were a lot of them. I felt confident that if something went wrong, one of them would know what to do. 

I told them I was nervous, and they seemed to care. They were gentle. The last thing I remember before being put under was the anesthesiologist saying "We're going to take great care of you." I believed him. 

Two hours later and I was in recovery. I wasn't left to suffer and given everything I could possibly need to feel comfortable. The surgery went as well as it could. They even seemed to use some advance methods I hadn't heard about from friends and family that had the procedure at other hospitals. 

In recovery, I immediately could tell my gall bladder was gone. For months, it had ranged from a stabbing pain to a dull ache and when not in pain, I could always feel it there. Sorta like a baby's foot in my ribs. 

I was finally on the path to healing. 

I have a new experience with hospitals. It doesn't out weigh or forgive my awful experience. But, it does help me heal my hospital and doctor phobia. I remember that they're there to help. 

I remember there there to help me heal. 

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