Massachusetts General Hospital With Charles River in the Background

Massachusetts General Hospital With Charles River in the Background

At 5:00 AM this morning, I left my house and crunched through the snow to the “T,” Boston’s subway, on my way to Massachusetts General Hospital. The temperature was a brisk 20°F and there was no one else around on the cold, dark streets. I had to catch the first subway train as my surgery was scheduled for 7:30 AM, and I was scheduled to arrive at 5:30.

I’ve never taken the T that early, and I was surprised at how many people are riding at that hour. The train wasn’t completely full, but if you wanted a seat, there were few if any to choose from.

I got to the hospital, checked in, and the process began. Lots of people asked me the same questions that I had answered many times in the past week — allergies, reason for my visit, had I eaten, etc, etc. After I dressed in what passes for clothing in a hospital, they wanted to wheel me to the pre-surgery area in a wheelchair, but I decided to walk since I don’t like feeling like an invalid, and there’s nothing wrong with my legs. There, more questions, and then the anesthesiologist gave me a sedative. Then they wheeled me to the operating room, which looked like something out of Star Trek with lots of impressive white equipment. After that, I blanked out.

mgh operating room

Later I awoke in the recovery room, groggy from the anesthesia, and with a raspy voice due to the tube they put down my throat. About an hour and a half later, my friend, “C” arrived to take me home (in his brand new car!).

By 1:30, I was happily settled in back home. I’m in good shape, with a little minor pain, but nothing worth talking about. The dominant feeling is just fatigue. As a good friend who had her heart valves replaced two years ago said, “After surgery, you just feel like you’ve been ‘through something.'” Well, I have that feeling, though I wasn’t through anything NEARLY as intense as she was. So I’m fine, and feel confident in a speedy recovery. Then hopefully the weather will let me escape Boston and go to Mexico!

I’d like to thank my doctors, Dr. Denise Gee, surgeon, and Dr. Xiaodong Bao, anesthesiologist, Melissa, Debbie, and my other nurses. They all provided wonderful care at the highest professional standard. Everyone was terrific, supportive, and professional.  And thanks to the readers who’ve sent good wishes.

I’m grateful to all.