I Was Seven And Frightened

I remember the day well. It was Friday, June 2nd, 1972. I was getting my tonsils taken out. It was the worst day of my life up to that point.

It got off to a bad start. My mother woke me up at 5:30 AM. She was nervous because we were due at the hospital in thirty minutes, and we were 20 minutes away. She decided to vent her frustration by yelling at me, even though it wasn't my fault.

We got to the hospital and checked in. When I got to my room, I was told to change into one of those awful backless gowns. At this point, I met my roommate. He was probably ten or so, and came from Blythe, which was even further away from Riverside than my hometown was. I think he was getting a tonsillectomy too.

Eventually, I needed a shot in my bottom. I was embarrassed and annoyed by this, but my mom thought I was overreacting. I didn't cry, but getting a shot is never pleasant.

When it was time head for the OR, the anesthetic was having an effect on me. I was actually looking forward to it! I must have really been out of it. The last thing I remember was saying hi to the surgeon. Then everything went black.

I woke up in the recovery room some time later. I had a headache (from the anesthesia, probably), and was not a happy camper, I was very demanding and hard to deal with. I remember one of the nurses losing her patience with me. Under the circumstances, I really don't blame her.

Then I was wheeled back to a regular room. But my situation was different. Instead of the boy I had met earlier, I was now sharing the room with a three-year-old girl. It was later explained to me that the switch was made because of my ADHD condition. I still wonder if maybe my first roommate complained about me.

Mom came in to see me once I was in my new room. This time my little sister was there to help keep me company. They left after dinner, but were stuck in the parking lot for an hour and a half because the car wouldn't start. I think my dad had to rescue them with jumper cables.

The next aspect of my stay that stood out happened in the middle of the night. One of the nurses woke me up to force water and 7Up down my throat. I was annoyed at the time, but now I understand that the nurse was just following orders.

The next morning I was fed ice cream and was wheeled out to the car. I was glad to be returning to more familiar surroundings!

This was not a pleasant experience, but I give the hospital staff credit for doing a good job. They made the ordeal as pleasant as possible. If the way I was treated was any indication of the job they do with all of their patients, they all deserve to be heaven when the time comes. Their patience and skill really stand out in my mind.
2029Wren 2029Wren
51-55, M
Sep 20, 2012