8 March 2012

Recovery Road Trip

I was prepared as I could ever be. For two weeks, I’d been listening to my Guided Meditations at least twice a day. All my free mental moments were spent conjuring up images of  the happy places I’d been, and filling my belly with sunlight.

Plan A
Knowing that I couldn’t wear a wig or lipstick in the operating room, I’d painted my toe nails bright red so that I would still look like a lady. The night before, I’d gone to a yoga class, followed by a massage, and a last blast of guided meditation. My two brilliant wing men (wing people) Jim and Joanne were there to escort me to the hospital. And when I was finally changed into my cap and gown, it was Deborah, my all-time favorite surgical nurse on the planet, who was there to greet me.

It was only 8 am as she walked me into the operating room. We chatted a bit about her upcoming trip to Arizona where she has a time-share. I know she was doing this to keep my mind busy, and I appreciated her efforts. She also introduced me to the bodies in the room, none of who were recognisable behind their masks. Over in the corner Dr Escargot was texting on his iphone. (At least I hope he was texting – he might have been playing video games). But we’d spoken earlier that morning, and had already said our hellos.

Plan B
So I jumped up on the operating table, my mind filled with all my favorite places. Quickly, I tried to summon all my ‘magical friends and allies’ who were ‘proud of my courage’, and who were going to watch over my spirit. I also tried to think of what I would have for lunch, after I woke up and ‘calmly and comfortably’.  Then settling down, I tried to evoke images of all the places I love to be. My favorite rocks, deck chairs, birds, and lovely people.

‘Hey!’ said Deborah, ‘Have you ever been to Arizona? That’s a place you and Jim should go’. I told her that we had been there and liked it very much. She said that there’s nothing like the dessert to make the soul feel alive. Being wildly susceptible to suggestion I agreed. Although it did interfere slightly with the delicate tableau that I was trying to establish in my mind, I could picture the red sand and the rich blue sky.

Last Minute Plan
Deborah's cheerful face loomed over me. ‘You should think about the dessert while you fall asleep. You and Jim in a convertible going down the highway’.  Dammit! The whole idea was to stay in the country. It was all I could do not to go to France, and now someone was dangling the Arizona highway in front of me like a big dusty carrot. Also, the drugs from my IV were starting to kick in. The open road was looking pretty good.  ‘Will you come with us?' I asked Deborah sleepily. ‘There’s room in the back seat with Jed.’  She grinned. ‘Sure thing! I’m a dog person too. I’m definitely coming along.’

So there I was, off to Arizona. I didn’t think it would take too much to convince my magical band of allies about the change in plans, because apart from picky eating habits, they seemed up for pretty much anything. So much for careful planning. I was all set for a day with cocktails, lobster, and bird sounds, and I ended up in the front of a Cadillac.

Those who know me well can attest to the fact that I’m a terrible planner. But I make up for it (sort of) by surrounding myself with good people and beautiful places. And though this road wasn’t one I’d planned on, it must have been good, ‘cus I woke up feeling calm, and comfortable, and almost ready to stop for a Corona. Though I settled on an apple juice,  instead.


  1. It was a good day!

  2. So good to hear it went well. Those drugs are the best. They almost (for me) make the whole process of surgery worthwhile... Arizona is spectacular indeed.