Well, friends, I made it through surgery. Thank you so, so much for all your kindness, comments, texts, calls, emails and love. I really felt an abundance of support and can't tell you how much that meant to me.
On Friday morning at 6am, I went to the Institute of Orthopaedic Surgery here in Las Vegas with my sister Monica and my childhood stuffed lamb. (My boyfriend had a really important test at school that day, so I had already said my "I love you and hope I don't die" emotional goodbyes.) When they called me back and prepped me for surgery (this included drawing a smiley face with the word NO on my good leg), the tears started flowing. I kept repeating, "I don't know why I'm crying. I'm sorry," but they explained this was pretty typical and was just a result of my nerves. They called my sister back to sit with me for a while and she told me I had the "little deer caught in headlights" look I sometimes get. During this time, I may or may not have brought up Michael Jackson one or four times and everyone assured me I would not meet the same fate as the late King of Pop. They next warned me how cold the operating room would be and then, before I knew it, it was time to hug my sister and get taken back. Unfortunately, right before walking down the hall to my surgery site, my nurse told me she would see me "on the other side" and then immediately corrected herself when she saw my face go pale. (Hey, it was an honest mistake!)
To say I was scared is a huge understatement. To say it was freezing in there was an even bigger understatement. The anesthesiologist then showed me the medicine that would put me to sleep. You can probably guess that my next question was, "Is that what Michael Jackson used?" Yep, it was. I then said with an urgency I may have never used before, "Please tell me you'll be more attentive than Dr. Conrad Murray (MJ's less than fantastic doc)!" He assured me he wouldn't be sneaking out to the parking lot for a smoke break and I started to relax. I then asked if it was normal to feel burning in my throat and arm. That's the last thing I remember...
I woke up over two hours later to everyone around me saying my name. All I can remember is how much it hurt. They asked me, on a scale of one to ten, how much it hurt and I emphatically kept saying, "NINE!" They brought me some crackers and Sprite and I remember asking several times if I had snored during surgery. Still not clear on the answer to that one. :)
When they called my sister back, she came with a good story. You see, the doctor explained to her that as soon as I woke up, I sat up straight and yelled, "I LOVE TECHNOLOGY!" I guess I gave everybody a good laugh and, if you know me, you know that makes me really happy. After that, everyone did a lot of talking that sounded like Charlie Brown's parents. Being the pop culture enthusiast that I am, I expressed concern over pulling an accidental Heath Ledger with all my drugs. (Rest in peace, Heath.) After that, we were sent home. Um, er, we were sent to the Hilton. (In my defense, I live in a two story condo where the bathroom is upstairs and this didn't seem particularly manageable post-surgery.)
In closing, if there is anything I can stress to you, dear reader, never take saucy Santa photos in the snow (I can't mention this enough) and... You haven't arrived until you've been wheeled into the Hilton wearing paper pants.