May 31, 2018
I get up at the hotel to get showered, I’m surprisingly still calm. I proceed to wake up my husband, daughter and Skylar (my niece). My parents were at the same hotel, but in a different room. I text to make sure they were awake. I’m a huge coffee lover so everyone was giving me a hard time about not being able to drink my coffee. We get in our cars to head to the hospital, the drive was about 15 minutes. Once we park we head inside to the registration desk. We sit down and Skylar says, “Ami, you’re about to have surgery. How are you so calm, aren’t you nervous?” Before I can answer her my Dad pipes in and says, “what’s there to be nervous about? It’s out of her control, and she knows worrying isn’t going to help anything.”
I should explain my nickname. My family calls me Ami. This is the shortened version of what my mom has called me for as long as I can remember, Miami.
As I’m sitting there, my all time favorite show is playing on the tv, I Love Lucy! I’m enjoying the show when the registrar calls my name to get registered for surgery. I go back to her office, state my name and date of birth. She asks, “who is doing your surgery today?” I tell her the name of the surgeon. She says, “you’ve got the best surgeon we have! You’re definitely in good hands!”
Once all the patients are registered they walk us back to surgery. My husband is sitting in the corner by my head, my parents, daughter and Skylar at my feet. My mother in law and grandmother in law have now joined the party as well, but stay outside while they’re getting everything going. They give me this purple neck pillow, I tried to put it behind my neck and said “this is the most uncomfortable thing I’ve ever used!” I put the pillow to the side, for now. My surgeon comes in to explain he’s taking out my right cervical and first ribs and he will make an incision just above my collar bone and likely another in my armpit to do so. We go over the chest tube scenario once more. I had previously told my husband, if I came out of surgery with a chest tube, or anything major happens, to not let the kids see me. I sign consent and in no time anesthesia is in the room to start my IV.
I am a hard stick, to say the least, but I don’t tell him that because I don’t want to get him nervous ahead of time. I think to myself, he’ll probably get me quick because he’s an anesthesiologist. NOPE! Probably 3, maybe 4 sticks in he says I’m going to find the vein finder. My husband is still at my head at this point and the rest of my family at my feet. The anesthesiologist turns the vein finder on and starts looking at my veins and talking about them and how hard of a stick I am. Next thing I know, my husband is slumped over in the chair moaning, he’d passed out! The nurse gets him some ammonia to get him going and he gets out of the room once he gets his bearings. Anesthesia can’t get the IV in, even with the vein finder. He says he’ll just take me back to surgery and do it back there when the nurse says, “do you mind if I try?” He agrees and she gets it in one try! I’m relieved to finally have that over with and I wasn’t sure what the plan would be if they took me back to surgery without one. The anesthesiologist tells me to tell everyone bye, and that it was time to head back. I hug and kissed everyone bye. He wheels me out of the room and down the long hall.