Facing My Fear of Anesthesia

Last Updated on January 23, 2023

My first hospital experience went much better than expected. My family had to wake up at 5:30 in the morning in order to get me to the hospital at 6 AM. Being woken up so early on the morning of my surgery was the most dreadful feeling ever… The whole way there, all I could think about was how anxious and nervous I was.

We got inside and a woman had us sit in her office to complete some paperwork and whatnot. Once that was taken care of, they told me to take a seat and wait until they were ready to take me. Although I wasn’t scheduled for another hour or so, the nurse brought me to another room where I was told to put on the hospital gown and wait until the doctor was ready.

I guess the doctor was running ahead of schedule because it didn’t take long before the NICEST nurse anesthetists came in and started chatting with me while administering some of the mild anesthesia to calm me down. She had the goofiest personality – I loved her so much!

Next thing you know, I’m being wheeled away to the operating room. Outside the door, I hugged my parents and was wheeled away to another holding room.

All I remember after that was being wheeled to my operating room, meeting the team, seeing bright lights above my head, and then being told to breathe from a blue oxygen mask. Two breaths later, I was unconscious.

When I initially regained consciousness, it was the primary surgeon and jolly nurse anesthetist standing near the foot of my bed. They told me that they were all done and that my surgery went well! I was out of it so all I said was, “..Yeah?” and fell back asleep.

Later on, when I woke back up in the same place and looked around, I couldn’t find the surgeon or my anesthesiologist anymore. All I saw was some other nurse so I urgently looked at her and asked, “Where are the doctor and anesthesiologist?”

“They left, honey. After you woke back up, they went to talk to your parents,” was her response.

tearing up with my nurse anesthetist


I think it was both the drugs making me overly emotional and also legitimate guilt, frustration, and sadness that a group of people had just successfully operated on me and I couldn’t even say a simple thank you.

The doctor was long gone but the wonderful nurse anesthetist was still around in the hospital so she came back to talk to me. After I thanked her and explained how happy I was, she started crying too!

Though the hospital turned out to be a much better experience than I could have ever imagined, recovery has been a little less enjoyable, and I kind of hope I never ever have to go through anything like this ever again.

My operation has put an interesting spin on my interest in medical school because now I can better connect with patients. Part of me worries I’ll be squeamish with some of the material I face but then another part of me wants so badly to one day be like my nurse who comforted me and made a whole heck of a difference in my first experience with surgery.

that’s *literally* how I roll


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The Rocky Safari