A young orderly, tall, thin, barely shaving, pushes my cart down the winding halls to the operating room.  My view is skewed because I am reclining, and the visage of ceilings and tops of doors, sterile covered heads as we roll down disorients like a b-grade SCI-FI film.  He warns me of each turn, as if I might be walking back on my own, but I am centered, calm and waiting.

Just outside the room, the anesthesiologist comes out.  Young, sharp, utterly confident as he tells me we will have a nice sleep.  I think to myself, “We?”.  He is infectious, and like a young Tiger Woods about to win the first Masters at a record pace, I catch it and think, “I am in good hands.”

They roll me into the room, and it is full of gear, it might be a submarine command, and each person acts with military precision.  I scoot  myself off the cart to the thin alter in the center of the room where my thyroid will be sacrificed.  There is so little I can do, any action is a comfort.  The team inspires confidence.

It is less than a minute in the room, and I am positioned. They place a warm covering over my legs and chest, it reminds me of donning a warm shirt just out of the dryer.  The young Tiger is back, asking me to help him, hold the clear mask over my nose and mouth.  I think, “Good ploy, keep me involved”, and it would be impolite to refuse anyway.  I position the mask with my right hand, and wonder if this is a new mask, or sterilized when I notice the gas, it smells of plastic and tubing, and it disappoints me, for some reason I was expecting flowers and a pleasant scent….




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