I’ve made no secret that I’ve had three surgeries requiring anesthesia in the last six months. The two cataracts were minor, the hip replacement was not.
Each case required me to be unconscious during the procedure.
The first cataract surgery lasted a grand total of eight minutes. During that time, I experienced a wild ride piloting a spaceship through hyperspace, swirling tunnels of red with flame orange highlights.
What a trip!
I looked forward to the next surgery, figuring one more eight minute flight and I’d know how to navigate my space shuttle. Different anesthesiologist, slightly different cocktail of drugs. All I saw was overlapping piles of geometric shapes in vivid colors. More like psychedelic and impossible colors. COOOooool.
But not what I wanted.
No more cataracts to deal with and I’m very pleased with my new vision.
Six weeks later I’d had CT scans, Dexa scans, X-rays, and tranquilizers before I reported to Meridian Park Hospital in Tualatin, OR. (Best hospital in the world!) at Oh Goddess forty-five in the morning.
Within moments I had changed into one of those awful hospital gowns. they use paper coverings that can be burned afterward to cut down on infection rates. And it had a pouch they could attach a nozzle to and blow warm air all over me. I relaxed a bit and chatted with pleasant nurses. They set up an IV and started dripping fluids into me. Some of them were meds to get ahead of the pain to come. A fist full of pills, including Xanax to bring down my blood pressure followed in short order.
Antibiotics came too.
I was feeling no pain.
Doc came in and put a big black X on my left hip, to make sure he worked on the correct one. He looked different in scrubs with a bright floral cap. Younger and more handsome.
And then the fun began. Transfer to a gurney and a whirlwind tour of the surgical suites. At least it felt like a ride at an amusement park. My head wasn’t quite attached at the time. I landed in a lab. Two male nurses assisted me in a long procedure to sit up and dangle my legs. “We’re going to administer a spinal nerve blocker.” I knew it was coming.
“Hi, I’m Patrick,” said nurse number one. “And you are Phyl.”
Yes. For the fifteenth time I repeated my full name, my birthdate, why I was in the hospital, and which hip.
Patrick gave me a pillow to hug tight and pulled me against his chest. I felt protected and safe. No threats. He asked about my work. I admitted I’d never had a character in my books named Patrick. Time to change that. I flirted with him outrageously. He had kind, light brown eyes, almost hazel, but still too brown to make that designation valid.
He kept me distracted while his colleague swabbed my back and made grunting noises I could hear but not understand. “Gonna be a pinch,” he said.
Patrick upped the flirtation. I winced as the needle insertion went on and on and on, and then…
Next thing I know, I’m lying down, and someone put a plastic mask over my nose and mouth.
Off to La La Land once again.
My dreams this time involved the as yet unwritten climax of the WIP. A long and involved argument, weapons drawn, a fire fight ensued. I heard every ack-ack-ack of automatic weapons. I recognized my secondary protagonist, an Asian man, dressed in jungle camo, wearing a military helmet, and toting a HUGE firearm led the good guys. As the scene progressed, I began feeling that the action didn’t fit the logic of the book.as I rose toward awareness, details faded, except for the face.
And then I opened my eyes. Almost three hours had passed and I was in recovery.
My drug induced dreams still haunt me. I’ve decided to change the name of a character in the WIP from Francis to Patrick. He’s suddenly come more alive in my mind. And that scene… still unwritten but I know it’s not going to be firefight in the jungle.
But I still want to pilot a spaceship through hyperspace.