Chandler had surgery last week, I was with him and got to be “the responsible adult” to sign his release papers. Leading up to his surgery I began to notice the subtle differences between us in terms of surgery. Of course, take all of this with a grain of salt as my surgeries were quite simple compared to his.
Me: The night before my latest surgery (to remove Charlie and my surprise fibroid Dexter) I was bitter because I hadn’t had food in over 24 hours. Girlfriend doesn’t like to miss meals! But I was sitting around, watching tv as well as wanting to curse my doctor for checking in on me and suggesting if I wasn’t “empty” enough to use another means of getting rid of what could be in my tummy. Sure, doc, this is all you are gonna get, so if there is anything left, just take it as a gift, okay?
The next morning, my wonder twin, Amy, came to shuttle me to the hospital. Checking in was a breeze, the nurse who prepped me almost earned a fat lip for saying I didn’t need to come in so early. (and this is where I would suggest that everyone involved with a surgery to communicate) Once settled in and styling my sexy hospital gown, Amy got to endure a long routine of me lusting after any food that was shown on tv. To say I was drooling would be an understatement. But we laughed, talked and hung out while waiting for me to get the happy pills in my system.
Once taken into the holding bay I had a team of who knows how many people chatting with me (I kept telling them I was hungry) and sticking me with needles. After that, it is a blur. I woke up in my room and guessed that I was staying the night. Amy didn’t want to be the one to break the news to me. I was parched, hungry, in pain and my pain pump kept beeping. Later I learned that my heart rate was dropping and didn’t really care for what I was being given. The night nurse offered a helpful suggestion, just don’t hit it for more meds. Nice huh?
But overall, I was in a chipper, funny mood, begging for cherry popsicles. The whole time I was relaxed, didn’t have much to worry about and could care less about the rest of the world. My first meal out of the hospital consisted of wings, cheese sticks and onion rings. Hey, I had a craving and that was the first thing that sounded good.
Chandler: His night before consisted of getting quiet and alternately aggravating me by tickling me. He got to have food the night before and we settled on pizza at a new place in my old stomping grounds. For him, the surgery was one that while needed and wanted, came with a heaping side of nerves. Of course the morning of his surgery they get him back early, we talk through everything and their was one small surprise. He thought it would be twilight sedation as opposed to being put totally under. I could see the look in his eyes, the desire for it just to be over already and the understanding that if the doctors say we need to do it this way, it was for the best.
While I as chatty Cathy after my surgery, he wasn’t (well, if you have gauze in your mouth you would be silent too) but he did a couple of gestures that made me see he was a okay. While he did warn me that he would be grumpy after surgery, he wasn’t. A perfect patient who got through the whole thing and back home with no complaints.
But the biggest difference I noticed when it comes to the two of us is this, while I yap everyone’s ears off, he gets silent. While I look for the laughs to calm my nerves, he tickles me to the point that I might pee my pants. While I am quite flippant about going under, he takes it seriously.
Had my friends been brave enough to hang with me for the evening before my surgery they would have gotten a comedy show. Apparently I have no shame and will talk to anyone about my insides, poop (just ask my former boss) and that my eggs have walked out on me.
But it is nice to see how we balance each other and that if push comes to shove, I will pull out the bloody gauze and hold it while he takes a drink. Now that is love.