It's safe to say that I am no stranger to the operating room at some of the local hospitals. I've had 9 major surgeries in the last 7 years and over 75 more minor procedures in the last 5 years. I always joke that if frequent flyer miles were awarded for every time I ended up in the OR, I would be set for life!
Late last year, I had to have my wisdom teeth in the hospital operating room under general anesthesia due to my medical complexity and my increased risk of complications. No oral surgeon in their right mind would extract my wisdom teeth with all my other medical stuff. I ended up admitted to the hospital because of complication afterwards anyway, so I guess that was a smart call.
Anyway, I arrived at the hospital and went through the Same Day Surgery department as I've done so many times before. I sat in the waiting room for not even 5 minutes before getting called back to get vitals and all that good stuff. Within the hour, I was already on my way into surgery. Crazy fast process, which I've come to learn is not the norm!
Hugged my mom and did the usual pre-surgery routine. When I got back to the OR, I noticed that it was anesthesiologist that I had before (shocker!). Before he could even look at my wrist, I rattled off the usual. "Meghan L. Bayer, 08/12/1996" "Wow, you beat me to it!", he remarked. "Do you happen to know your medical record number too?", he joked. "98...........", I rambled. The room grew eerily quiet and everyone stopped what they were doing. "That's.... correct", he said softly.
I quickly realized that most 20 year olds don't have their entire medical record number memorized because they've looked at a medical bracelet and documents so many times. I quickly changed the subject to something lighter like my upcoming taekwondo testing.
The surgery itself was fine, but the recovery was complication riddled thanks to my CRPS and dysautonomia mainly. After spending the night and most of the next day receiving fluids and pain medicine, I was free to go home.
While the surgery itself was "normal" (whatever that means), my joking, yet serious response to that anesthesiologist's question reminded me that I'm not normal. Never have been. It's overrated in my opinion, but it was a giant wake up call when this happened.