Monday, November 17th, 2008

Surgery Day today. I wake up early and follow all the specific directions I have been issued. I have to shower with a special soap. As I scrub my stomach I realize I will never see it unblemished again. My friend Thelma, my grandparents, my parents and my brother Pete arrive in my room. I am nervous. I cry when I have to remove my wedding rings. I reluctantly hand them over to Ryan for safe keeping.
I am taken downstairs to pre-op. While I am in there I am only supposed to have one visitor by my bedside. We sneak in two people at a time and it is very difficult to tell them when to switch with the people in the waiting room. I want to see everyone, and I don’t want to hurt anyone’s feelings. Ryan’s mom arrives and comes in to wish me well. I sob when I have to say goodbye to Peter. I am not ready for my mom or Ryan to leave me. When they do the epidural I expect to be able to hold on to Ryan, like my friends have described from their labor stories. The anesthesiologists tell me no, that I have to do it alone, because of the risk of infection. I am terrified, but it is not as bad as I imagined.
The last thing that happens before I am wheeled in is that I realize I have forgotten to remove my underwear. I hand them over to the nurse, she stashes them under the gurney and I wonder if I will ever see them again.

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