Naturally the night before I couldn't sleep, I was up every hour or so checking the time worrying that I had overslept when in fact I hadn't slept at all! My boyfriend drove me to the treatment centre for 7.30am, and I started to have a little cry and a panic in the car-park, but I pulled myself together and in we went. My boyfriend was only allowed to stay with me in the reception area for about 10 minutes till my name was called and off I had to go up to the ward and sit and wait all by myself till the nurses came to get me for my operation. I was quite upset and nervous as it was my first time in hospital, my first time under general anaesthetic and I was scared and would of liked someone there with me, but that's just the way the NHS do it. You go in and you go out in one morning, no family or friends with you, just you, your horrid, NHS gown and your charming NHS paper pants. Lovely!
So there I was, sat there in my finery looking rather nervous and the girl in the bed next to me was lovely, she told me not to worry, that she had been under loads of times and it was fine, you just fall asleep and then you wake up and it's all over, your not in pain, just sleepy. I started to relax a bit and had a read of my book. My surgeon came round and said hi, said he was glad to see me again and that my teeth looked good. Then the first lot of patients began making there way down to theatre, including my new friend next door.
After an hour or so the first lot of patients were being wheeled back through the ward, I made an extra special effort to stare at all of them and assess how distressed and in pain they looked so I could prepare myself. To my delight they all looked sleepy, just lying there, chilled out with some blankets around them and an oxygen mask on. I was starting to think to myself;
Yeah, I can do this. It will be fine. It's just like that girl said, you go to sleep, you wake up, your fine. Nobody has been sick, nobody looked upset or anything coming back through. They were just asleep. Nobody was crying out in pain. I'll be fine, yeah, I can do this, just have a little sleep then wake up and go home....... I'll be fine............you can do this Tash...... you will be fine................OH MY GOD! WHAT THE HELL IS WRONG WITH HER!!! WHY IS SHE CRYING!!!! WHY IS SHE HYPER VENTILATING!!! WHY IS SHE BEING HELD DOWN!!!
Yes, much to my complete and utter horror, the lovely girl in the bed next to me, that assured me that going under general anaesthetic was a nice sunny stroll in the park, was clearly not going for a nice sunny stroll in the park. She was walking through a rather dark, horrid forest with monsters in it and she really, really wanted her Mum. One of the nurses must have noticed my horrified expression and that my hands were reaching for my clothes and came over and told me not to worry, that the girl was just a bit stressed and upset as she went under and those feelings come out when you wake back up again. She told me that she was absolutely fine and she wouldn't even remember getting upset and that I shouldn't worry one bit about that happening to me.
I was worried, very worried, and was wondering how long it would take me to run home in my gown and paper pants, I was in fight or flight mode, then my brain did something rather amazing. It chose to fight. It chose to keep me and my paper pants sat in that chair, and chose to calm me down, to rationalise what I'd just witnessed and what the nurse had said to me. Me and my wonderful brain came to the conclusion that if I remained calm and only thought about good things then everything would be fine and I would wake up happy and not upset and distressed.
So that's what I did, I had a good old chat to the nurse as she walked me down to the theatre (we walked past it we were nattering so much) I remained calm as I got on the bed/table and started to think happy thoughts as the anaesthetist tried to insert the IV in my left hand and failed to find a vein, then tried in my right and got one. I carried on breathing calmly and thinking good thoughts as she injected the anaesthetic and as a cold feeling went up my arm. Then she said you will feel sleepy soon, and I did, my eyelids shut and I was asleep.
I woke up smiling, I was thinking about the same thing as I did when I went to sleep, I had an oxygen mask on for a bit, then I was sat up and had some water and some jelly, the sugar rush from that was amazing! At that point the thing that hurt the most was my throat, from the breathing tube I had, but that was it, it was just like having a really bad sore throat from a cold. I had been given a local anaesthetic too so that I didn't feel any pain when I woke up. How very lovely of them!
My boyfriend was called and he took me home, I was greeted by my two St Bernard dogs who strangely new I wasn't right and didn't run and jump at me like they usually do, they sniffed at the hand my IV was in a lot and were very calm and quiet actually. I got in to bed and stayed there till the next day relatively pain free. I had ice cream for dinner that night and again for breakfast and dinner the following day. Just one of the many benefits of having your wisdom teeth out; it's acceptable to eat ice cream at any time of the day!