1. The hospital is freaking freezing.
2. They gave me pants. Yay. And the hospital gown really wasn't too bad.
3. Waiting is boring, especially when the only thing on TV is Judge Alex (what happened to Judge Judy?)
4. Waiting in the room they had me change in for AN HOUR is even more boring, even with my mom there to talk to.
5. Getting an IV hurts. If they tell you it won't, they're lying. It hurts more when it doesn't work the first time and the nurse is poking around trying to get it to hit the darn vein and finally hits it resulting in me bleeding all over my hand and the pillow that was under it. Then she had to pull it out. I almost passed out. She came back in after I got to lie down for awhile with a warm blanket wrapped around my arm to try again on the side of my wrist instead. Apparently it's hard to hit veins in people that have cold hands. And my hands, she said, were freezing.
6. If it snowed five inches in the morning, when you get to the hospital in the afternoon, they will probably be very busy taking care of everyone that couldn't get there in the morning because the hospital is located on the side of a huge steep hill. Your surgery time may even get bumped back an hour.
7. The other worst part, besides the IV, was definitely the not being able to eat or drink anything. Man, I was starving.
8. There's lots of hallways in the hospital. I felt like a really sick person when they wheeled me through them lying down on a bed with sheets over me and a blue cap on my head, with the IV on the side of the cart. They had taken my glasses by that point so I couldn't really see anything.
9. Waiting lying down on a roller bed outside of the operating room while not being able to see anything and having nobody to talk to is even more boring than all the previous waiting combined. Even if it only lasts for ten minutes.
10. Operating room nurses and anesthesiologists can get a little whacky. Especially when they notice you look kind of nervous and learn that you haven't ever been to the hospital for an operation before (apparently, this is quite unusual in someone my age). They were passing around the oxygen mask before putting it on me, and talking about starting an oxygen bar, with flavored oxygen.
11. When the anesthesiologist says he's going to give you something that will make you really sleepy, he's right, it will make you really sleepy. I didn't even notice when they put the blue sheet over my head or started taping me off or anything until they were all done and were just finishing cleaning me up as the anesthesiologist woke me back up.
12. They probably won't remember to take everything off you that they put on you. For me, they forgot to take off the bandages from where the IVs went in, and the two sticky pads that held their little metal things (like the things they stick to your head when you're going to have your brainwaves read) next to my skin. I didn't notice the sticky pads until this morning when one of them had gotten my shirt stuck under it slightly.
13. The nurse may decide to take a break in the middle of checking your vital signs afterwards.
14. It takes them awhile before they finally take out the IV. Stupid IV. I didn't like that thing. Though I'm sure it was good for me.
15. I am not allowed to take off the huge bandage over the wound until 24 hours after the surgery. I can't wear a bra because of it. Time to pull out my baggy shirts. I can't shower until I take that bandage off. Yuck. I have to leave the little sticky pad on underneath that for at least a week, and can't take a bath during that time.
16. Hospital apple juice is really sweet, and leaves a weird aftertaste in the mouth.
17. They may give you a prescription for Loritab, and tell you to keep an ice pack on to prevent swelling and bruising, but if you had a skilled surgeon, you won't need any of that as it will only be slightly sore and tender.
18. LDS Hospital stops their valet parking service at 3pm.
19. It's kind of fun being wheeled out to your car on a wheelchair by a random nurse guy despite the fact that you can walk just fine, if a little slowly.
20. Anesthetic is likely to make you feel reaaaally tired when you get home. After you've eaten, of course. I went to sleep at, like, 8:30. After eating a huge dinner. And then a snack. And then I woke back up and ate two more snacks.
While I was waiting in the room they had me change in, after the first failed IV attempt, my mother told me stories about her old mission companion, a recovered drug addict. This girl got horribly sick on Christmas Eve, and they took her to the hospital. The nurse couldn't find a vein in her arm, and after the nurse had tried about ten different spots, the girl said "give me that", grabbed the needle, and jabbed it perfectly into a vein in her arm. The next day, Christmas, she decided she didn't want to be in the hospital. The doctor refused to release her, claiming she was much too sick. She enlisted my mother to help her breakout. She found a nurse's outfit somewhere in the hospital, changed into it, and ran to the back door where she had my mother waiting with their car and a change of clothes. My mom didn't want to help, but her companion told her she could either help her break out, or she could stay there and not know where she'd gone (big no-no in that mission). This same girl later sent her boyfriend (who was on a mission in France) a live tarantula, fresh from the Arizona desert. It apparently scared the crap out of him. She sounds like she was way fun. I would love to have met her. She came home, got married to the guy she'd sent the tarantula to, had a child, and three years later, died of leukemia. She never told my mom she was even sick at all.