After spending most of Sunday talking on the phone with friends, family and my boss, I was ready for throat surgery which would render me speechless for one week. Sleep eluded me that night with thoughts of “what ifs” running through my brain. What if my doctor drinks too much coffee and her caffeinated tick causes a nick of my vocal chord? What if my voice is forever changed causing me to sound like a chipmunk? What if they give me too much anesthesia and I don’t wake up? Oh well, 3 hours of sleep was plenty. I was ready, or so I thought.
My poor husband put up with my angry, nervousness all morning and was quite ready to pass me off to the people who would be snatching my ability to vocalize my complaints. My doctor arrived and told me that the “A Team” would be taking care of me, which put my mind at ease, until the “A Team” started telling me what could go wrong. Now, I know this is standard, but hearing words like stroke, choking, drowning and death left me even more uneasy then when I entered the sterile stage. After playing with the anesthesiologist a little, telling him that my allergic reactions to penicillin have included bouts of head spinning and vomiting pea soup, I was hooked up to an I.V. and walked to the operating room. It seemed like they were having a party which included about 8 people. I asked why so many were needed to perform this procedure. The man with the Colts “do rag” told me that they were all SO mediocre that more were needed. He then told me to relax and knocked me out (with “happy juice”, not his fist).
When I awoke after surgery, I knew instantly that I was not to speak. In the past, I have been known to utter nonsense when “coming to” like comparing my doctor to a rock star since he only showed up when the show was about to begin. My vitals were great and I was alert, so they sent me to the recovery room. My husband was ushered in. It is always a comforting feeling to see his face after dealing with strangers in any capacity. He thought he would impress me by using sign language. The thing is, he doesn’t know sign language, nor do I. I realized that he was just waving his hands, throwing in a middle finger subtlety every once in a while. Knowing that laughter was not allowed, I smiled and covered my mouth so I wouldn’t blow it in front of the docs. I was released one hour early, walked to the vehicle and strapped in.
The drive home was full of snapping, clapping and hitting my husband on the arm to get his attention. I am not sure if you know this about me, but I am very vocal and like to direct not only conversations but life in general, most of the time. While driving home, my son called. He is in Germany and I rarely speak to him due to poor internet connection there. My husband put him on speaker and all I remember him saying is “Hey mom, I can say whatever I want and you cannot respond!”. He then broke out into an uproarious fit of laughter. I made a mental note to “get him later”. Generally, I am called out for not really paying attention to everything my husband says. If I do not respond, he will ask me if I was paying attention. One thing I discovered in the infant stages of my doctor ordered silence, is that I don’t have to answer. I don’t even have to pay attention! This was going to be a great week for me! I thought too soon. When I couldn’t “front seat drive”, swear at the challenged drivers on the road, use my “convincing” sweet inflection to get my way or call for my dogs who were running away, I realized that this was going to be the challenge of all challenges. My journey was just beginning. God bless all who handle sensory deprivation on a daily basis and do so with grace. Today, I will venture out into the world alone and report back to you. Please put on your seatbelt and remain seated as the ride may get a little bumpy.