Close to Nowhere

Surgery was a little weird

I had to have a little dab of minor surgery on my arm last week. Going to the hospital is nothing new to me, but it was really strange this time.

I've gotten used to patients going in a doctor's office one at a time and wearing a mask. But since this doctor was scheduling surgery I had to go by the hospital after seeing him and have a COVID-19 test. I was really surprised at the level of cleanlinesss they were aiming for. The entire lobby had people in scrubs, gloves, masks and loaded with cleaning supplies. The sliding entrance doors were being cleaned ­ the inside tracks! The floors were constantly being mopped, ledges, benches, even the plants were being washed.

I asked one of the scrubbers where the restroom was and she walked me there (six feet away from me). When I came out, she went in to scrub the toilet I'd used.

When I got to the outpatient surgery unit for my test, they directed me to a room and in comes the nurse with the test. She looked like an astronaut ­ clear entire face mask, gloves, blue paper suit, the entire nine yards. It was weird but almost comforting. I've been self-isolating so long that when I do go out into the "real" world, it's kind of scary. You know there's always that one person who doesn't feel like they need to wear a mask or be careful. When you're not in good health, it's scary thinking you might catch the virus.

The day of the surgery was also weird. Only one person was allowed to go with me (which is all I'd have had anyway for something so minor). Youngest granddaughter Remy drove me, not happily, since she had to be at my house at 5 a.m. for me to be at the hospital in Collierville, Tenn., by 6 a.m.

Everyone in the outpatient surgery unit was masked, gowned and gloved. It was eerily similar to what I suspect people on the space station look like.

After finally getting through all the pre-tests, etc. a nurseanesthetist came in and began asking questions and telling me all that "could" go wrong. By the time she left I'd gone from being slightly bored to terrified.

The doctor reassured me that she had to do that, and I wasn't even really being put to sleep and to not worry, which I did anyway.

Of course, they had to make me go out in a wheelchair and I was almost relieved that the guy pushing me wasn't wearing gloves ­ he did have on a mask.

While I was very happy that everything was so clean and sanitized, I was quite happy to climb back in my dirty car.

Holly Springs South Reporter

P.O. Box 278
Holly Springs, MS 38635
PH: (662) 252-4261
FAX: (662) 252-3388

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