22 October 2011

The Recovery Room

It was probably a little like what being born felt like. It's dark, snug and warm, and then suddenly the world comes to life. My ears woke up first. There was lots of pleasant intermittent beeping going on to my left. It felt sort of reassuring, like a heartbeat. As my mind focused on the pulse, I heard the whispers of a voice calling my name, at first, as a polite whisper, before it rudely stole my attention and forced itself into the forefront of my mind. That's when I remembered who I was and duly opened my eyes. Hazy shades of white and a large smudge of blue shuffled around for a moment. The world appeared to be upside down, until I blinked a couple of times and finally focused on a face that had been waiting quite patiently to my right.

The face was a pretty one. Wide green eyes and a flick of a blonde fringe that fell across a pale forehead and tucked neatly behind one ear.  Pretty though the face was, I didn't much care for that voice which was being exercised in my direction. As far as I was concerned, I didn't have a body. I was ears and eyes, with perhaps a little bit of a brain. Can I hear her? Am I in pain? Where does it hurt? Questions, questions from the voice that demanded me to leave my lovely blurry happy place and jump headfirst into a world where the colours were sharp, the noises loud and where I'd remember that I was attached to a body.

Oh, go on then.

Like being sucked out of a tunnel everything hit me at once: pain, shooting, stiff, helpless, whirring, fuss.
The soft pulse turned into a full on raging attack alarm. The haze scarpered revealing a shock cobalt blue curtain circling crisp white starched sheets, white matching uniforms and a white shining floor; all detached and disinfected.
I winced. A vicious sting that had been shooting through my stomach periodically, suddenly rushed up through my entire body, forcing me to feel every little bit of it. I might have blacked out for a moment. White uniforms scuttled around me. My legs were being squeezed intermittently by what looked like gigantic marshmallow flumps.  Hot blankets were lain across my body as if I was to be embalmed. All my limbs felt stiff and lifeless. My concentration circled my body, counting every twinge, each spasm, the shocks.

There was something sticking up my nose. Interesting. Finding the thought that this could be a bogey absolutely hilarious, I inappropriately snorted with laughter. The scuttlers stopped as I shot my oxygen tube halfway across my blanket, simultaneously splitting the stitches which just ten minutes prior to this event had been sewn beautifully into my belly button.

The face moved fast. 

I watched the clear liquid as it oozed through the syringe and shot up through the cannula sticking out from the thick blue vein on the back of my hand. I waited. I watched her lips form shapes as she whispered words. And I let the soft murmurs of morphine carry me off into the hazy spheres of the anaesthetic.


  1. I was reading your post all concerned, until I got to the bogey bit, which cracked me up. Strange the things we remember in these situations. Lovely piece of writing.

  2. When I read such posts, I feel immersed in the description of the situation, and start feeling concerned about the author.

  3. You know, I've had three surgeries, and I've never been able to remember the recovery room. The nurses have told me each time that I came out violently, worried that I was being attacked, and had to be restrained.
    I love your story. It makes me feel like maybe I'm not the only one who has that reaction.

  4. I had two minor surgeries two years ago but I don't remember moments when I woke up. Mr Starlight said that my reaction to the anesthetic was spooky.

  5. oooh i like gonna follow you round...not in an inappropriate way as i dont wanna deal with angry boyfriends and the legal system...

  6. Dicky - Glad I made you chuckle. I'm gonna blame the bogey bit on the anaesthetic - just shows it wasn't too serious an operation that I could still be ever so silly. ;-) Thank you.

    Olga - Thank you for your concer, but I'm feeling so much better now - almost all recovered.

    Nessa Roo - Hello! No, you are absolutely not alone. Apparently after the drama with my oxygen tubes, I wouldn't stop laughing and talking nonsense. The nurses had to tell me to be quiet. Oops.

    Starlight - Everyone reacts quite differently I think. Maybe it's a good thing you don't remember it, but poor Mr Starlight!

    Dan - I am ever so pleased you're here to stay. And in the appropriate way too, how kind!